- At least once every year, sit down and evaluate what really matters to you with respect to your family, your work and your leisure time.
- Just writing down your goals is not enough—you need to understand the “whys.”
- You and your advisors must be very clear about what you’re truly passionate about—ultimately that’s where all the money will be channeled.
Every New Year’s Day for the past 25 years, my wife and I have sat down to do our yearly planning and set our goals. That may sound too analytical and regimented for many of you, but it’s worked really well for us and the discussion revolves around three key elements:
- What we’re doing with our family.
- What we’re doing at work.
- What we’re doing at play.
Originally we just set out to accomplish our goals by a certain date. But after a while, we realized that the goals kept changing throughout the year and sometimes we missed something important. We weren’t tying a value to each goal or really addressing why it was important to us.
Once we started talking in detail about what was important to us regarding family, work and play, then the goals became more vibrant and really got connected. It’s not about just writing a goal. It’s about the value attached to that goal.
When folks first come to visit our office, my team and I will spend up to two hours with them to get very clear ideas about their values. We need to know their values before we can start any planning for them, because the money is going to support their deep values, not just their financial goals.
Now if you’re a young person and out in the workplace, then you’re probably asking yourself, “What’s this got to do with me?” Well, about 30 years ago I read a book about putting your lifetime goals out there for all to see. If you do, there’s a much better chance they will be achieved.
I’m fortunate. Most of my goals have been achieved. But it was really important for me to write them down first and truly understand the “whys” behind my goals.
If you’re retired, you’re probably reflecting on the people who impacted you in your family, your work and your play. You’re also looking forward, because you’re still growing, developing and achieving new things in your life. You’re looking in both directions and really getting very clear about what you’re passionate about and what you love doing. It’s all about connecting the value with each goal—the passion behind why you want to achieve this particular thing.
To help clear your head, office and files, we’re co-hosting a Spring Cleaning Barbecue on May 16th from 10am to 2pm with the accounting firm Weiss & Company. Just come to the parking lot outside our offices. You can bring documents to shred, old electronics to recycle and other items to donate to Goodwill. We’re also serving up barbecue and will have a live band to make it festive.
Hope to see you there.!
Until next time, enjoy. Gary
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