|by: Scott Morris|
|Are you planning to start a new business? Or are you considering expanding your current business and require a bank loan or investment from outsiders?|
If you are going to look for an investment of capital it is quite likely that you will be required to have a business plan. If you are starting a business, despite the work involved, a business plan can prepare you for the obstacles ahead and help ensure your success.
A business plan is something that many small businesses fail to create, however, many business owners are adamant that having a written business plan is one of the keys to their present success. Creating a business plan forces you to contemplate possible obstacles to your business and prepares you to find solutions that will help you to overcome them.
To find investors or get a bank loan, they will want to see that you have the experience or resources to run the business. They will want to see your projected income as well as your suggested repayment plan already laid out. Taking the time to do this is not only important for them, but it gives you a measuring tool to verify if your business is growing properly. You can gauge your success on how close to the plan your business has actually performed. Perhaps you’ll do worse, or perhaps you’ll do better, either way, it helps you determine how well your business is getting on.
If you have never seen a business plan before you may be concerned that it is too difficult a proposition for you to manage on your own.
While there are services available where you can hire someone to write a business plan for you, depending on your needs it may be wise to familiarize yourself with a business plan’s layout. This will not only help you to provide the necessary information but may encourage you to try your own hand at it.
There’s a free tool at www.bdc.ca that will assist you in creating a business plan. Some of the topics you will be required to explain are your Market, Customer, Competition, Marketing Plan, Research & Development along with financial forecasts. You may consider hiring someone to help you with your financial sheets after completing the written part of the Business Plan.
Your Business Plan will become your guide and silent business partner – indicating where you need to improve and helping you stay one step ahead of your competition. Make it a priority to have this crucial road map for your business.
About the author:
Scott Morris’s personal site on accounting business and business administration http://businessexcel.com
for more information, you can visit http://businessexcel.com
Original Article via MoonStone.co.za
According to Hugo one of the easiest ways to incorporate investor psychology into financial planning is to apply goal-based investing, which involves creating specific goals with defined time horizons and selecting investments with the correct asset allocation for each goal. She shares that it works very well for pre-retirement clients who are accumulating wealth, as well as for post-retirement clients who need income from their capital.
She also uses behavioural finance in the wealth-management process to create an awareness of emotional biases that affect investment decisions.
Scenario playing is another excellent way to include behavioural finance in the financial planning process.
Click here to read the article.
P.S.: Are you interested to find out more of the “Why, What, When and How…” uncovered and discovered in the process of writing our thesis (The Psychological impact of past experiences [and rehabilitation thereof])? Sign up to our direct mailing list -> CLICK HERE
“To make decisions without thought is like participating in a steeplechase with bandaged eyes.”
Jack Penn (Surgeon, Philosopher, Artist)
Would it surprise you to know that approximately only 3% of the global population do actually do proper planning? Making decisions without thinking about it properly. Impulsive and uncalculated decisions. Almost just living on instinct…
I do not just mean financial planning, but life planning in general…
Disagree? Okay, let me ask you the following questions:
- Do you have a goal, vision, mission, purpose for your life written down? A legacy you wish to leave behind? A dream life you want to achieve?
- Do you have a clearly written out list of top three (3) goals for the next 369 days? Not just in the form of business planning but personal planning.
- Do you have a clearly written out plan/strategy to achieve these goals within the next 369 days?
- Have you done any research, recording of data, data tracking and analysis in accordance with the goals you want to achieve?
- Have you reflected and improved on previously gathered data to realistically plan or strategies your next week, month, quarter or year?
- Have you spent time inwardly reflecting on your choices, experiences, lessons learned and the reasons why it could have been prevented?
And with these questions, I am not referring to your list of new years resolutions that fell by the wayside somewhere between then and now…
I am talking about goals which are congruent to your true authentic natural self, true to your values, true to your talents and skills…?
Would it surprise you to know that only the top 3% for Financial Independent Individuals that have perfected this to an art… only because they invested in themselves by working with coaches and mentors – following a basic outline formula?
