When SMART Goals Are Not Always Wise!

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Many of us have been taught about setting goals through the use of the SMART acronym.  The theory is that in order to be successful in our pursuits, our goals must be:

Specific 

Measurable 

Attainable 

Realistic 

Tangible 

However, for most financial planning clients, this goal setting template is rigid and uninspiring.  It puts the concept of planning and achievement in a linear framework that appeals only to the rational side of their brains.  Goals become a list of “shoulds” that require them to be disciplined and methodical in order to reach their objectives. 

As an alternative, substitute words for the SMART acronym that speak to your clients on an emotional level.Using a more inspiring framework will engage and motivate them, and result in a goal setting process that is more successful and satisfying.Here is an example:

Significant

Meaningful

Attracting

Rewarding

Timely

Significant—Goals that resonate with what is most important to your clients will keep them motivated and bring joy to their journey as they make progress in reaching their objectives.

Meaningful—Oftentimes individuals set goals based on what others—parents, employers, teachers, society—view as important.However, to be truly inspiring and satisfying, your clients’ goals must align with their own values and priorities.Only then will their goals be “full of meaning” on a personal level.

Attracting—Only when your clients’ goals are both significant and personally meaningful, will they create a positive image that engages them and inspires action.They won’t have to rely on pure grit and determination to achieve their goals, but rather a clear vision of what they want will focus their intention and guide their decisions on a day to day basis.

Rewarding—Sometimes our clients don’t make progress because, consciously or subconsciously, they are still weighing the costs and benefits of making a commitment to reaching their goals.An honest appraisal and conversation about this inner conflict can bring clarity, and resolve incompatible feelings.In a nutshell, your clients are more likely to move toward goals that bring them a clear sense of reward along the journey as well as in reaching the destination.

Timely—Do your clients actually have the time required to commit to a specific goal?Before embarking on this journey, encourage your clients to consider if the timing is right for them?Likewise, when helping your clients to set goals, it is important to realize that some goals should have specific target dates and others should not.

By imposing deadlines on your clients prematurely, you can create stress that stifles their ability to overcome obstacles in creative ways.In addition, deadlines tend to cause individuals to set goals that are within their current reality.More open-ended goals will encourage them to “dream big”—to stretch their imaginations and indulge in possibility thinking.

Carol Anderson

 

Posted & Published by the permission of Money Quotient, NP.
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Helping Clients to Move from “Change” to “Transition”

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Life is a continuum—an accumulation of experiences that makes us who we are and influences how we view ourselves and the world around us. As we review these experiences, we realize that our lives have been permeated with change, and the same is also true for our financial planning clients!  In fact, as ironic as it may seem, change is really the only constant in our lives.

William Bridges, author and preeminent authority on change and managing change, defines transition as the psychological process people go through to come to terms with a new situation.  Therefore, helping your clients to overcome challenges and recognize opportunities is a critical compone

nt of your holistic perspective, and a central objective in guiding your clients to successful life transitions.

It is also important to understand that making successful life transitions will require your clients to have an arsenal of both

 practical strategies and emotional fortitude.  We all encounter both expected and unexpected changes in every area of life.  However, those who are resilient are better able to navigate each change, bounce back from disappointments, and welcome new experiences.

In addition, because nearly all of life’s transitions have a financial tether, it is important to consider how you can help your clients to be more intentional about evaluating and strengthening their financial resilience. From a practical standpoint, financial resilience requires a foundation of basic financial knowledge and a strategy for building financial security. From an emotional standpoint, financial resilience requires self-awareness and self-confidence. This is achieved by helping your clients to identifying fears and behaviors that undermine their financial well-being, and by working to understand and overcome the underlying issues.

On a personal level, your life satisfaction will increase as you yourself continually seek to respond to change in healthier and more productive ways.  Similarly, your career satisfaction will increase as you guide your clients through a proven financial life planning process that focuses on helping them to navigate change and make successful life transitions.

In the world of music, the “passing note” is a note that is not part of a particular chord, but is placed between two chords to provide a smooth melodic transition from one to the other.  Likewise, it is important for you to recognize ways you can act as a “passing note” to facilitate successful transitions in our own life and in the lives of those we serve.

—Carol Anderson

Source: Money Quotient

Posted & Published with Permission of Money Quotient, NP

Why do you need a Financial Plan…?

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Hello Everyone!

Last week, my few friends set on a Road Trip to Ladakh. They had planned each & everything properly. They jotted down the route of where to take a break & how much distance to be covered daily. They had a step by step series of maps of their planned route!

Planning your Trip is a vital thing…but have you thought of having a Financial Plan?

Reaching your Financial Goals is not less than a Trip…If you don’t know your destination, how will you know when you have arrived?

Many may wonder – “Do I really need a financial plan?” Some may feel that regularly saving in Bank RDs & investing through SIPs in Mutual Funds will do the job!

In order to become rich, you need to make your money work for yourself!

Well, a Financial Plan ensures that you are ready for the dynamic situations. Here are a few reasons depicting why having a Financial Plan is crucial.

  1. Managing Cash Flows

You definitely need a Financial Plan if you are not aware about your monthly expenses. Many people fail to understand how their monthly salaries get extinguished, leaving them with very little or absolutely nothing to save. Thus maintaining a budget is crucial to stay on track towards your long term goals!

  1. Managing Debt Efficiently

Almost every other person is under the debt of Home Loan or Car Loan…using Credit Cards is very common…People live their lives EMI to EMIs. When the liabilities turn into a debt trap, it ruins your Financial Well Being.

  1. Set the Right Asset Allocation

It is always advisable to put your eggs in different baskets. Understand your Risk Taking Ability first & allocate your resources accordingly. Moreover, it is extremely important to streamline your Investments.

  1. Set SMART Financial Goals

Write down your Financial Goals as per their time. For instance, your Short Term Goal would be in the time frame of less than 3 years & so on. This gives you a clear picture of how much you need to save for a specific goal.

  1. A Blue Print of your Life

If you don’t have road map of how to achieve your dreams, a prudently drawn financial plan can be your blue print to meet all your financial goals.

Hence financial planning is important to make your unclear pictures clear & making your desires achievable!

More Later…