Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Be Like a Duck This Week!

The official start of autumn might be a few weeks away, but everyone knows that summer really ended yesterday with Labor Day.  That holiday is a touchstone for me on the calendar - the long, carefree days of summer are over; and fall means the start of a new school year, football season is back and beautiful fall colors (& hunting season!) are near.  Then just around the corner will be "The Holidays" with Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's packed into nine weeks.

But Labor Day also means that we still have 17 weeks left in the year - a full 1/3 of the calendar still ahead of us.  Which makes it a great time to dust off those New Year's goals, and see what we can still accomplish in 2016.

So often we set a goal, make progress on it, and then when life takes over our goal falls to the wayside and doesn't get revisited.  I had done a really good job early in the year of tracking the action items I needed to do on a daily and weekly basis to reach my goals, but then I lost momentum (see 'long, carefree days of summer' above!) and now it's been many weeks since I've looked at my goal tracking checklist.

Take some time this week to think about what you want to accomplish yet in 2016.  If you had some New Year's goals for the year back in January, review them.  You might be surprised at how much you've actually accomplished - human genetics means we tend to focus on the negative which often causes us to overlook the positive - and it's important to celebrate even little victories.

For me, one 2016 goal was to get my weight down where I felt better about it, and I had a specific number in mind.  As of this week I'm about halfway to my goal, which is good - but I was 75% of the way there earlier this year but then gave some of my progress back (once again, see 'long, carefree days of summer' above!).  This week I'm working on appreciating more the progress I've made so far and re-focusing my mindset on the little steps I need to take to be successful.

A great idea for this week is to be like a duck!  Don't be afraid to adjust your goals to make them realistic - and this is a great time to do so.  Learning taekwondo might not be achievable anymore this year, so you could scratch that off of your list and focus on your other achievable goals.  Or you could make your goal be to sign up for a class and have taken a lesson by year end.

Either way, having a list of goals that are actually real, current goals can be a powerful catalyst for progress.
One of my 2016 goals was to blog twice a month, starting with a goal-setting post in February.  That obviously didn't happen, and there's no way I can hit that goal now.  But I can adjust that goal to make it achievable by the end of the year and turn a shortcoming into a success.
Remember a goal is most effective when it's SMART - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timed (has a deadline).

What does this have to do with personal finance? For one, many goals have financial implications - maybe you will want to set a goal of paying down debt, building up cash liquidity, or increasing retirement savings by the end of the year.  

But more importantly for us, talking about goals is central to our mission at Trinity Financial Planning:  helping people improve their lives.  When we help people move toward their dreams - in the area of finances, family, health or otherwise - we are making progress on accomplishing that mission. 

Let us know if we can help you or someone you know improve their lives.

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