Alternatively, if and only if you are ready to be unschooled, have an open mind and are willing to start your process of discovery and achievement of your own determined success … start here
Yvonne E. Venter-Louw
YEVL (Pty) Ltd. Director & Principal
Researcher, Advisor, Educator, Coach, Mentor and Speaker
– The Psychological impact and rehabilitation of past experiences on daily driven Financial decisions
[Cert. Financial Planning + GIBS MLOLP + RE5 + Cert. Financial Coaching + Dip. Psychology + Hypnosis + NLP + Subliminal Therapy + Numerology + Energy Healing]
Naturally creating Freedom, Meaning & Wealth!
I have found this refreshing and accurate of what is happening in my profession, and I thought I’ll share it with you – as I could not have written it better…
“Clients are too often being presented with comparisons of hypothetical values for the in-force policy versus some sales proposal/illustration”
By Barry Flagg – Nov 7, 2016 @ 3:51 pm
A (prospective) client has a significant investment in a particular asset. You receive notice that the costs being charged inside this product are being increased. In addition, this notice includes forward guidance downgrading future interest earnings expectations by 50 basis points and cautioning that interest earnings expectations could be further reduced by as much as another 100 basis points.
Now imagine the client’s reaction to such news. What would they want to know? For most assets, clients would want to know how increased costs measure up against alternatives, right? And how reduced performance expectations relate to asset class benchmarks, right?
Instead of measuring increased costs against peer-group alternatives and reduced performance expectations against benchmarks, clients are too often being presented with comparisons of hypothetical values for the in-force policy versus some sales proposal/illustration.
Never mind that neither the in-force illustrations nor sales proposals disclose the costs charged inside policies. Never mind that interest earnings expectations are often different in each policy, that features and benefits often materially differ, or that such comparisons are now considered misleading, fundamentally inappropriate and unreliable by financial, insurance and banking industry authorities.
Without the information necessary to understand internal costs, the reasonableness of performance expectations and differences in features and benefits, clients too often blindly choose the illustration that looks better. If such an analysis were presented for any other client asset, the financial adviser likely would be laughed out of the room. Such analyses are also increasingly the source of complaints, arbitration and litigation.
How would advisers who follow a prudent process answer these questions? The West Point Draft of the Best Practices Standard for Life Insurance Stewardship, vetted by leaders of nearly every profession with clients who own life insurance, provides a checklist for the prudent selection and proper management of life insurance.
The best practices standard says questions about cost increases can be answered by reviewing internal policy costs relative to both the original proposal and representative benchmarks. If costs in the original proposal were among the best available rates and terms, and the cost increase is nominal, then the opportunity to reverse the cost increase is modest or nonexistent after considering transaction costs involved in exchange for an otherwise lower-cost product.
On the other hand, if a client doesn’t know whether costs in the original proposal were competitive or excessive, the increasingly frequent announcements about cost increases present an opening to talk to clients about what they are being charged in their policies and whether such costs are acceptable, and to answer their questions in ways they can understand.
The standard also says questions about reduced interest earnings expectations can be answered using RATE: the risk tolerance of the client, the corresponding asset class preferences, the planning time horizon, and the performance that’s reasonable to expect. As such, if reduced interest expectations are consistent with historical performance for the asset classes into which cash values are invested, then reduced interest earnings expectations are likely reasonable.
Conversely, policy earnings expectations set by hypothetical illustrations are too often unreasonable. For instance, the expected rate of return reflected in hypothetical illustrations can vary from as little as 2% to as much as 8%, even though invested assets underlying policy cash values are required by regulation to invest in the same asset classes, and even for different products from the same insurer where assets underlying cash values are actually invested in the same assets.
No wonder clients are more comfortable talking about almost every other asset on their balance sheet than life insurance. Use the best-practices standards to talk about life insurance in the same way clients talk about every other asset on their balance sheet.
Barry D. Flagg is the founder of Veralytic Inc., an online publisher of life insurance pricing and performance research, and product suitability ratings. Follow him on Twitter @BarryDFlagg.”
With this in mind, as Professional Financial Advisors, we all have to agree that the laws that are being implemented globally are for the best interest of our Profession and those of our clients.
Although regulations, compliance and all the other jargon might seem like a waste of time and paper for some clients – believe me when I say there is a good reason for it all and it is all to safeguard you the client much more than us as financial advisors.
