How to get more out of life
It’s just as easy to overestimate the things we can achieve in the short term as it is to underestimate those we can accomplish in the longer term. That isn’t to say that we shouldn’t keep striving to meet our goals and ambitions though! This is where lifestyle financial planning comes in. These valuable strategies can help you set more achievable goals, reach them quickly, and feel good in the process.
Know your values
Knowing your values can help you clarify what you desire in life.
- What is important to you?
- Why do you get out of bed each morning?
- Outside of work, what are your passions and interests?
- Who do you want to spend your time with?
It’s ok if you’re not immediately aware of your values. There are always opportunities to try new things. You might volunteer at a local animal charity and discover a passion for fresh air and walking while you exercise the dogs, for example. Perhaps this is something that would make you happy later in retirement.
Do your goals align with your values?
Achieving your goals takes more than just ability or knowledge. To run a marathon, for example, you already know you need to train, but that won’t necessarily stop you from staying indoors if it’s cold and raining outside. The immediate relief from not going for a run can far outweigh the motivation to do so.
So how do we improve motivation? Perhaps the easiest way is to ensure we know why the goal is important. Finding your ‘why? is something we speak about a lot with our clients – until you know why you want to do something, how can you be genuinely motivated to do it?
- Why should you go out for a run? Because you want to be healthier.
- Why do you want to be healthier? So that you can run a marathon.
- Why do you want to run a marathon? For the sense of personal achievement and pride.
Once you identify your core values – personal achievement and pride – that are tied to the goal, the goal will become more important, and you will have a better chance of achieving it.
Formulate a plan of action
You’ve discovered your ‘why,’ so now it’s time to ask ‘how?’
How are you going to achieve your goals?
“I want to get fitter” is the type of goal that is easy to set but also easy to abandon. It’s not specific enough. There is no ‘how?’.
So, ask yourself, “How am I going to get fitter?” Deciding to do more exercise is a move in the right direction, but it’s still without accountability or action.
How are you going to get more exercise? Will you ride a bike? How often? Will it be to work each morning or a longer ride at the weekend? Will you start jogging more? How often? Will it be for 20 minutes after work? How many days each week?
These small but specific steps are what will lead to your action plan.
Measuring is Motivating
Tangible measurements are a great way to measure success as they are key to showing improvement and that our steps toward our goals are working. The way you measure will be dependent on your goal but could be as easy as ticking the calendar each day once you have finished a certain action or, in the case of running, logging your time, distance, or simply how you felt during your run.
Get back on the horse
Even the best-laid plans, with a clear motivation behind your goal and an actionable way to get there, will, at times, be challenging. You might hit the snooze button and miss your workout. You may cheat on your diet. Your budget for a holiday could be blown when you see something you hadn’t considered before. This is ok! We’re all human, and there’s nothing to be ashamed of when you fall off track. The important thing is to just get straight back on it the next day and to stay positive.
Embrace any setbacks and try to view them as opportunities to learn. If you need to adjust your action plan slightly so as to continue towards your goal, then feel free to do so, and always remember that the small milestones you hit along the way are just as worthy of celebration as the end goal.
We are here to help you set your path and reach your goals.
If your goals and dreams require a financial commitment, we can discuss your individual situation and get you on a faster path to achieving them.
This article does not constitute financial advice and should not be construed as such.