Year-end always brings about ideas of change, reflection, and forward-thinking. It is also the time when people concentrate on their goals for the new year. Sometimes setting lofty, unrealistic resolutions that they abandon within a week. We do not think that rhetoric leads you where you want to go— so we changed it.
Today, we are going to transform everything you thought you knew about goal setting to bring more meaning, intention, and value to the process.
Get a clear picture of your ideal life
Your goals should be an extension of your vision for your ideal life. If you are not sure where to start on your goal journey, take a step back and figure out what your dream life looks like.
- What do I value most? How can my actions and my money support and enrich those values every day?
- Where do I find joy and fulfillment? Happiness and joy are different. Happiness is ephemeral. Joy represents something more permanent and lasting.
- What brings me peace?
- How do I live my passions every day?
These questions encourage you to get specific on what matters most in your life and a new way to frame your goals. Once you know that, your goals are no longer arbitrary benchmarks. They become intentional stepping stones to enliven your life.
Move past traditional goal-setting measures
Goal-setting can move from a place of intention to one of indifference. This shift happens if you disengage from your core values. Let’s look at an example.
One of the most ubiquitous goals for the new year is to get in shape. That is a great goal, but it does not connect back to your ideal life or reveal your values. Instead of losing weight, your goal could be to become a healthy and active grandmother.
Another example could be achieving your retirement savings goal. Many people think reaching a certain dollar amount means their retirement hopes and dreams will fall into place. The quality of your retirement life is not defined by having 1 or 2 million dollars in your accounts. It comes from living a life that brings you joy.
Our firm does not help you reach your “retirement number.” We seek to help you use your money to achieve your ideal life.
For you, that might be:
- Embarking on an encore career
- Getting serious about a passion project
- Volunteering for causes you care about
- Spending quality time with family, friends, and loved ones
Too often, goals mean cutting something out. Instead, think about how your goals can include your values and propel you toward the things you want. This vantage point broadens your perspective and brings more purpose to the process.
Expect the roadblocks
Now that you have pictured your ideal life, it does not mean it will be a walk in the park. In any venture, there will be hurdles and roadblocks along the way. These points can be the hinge in your journey. When you prepare for them, you are more likely to move past them in an effective way.
Think through the following:
- What roadblocks could stand in the way of reaching my goals?
- How can I plan to overcome those obstacles?
- Who can help keep me accountable when times get tough?
There are some days when you will not want to get up for an early morning workout. You might want to blow your bonus on something new instead of putting it away for retirement. There are many times where you will face challenges. When you expect and plan to overcome them, you put yourself in a better position to achieve your goals.
Who says that your goals begin and end on January 1? Your goals are fluid, changing as you grow and evolve. While many of the goals we discussed represent the future, there are so many steps you can take to get there today.
Figure out what you can do every day to reach your goals and live your most ideal life. The path to self-improvement happens step by step. Try to be 1% better each day, and you will notice the active shift and significance that 1% can bring to your life. Over time, you will look back and realized that you mastered your goal.
2020 may have inspired you to develop different habits and change your goals. Continue incorporating those positive shifts in your life. Spend more time with your family or adopt a better work-life balance.
COVID has taught many to make fresh goals, reassess their priorities, and devote more time to the people, places, and things they love most. We have all had a chance to look at things from a different perspective. Let’s bring that light and vibrancy to 2021.
Our team loves working with people to align their money with their life. You deserve to live every day with joy and passion.
Get in touch with our team today to learn how your financial plan can support your dream life.
To living your ideal life,
The Paradigm Team
Paradigm Advisors is a fee-only financial planning firm based in Dallas, Texas and Fayetteville, Arkansas. Paradigm Advisors provides comprehensive financial planning and investment management services to help clients organize, grow and protect their wealth throughout life’s journey. Paradigm specializes in advising well-established career executives through financial planning and investment management. As a fee-only fiduciary and independent financial advisor, Paradigm never receives commission of any kind. Paradigm is legally bound by certification to provide unbiased and trustworthy financial advice.