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To our continued success,
… How To Boost Your Credit Score
A credit score acts much like your high school report card. It features a three-digit “grade”, which reflects a person’s creditworthiness to potential creditors, banks, insurance companies, mortgage companies and even employers. The higher your score, the greater will be your chances of availing of credit. Here’s how to control your debts, and boost your credit score.
Review Your Credit Report:
There are three major credit reporting agencies today, and through these agencies, you can get a copy of your credit report, for you to closely evaluate it. Just like using a fine- comb to weed out tangles and loose hair, you need to review your credit report with a keen eye for incorrect data or any inconsistencies. Check out any incorrect payments, credit limits, or collection data that you strongly feel is not yours. It’s a fact that some typing errors or numerical glitches often show up on some credit reports; therefore you need to get a copy of your credit report at least once a year.
Pay Your Obligations On Time:
Always make sure that you pay off all types of debt or bills on time. Late payments or any delinquencies will truly have a major effect on your credit score. If you forget to pay one or two of your bills on time, prepare to have some red marks or black eyes on your credit history. To steer clear of any delinquencies, try setting up your bills for automatic withdrawal from your personal current account so that you won’t have to deal with any collection agency in the future.
Balance Your Credit Card Spending:
Regardless of whether you have one, two or three credit cards, remember to spend wisely and balance your credit card obligations. If you don’t have the money to pay an existing credit card balance at the moment, try getting a loan from a family member or relative, so that your debts can be wiped off from your card, and your credit score also gets a helpful boost.
Never Do Loan Shopping:
Whenever you continually shop for loans or submit to as many lenders within just two weeks, your credit score will surely suffer a major drop. Try to do a cluster of loan inquiries within a proper period of time, like one maybe every three months, so that your credit score remains strong, and won’t have to suffer major drops in credibility with lenders.
According to credit experts, a credit score of 300 to 580 indicates that you’ll only get approved for loans that offer very high-interest rates. A credit score of 651 to 710 means that you’ll be able to avail of credit at moderate interest rates, while a score of 751 and up indicates that you’ll be able to get the most competitive and flexible loan packages available in the market today.
To your Financial Success,
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- It is our ability to choose that makes us human → Madeleine L’ Engle
- The good life is the enemy of a great life → Nancy Dornan
- The future belongs to those Who belief in the beauty of their dreams → Elenor Roosevelt
- Dreams come a size too big, so that we can grow into them → Josie Bissett
- What you’re Suppose to do when you don’t like a thing a thing change it! If you can’t change it , change the way you think about it. Don’t Complain ! -> Maya Angelou
Just like these remarkable Ladies, there are so much more… Even in our own South African history:
- There are those who did not just understand the secrets of success but paid it forward to the generations who followed.
- From Our ancestors who thrived in a harsh and untamed wilderness to those who move to unknown lands to start from scratch.
- Strong Women, women Who stood up for our rights and our protection.
- Women who have fought and are still fighting battles – Women who lead by example.
- Women who today still speak out for what IS right = Making a stand. Leaving their mark, their legacy in our world….
But how does this rich history tie into Finance? What does this have to do with what is in your cupboard?
Everything = It is a reflection of the impact of those who have gone before us, the lessons that we have been taught … or what we have not been taught; and the perception of our understanding of what has been given to us. It should be our reflection of gratitude … Proverbs states = When there is no vision / the people Will perish
This is not a history lesson or a “Who has first right” or a religious sermon … This is not a “wihsy-washy” Wish Your dreams come true kind of thing. This is directed to each individual Lady sitting here, reading this blog → to keep an open mind and listen to the message intended for you! For everything happens for a reason and there is a reason why you are sitting here today!
Imagine You are Standing in front of this cupboard = Boring ….. right? There is nothing to wear?
But…What of the Unseen? The proverbial skeletons that take up space in this cupboard?
This is similar to Your financial planning -…. your finances —— Your life. Something is missing
We all come from different backgrounds, influences/houses (unless You are siblings) but even then Your perception of that environment is different to your closest sibling. We are all individually Unique by nature, and our uptake and thoughts of these inferences are just as such…. unique to us. For instance, let’s pretend You have a “Once in a lifetime” event and this is Your cupboard…
Your wedding or even a State Dinner to meet face-to-face the queen of England or Us President Or any international public figure that you will never ever be able to meet again, let alone be able to sit next to at the dinner table … Are you going to use what is in this cupboard? Are you going to borrow from friends and family? Or are you going to go BIG and buy or even have a new outfit tailored for You?
