He answered, “One step at a time.”
I love this quote because it is a great reminder that even the most monumental successes in life begin with just one step forward. With 2012 right around the corner, now is the time to start visualizing what you want to have happen in 2012 and start planning out your goals for the year. I know I have been busy working on my own business, marketing and personal financial plans for the past few months and now I want to ask you– What are you doing to start planning for 2012 and how are you going to make it your best financial year yet?
The path, as always, begins beneath your feet with the first step you take. Where do you stand right now? This is where to begin. Analyze where you currently stand in your personal financial life and then visualize where you want to be on December 31, 2012. Review all areas of your financial life such as your income level, savings level, debt amounts, retirement account amounts, insurance needs, etc., and then write down where you want to be on all of these areas by the end of next year. I like to break up my goals into 2 categories:
- Adequate situation and
- Ideal situation.
This enables me to feel accomplished achieving the adequate situation while still striving to accomplish the more ideal situation during the year. For example, if your adequate income level is $80,000 but your ideal income level is $100,000 you can celebrate your success once you achieve your $80,000 level while still striving for the bigger income level throughout the year. Often times we ONLY set ideal situation goals and if we do not reach them we feel like we failed. By setting two different levels of goals, you can feel proud when you hit your adequate goals and even more thrilled if you reach your ideal goals.
Much of financial planning is staying disciplined and practicing the same financial habits over and over; spending less than you earn, saving for the future, etc. And while we know it usually comes down to remembering the basics, most of us still get so overwhelmed with all that we want to achieve financially that we often end up doing nothing at all toward achieving our goals. Trust me, I have been there… and I am a financial planner! The important thing to remember is that you are not alone, and the best thing you can do it just take the first step forward.
The first step might be to finally schedule some time in your week to sit down and organize all the financial documents you have been meaning to organize for months. Or it could mean sitting down for an hour and writing down all your goals, financial or not, that you want to achieve in the next 1 year, 3 years and 5 years. It could also be finally scheduling a meeting with a financial planner to review your financial strategy to ensure you are maximizing your income and assets toward your goals. Whatever, it may be for you; the key is to just do it.
DO something to start the 2012 year off right.
Here is a list of some tips to help you get started:
- Schedule a day in your calendar before the year ends, and map out what you want to achieve in 2012 in your personal life, financial life and work life. Remove the roadblocks that have prevented you from getting this done in the past and focus on yourself for just one day.
- Then once you have mapped out what you want to achieve financially, personally and in your work life/business in 2012, create a 90 day game plan of action steps you need to do from January-March. This will make it easier to digest and not so overwhelming.
- Repeat step 2 every quarter next year.
- Share your 2012 goals and 90 game plan with someone close to you, i.e. your coach, mentor, financial planner, significant other, family member and ask them to support you as you embark on making 2012 your best year yet.
I don’t know about you, but I believe 2012 is going to be an amazing year!