18/01/15: Designing Your Future: Goal Setting

Are you ready?

Deep down, we all know that New Year's resolutions just don't work. Consider the empirical data…

* 25% of people abandon their resolutions after just one week. * 60% of people abandon them within 6 months. * The average person makes the same resolutions 10 times without success. * Even after a heart attack, only 14% of patients make any meaningful change around eating or exercise.

Clearly, change is really hard.

Resolutions don't work, but goal setting does, provided you do it in the right way. Here are a set of 4 practices for setting effective goals that do work…

1. Write your goals down. Written goals have huge power, but you've got to to get them down on paper to get the clarity you need. 2. Make your goals 'SMARTER'. This is an acronym - Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, Time-Bound, Exciting & Relevant. 3. Share your goals with others, but do it selectively. Share your goals with people who are supportive but will also hold you accountable. 4. Review your goals regularly (at least weekly) so they stay top of mind. Diarise your reviews - remember, if you don't stay focused on your goals, they're guaranteed to fall by the wayside.

Whether you are just starting out, building your wealth or looking to retirement, goal setting (not vague resolutions) should be part of your DNA. Written goals are essentially 'dreams with a deadline', so go on, put pen to paper, be specific, be descriptive, and have fun with it.

Rick Maggi Westmount Financial