DO You have the ability to do this with what is in Your bank account today, without batting an eyelid? Or swipe a credit card or chase up a Credit limit On a clothing ACC? Are you going to do Your own hair makeup and nails? Or are you going to get a friend to help you? Or are you going to get professional help?
But remember You must still keep up with Your daily/ weekly/ monthly Commitments and did I forgot to mention the event is Tonight!
Realistic … and let us be 110% honest – Which option can you take today?
What if I give you a fourth option? This Complete Cupboard stock with only Your selections and size to fit?
No credit; No if, and, or, but’s ….. And you have in this cupboard a limitless choice?
Can you look like a showroom model or celeb on the red carpet?
What if – You can live your life knowing that whatever may happen – you will be more than just fine or okay? Let’s say this once in a lifetime event is not a happy one … You are diagnosed with Cancer / Parkinsons / Alzheimers today … or have a stroke or heart attack or motor vehicle accident?
Can your financial Cupboard support you for 6 to 9 months of treatment to recovery? Or support You and those Who are dependent on You, for the remainder of Your natural life or until they can Support themself? The facts are and statistics show that 95% of us here …. will not be able to!
Furthermore, can you be assured you will be emotionally strong enough to make it through… after all that you have already been through – can you carry on? Or will this be the straw that breaks the camel’s back?
True life story ….. Mrs SG:
Mrs SG was a young, happily married mother of a 4-year-old boy. Her husband has just started what seemed to be a very successful business and they had everything going for them. New house, new cars, new school for the little one. Everything was fine-and-dandy … or was it?
For one night he did not come to collect her from work. He was not answering his phone. Nobody knew where he was… He was gone!
Unfortunately, more than a week later Mrs S G found her husband – dead, marked as a John Doe in the State Mortuary … How would You feel …. finances aside … Would this be you?
9O’ % of us have had these feelings on a regular basis, even though it was not due to the passing of a loved one or diagnoses of some kind … but rather of other circumstances or situations. Less than 10% of us might never even go through these feelings, reality is we are all going to go through this at some point in our life, or have already gone through it … and might currently be in this turmoil of feelings.
What if there is a way to prepare ourselves? A way to ensure our own Financial and Emotional, Success, Freedom = The certainty of knowing tomorrow the sun will shine again? Knowing that “Money” will be there → “Support” will be there … even if it has never been there before?
It is all possible with the correct planning/ assistance/ motivation/ coaching … with the right “person” by your side, guiding you and providing you with the correct resources and tools… and a few “life-Hacks” along the way.
The same as the clothes in your cupboard …. not one size and style fit all and unfortunately, this is something that the general society wants to imprint on us. Although most do not want to admit to the fact, they also find themselves sometimes standing on the outside looking in … but would rather pretend to fit in just to not draw the wrong attention to themselves.
For those of us who have been standing on the outside for so long, that we have become accustomed to the view and the feelings … this is meant for you!
BUT WHY SHOULD YOU LISTEN TO ANYTHING THAT I HAVE TO SAY?
Cause I have already walk more than just a mile in these shoes, I know what it feels like when there are no longer tears to flow … When the light of day does not even light the dark of the hole you think you are in…
It does not become easier, time does not heal all wounds, and not all friends are really the “correct” influence on your life!
Compare these facts:
Last week at a seminar, which I attend as part of my research, I started off sitting by myself and was joined by a total stranger.
We started talking and I found myself later with an additional two strangers sitting at our table – hanging on to every word that has been exchanged. That being said – I was only made aware later, of the crowd that was standing around our table, who were all also following the conversation…
Once again I realised how little of the knowledge and know-how is actually been shared with those who really need it. Even those who are willing to share their knowledge, their experiences and their “formula” to success – are only willing to do so at a HUGE PRICE TICKET… Or even bigger Commissions that indirectly affect each and every Mrs YOU out there.
Now let’s be honest, where are you sitting today?
Are you enjoying every Summer Sunset and Spring Flower that starts to bloom?
Or are you stuck in a Winter of your own discontent?
Or are you just surviving through this Autumn?
Do you want to achieve your own success?
Do you want to maintain a balanced lifestyle?
Do you want to have the financial and emotional freedom you have always dreamed of … but just never seem to achieve?
It’s your choice!
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14 July 2016
Attention: Thulisa Mancotywa
Move! Magazine’s proposed article on Impulsive Spending.
Thank you for your request and the opportunity to provide you with input on this article; I firmly believe that your target market will benefit from it.
However, should you use any of the content of this letter – kindly send me the final draft before it is published for sign-off of using the content and crediting it to my name.
Kindly take note: before answering the questions you posed, I want to make it very clear that any individual reading these answers should seek the professional advice and coaching of a professional financial adviser/ coach/ accountant. The content of this letter is for information purposes only and should in no way be taken as individual direct advice of any sort.
All of the information contained in this letter is based on personal experience, knowledge, anecdotal evidence and physiological research in the specific field. Although I have strived to be as accurate and complete as possible in this letter, notwithstanding the fact that I do not warrant or represent at any time that the contents herewith are up to date and accurate, due to the rapidly changing nature of the Internet.
While all attempts have been made to verify all the information provided in this letter, I assume no responsibility for any errors, omissions or contrary interpretations of the subject matter within. Any perceived slights of specific persons, people or organizations are unintentional.
In practical advice books, like anything else in life, there are no guarantees of income made. Readers are cautioned to reply on their own judgement about their individual circumstances to act accordingly.
Although I am a Qualified Financial Advisor by profession; this letter is not intended for use as a source of legal, business, accounting or financial advice. All readers are advised to contact me in my professional capacity or refer to the services of a competent professional in legal, business, accounting and finance fields.
I assume no responsibility for the use or misuse of the information, or any injury, damage and/or financial loss sustained to a person or property as a result of using the content of this letter. The information contained in this letter is for informational purposes only.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED: No part of this letter may be reproduced or transmitted in any form whatsoever, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any informational storage or retrieval system without express written, dated and signed permission from me.
What is the difference between normal spending and impulsive spending?
First, the reader must understand the distinction between what is seen as normal and what is seen as impulsive spending. And although the ‘norm’ is not always the ‘norm’ for all individuals – there are some that will describe what you and I describe as impulsive spending as their own ‘norm’.
Now I know there are those that will argue with me on the following, but this is how I assist some of my clients to understand what their own normal spending would be described as.
The easiest way to distinguish what is the normal spending for any individual is to establish what are the basic needs which the individual has every month, month after month. Purely by this measure can you then state it to be the normal spending habit of an individual.
For instance, although both Miss X and Miss B have the same basic needs – such as housing, nourishment, transport, clothing, and so forth; Miss X might have an additional financial dependent where Miss B does not. Thus they would have two different normal spending patterns a month. Please also understand that a financial dependent is not always or only a child or children but in some instances, it could be a niece or nephew, a grandmother, grandfather, father or mother who is dependent on your reader to meet certain financial needs.
Once the reader has established her own normal spending month after month, of her own basics and those of her dependents; any other spending would fall in a category of additional need. Because the lines between the two can get very blurry at times – confusion between the basic need and additional need is a common occurrence in a lot of households.
Impulsive spending is not just on frivolous items that do not fall within the description of the basic or additional needs but could also be on this basic or normal need fulfilment.
For example, although the normal spending includes nourishment, the purchasing of ‘take-aways’ on the way home, because you are too tired to cook, would classify as impulsive spending.
A home-cooked meal would cost for argument sake, let say R50 feeding 2 adults and three children
‘Take aways’ would cost for argument’s sake R180 feeding the same 2 adults and three children
Now although the basic need for nourishment has been met – the impact on the normal spending or better known as your monthly budget would result in 3 and a half meal times budget spends in one instance of not being in the mood to cook.
Impulsive spending, as I would classify it – is any and all spending that has not been pre-planned and budgeted for on a month-to-month basis.
What are some of the common reason that makes people want to spend money impulsively?
Impulsive sending would generally be earmarked by either a physical or emotional need of fulfilment that the individual wants instant gratification on.
Although the need or even want for the fulfilment of any physical need is not the issue – it is the instant gratification that creates issues. Any purchase that has not been pre-planned and budgeted for can create in itself massive implications for any individual or household.
Furthermore, most emotional spending is impulsive, of which a great deal is regarded after the fact; maybe not for the fact of now owning the product that was purchased, but rather a regret of the money that has been spending.
Best known as “Retail Therapy” – it provides the individual with a stimulus to satisfy an emotional need or want. Although this need or want might be justifiable, the instant gratification of that need or want is where impulsive spending occurs.
Another common reason individuals spend impulsively is purely to keep up with the individuals next to them. This is another example of an emotional need or wants been met purely because … “my friend has one…”.
Is impulsive spending common amongst specific groups of people?
Impulsive spending, in my own experience, is not just found in a specific age, income or even ethnic group. Impulsive spending can occur in any of these groups.
Should you wish to link impulsive spending to a group label – I would say it is a group of individuals that are not disciplined in pre-planning and budgeting any and all need or want fulfilment. It could very well be an individual that has a stable month to month income or even an individual with a very irregular income.
Strangely enough, I have found it is the individuals that can least afford it that is more subjected to impulsive spending.
Is this an addiction that can affect relationships, lifestyle and even health?
This question should be answered twofold…
Is it an addiction: Yes and no… In some cases, the emotional needs or wants for instant gratification can become an addiction. However, in most cases it is purely a lack of … I won’t say knowledge or even understanding, but rather a lack of practical implementation of financial planning and accounting measures that creates issues for the individual.
Does it affect relationships, lifestyles and even health…? Yes to all the above.
Relationships can be seriously affected to the extent of ending the relationship. On official records, there is many divorces – which are due to one partner’s lack of financial discipline and the other partner’s lack of willingness to maintain the relationship due to financial issues.
Further to this, the individual’s lifestyle will be affected by impulsive spending to the extent that they could end up in such a deep debt hole, that the only solution at the end of the day is to declare themselves insolvent
Health issues are also very common. This can be either due to the emotional turmoil (stress) related to the regret after the fact or the constant “month that is left after the money has ended”; or due to a physical lack of basic needs fulfilment as a result of impulsive (over) spending.
What is your advice to Move! Magazine readers about the importance of financial planning?
Before I give the readers any “advice”, there is something that the individual must understand clearly. Financial Planning is not buying a policy or starting a savings account or even taking out medical aid… No – financial planning, the same as accounting starts with what may seem two of the smallest of things, that is overlooked by many individuals …
Income should always be greater than Expense!
You fail to plan – you plan to fail!
This is where most individuals misinterpret financial planning and thus then fail to implement it in their own lives.
One of my own personal mentor’s favourite sayings is that “Money flows to where it is best respected and protected” … This is where proper financial planning adds not just emotional and physical value to the individual’s life… BUT when implemented, disciplined and managed, it will create monetary value for the individual.
Personal Financial Planning, in my opinion, should already be taught to children as soon as they are capable to understand what money really is… a tool to obtain and maintain wealth!
Purely by teaching them the correct basics of personal financial planning, we would not just raise a generation that would be capable of implementing this, from the first day that they start looking after themselves financially; but also a generation that will change any country’s economy in leaps and bounds.
For those who were not privy to this kind of upbringing or background understanding – I would urge those individuals to seek not just a financial planner/ broker/ advisor, but a financial coach/ mentor to guide them through a process of reconditioning of their own financial habits. This will include not just the initial planning but the accounting and recording of your own financial habits, teaching you how to constantly monitor and adjust your behaviour to ultimately achieve your own financial freedom.
So to come back to the original question – the importance of (proper) financial planning?
Financial planning is not just of vital importance for any individual who wants to live a financially sound lifestyle, but also impacts greatly on the economy of the country!
It all boils down to the less the country has to spend on taking care of those who could not, did not or cannot take care of themselves financially, the more the country can spend on progress in its own economic growth, instead of just trying to maintain its current standard.
I hope and trust that this information assists you in your article. Should you have any further questions or need information feel free to contact me via email.
With Love, Gratitude & Grace
- Yvonne E. Venter-Louw
- YEVL (Pty) Ltd.: Founding Director & Principal
- Researcher, Advisor, Educator, Coach, Mentor, Keynote Speaker & Host of the Financial Independent Coach show on YouTube
- Personal Thesis: The Psychological impact of past experiences (and the rehabilitation thereof) on daily driven financial decisions.
- Naturally creating and experiencing Freedom, Meaning & Wealth!
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- Guest Post DayDesigner.com
Yearly Goals + Monthly Actions + Weekly Routines + Daily Habits = Well-Designed Life.
Today, we’re sharing our top tips on how to break down your yearly goals into monthly actions!
1. Plan to plan.
Set aside time to design your month. (We all know how fast the next one seems to roll around!) Whether you choose the last Sunday, the first weekend, or somewhere in between—find a time that works best to review your goals and define monthly actions that will help you move forward in life.
Making time to map out the month ahead will ensure that you’re being intentional with your goals and your time.
2. Get it on paper.
Detail out special occasions and important dates from all the schedules you’re juggling: trips, guests in town, appointments, all-day meetings, events, birthdays, etc. The monthly overview in the Day Designer is an excellent place to see how everything lays out.
Other actions to consider: taking care of finances, submitting your expense report, and accomplishing home maintenance tasks.
Get it all out of your brain and onto your calendar where you can “set it and forget it.”
3. Push forward.
We all have projects: work projects, home projects, personal projects. Those “if I can just make some progress, I will feel so much better” projects. The notes column on the monthly overview is an ideal place to keep a list of your current projects.
Think about the next steps and sprinkle action items throughout your month.
4. Serve your year.
Review your goals and ask yourself: What can I do THIS MONTH to make progress on the goals I’ve set for this year? How do I want to feel at the end of this month, and what are the actions that will get me there?
Remember your key focus—your all-encompassing “Word for the Year”—as you design your month.
5. Track it.
Goals are just lofty dreams until you put action into motion. The first step is writing them down!
How can you track your goals best, so you don’t fall off track? Here are just a few of our favourite tips for tracking your own journey toward reaching those resolutions:
Find an Accountability Partner
It always helps to have an outside source of encouragement and accountability when working toward new goals. Find someone with who you can share your resolutions—and together, decide on a timeline and a marker of progress. Maybe you want to meet with a running group or personal trainer twice a week. Perhaps you want to write 500 words before you check email every morning? You might want to go to one new networking event to make new connections every month. Whatever your goal and however you want to track your progress toward it, share it with someone who can check in with you, motivate you, and keep you accountable to the guidelines you’ve set.
Schedule Regular Personal Check-ins
It’s also helpful to set aside time to review your goals on a regular basis. Pick a schedule that works for you—you might go over your goals every Sunday night or at the end of every month. The frequency or day doesn’t matter so much as the commitment to keeping your goals top of mind and tracking the progress you’ve made in the time that’s passed. By pre-scheduling dates with yourself (or your accountability partner!), you’re more likely to want to get a “good review” when you know check-in is coming up. (Funny how our minds work, isn’t it?)
You can also use the free Monthly Goal Tracker printable from Day Designer as a written, tangible plan to come back to each month and measure your progress on three specific goals. Re-visit this sheet at monthly check-ins to note your progress and how you might maintain or improve in the next month!
Try Not to Break the Chain
There’s a reason we recommend using our Monthly Goal Tracker printable—it makes your progress visual! It can be hard to stay motivated when you don’t have a tangible reminder of how far you’ve come—and how close you are to reaching the important goals you’ve set for yourself!
Another motivating way to keep track is to pick a spot in your planner to track your progress every day—then, try not to break the chain. Here’s how it works: For every day that you make progress toward your goal or goals, mark an “X” on your calendar. There’s interesting psychology behind the fact that we are motivated not to “break the chain” of X’s—in other words, you are motivated to continue making progress, simply because you can see how far you’ve come (and can’t stand the thought of “starting over”). It’s simple but effective. Try it and see how long your chain becomes!
Original Article: http://www.blog.daydesigner.com/track-goals-so-you-actually-reach-them/
P.S.: Start building your own diary/ planner/ journay – #FromZero2Hero (Free downloads available)