In today’s world, where life has become nothing beyond going from home to the office and back, we just ignore our financial life and time is running out in small installments. Now it’s time to investigate yourself what your financial life looks like TODAY. Ask yourself key questions about your financial life. For instance, are you happy with current financial situation or do you want it to change? If you are not happy and would you like to change, it is of utmost importance to take a realistic view of your current financial life situation in the mirror of your current net worth, what actually you own and you owe. If you want to be financially successful, you have to know where you are and where you are starting from in order to set out to where you are going. If you are not satisfied with your current net worth, think (dream), how you want your financial life to look and the steps you could take to bring about this change. Also look at your habit patterns and realize that you are in your present financial situation because of them. Therefore, if you want to improve and transform your financial life, you must change your habits. Current habits mean what is keeping us in our current financial state; therefore, we must carefully analyze our daily routine. The same holds true for how you live within financial resources and what your financial life consist of. Keep these in mind when contemplating changes your financial affairs.
The stage of “urgency”
The first step is to list how many areas you have in your financial life in order to figure out what is the most urgent and desirable to focus on for your target. An important principle of time management suggests us that we must ensure that we should first complete the important tasks, which are still not urgent, rather than postponing them. The same holds true for our financial life which are very important but not for “urgent”. So we do what we best at; we defer them. It could be purchasing term insurance, health plans, starting an SIP, making 80C investments, filing tax returns etc. All these tasks are important but not urgent until some point of time. Once they become extremely urgent, that’s the time we wake up and take action. Perhaps, we would have been reached that stage of “urgency” where our delayed action in financial life may be vague and would give value nothing. That’s the irony of our financial life when we reach that stage of “urgency”.
Define Specific Goals
Now, you have taken the time and given yourself and an overview of your current financial life and realize that earning money may not your final goal. It’s because you want to do something with that money that you are working and earning; effectively, you have been working to reach your some financial goals in life. While nearly everyone has goals, people often have non-specific or vague goals such as buying a home, educating one’s children and saving for retirement; to name a few which everyone strives for… While these are great start, it is important that you choose specific goals for yourself. Most people have no idea what specific goals are and why it is so important to clarify them. For instance, many people have goal “to buy a house” but they never think carefully about it and have defined it in details such as location and built-up area, its total cost of house including stamp duty and registration charges, loan funding, blah blah and naturally, they could not create an action plan for it and start working towards achieving it. Make sure you are the one defining, crisp and make clear your financial goals. If you do not have your own clear goals you will most likely work towards somebody else’s. So, your goals should be specific and they will be up-level your entire world.
So now, with all that information… are you ready to embark on the trip that will take you to empower your financial goals? There are many different types of goals, can be categorized your goals into Super Easy goals, Easy goals and Power goals. Super easy goals are those goals for which you already know how to do it. Easy goals are those goals which you think you can do it. And Power goals are an extraordinary, amazing and life-changing goal. It is more than just a goal. It is something SO BIG you have never comes close to it before. It is something SO SCARY you have no idea how to achieve it. It is something you TRULY DESIRE and is willing to do anything to achieve it. To clarify it even more, a Power goal give you FOCUS on what is most important to you and EMPOWERS you to take steps in your financial life that you normally would not take… getting you out of your comfort zone. It makes you PROACTIVE, instead of reactive. Power goal guides you to make CHOICES to do the most important first, not the most urgent.
How to Set Power Goals?
Setting Power Goals requires serious thought. What is it that you REALLY want, more than anything else in the world? Is it happiness, fame, power, contentment, personality, peace of mind, or money? You need to know that you are capable of doing anything. Make sure that your Power Goal is…
- Inspiring: A goal can be well defined, but not written in a way that you feel is inspiring; therefore, it is important to get the wording correct and be excited about your Power Goal. For example: “to have the most fantastic job have ever had” or earn Rs 50 lakh per year and feel “financially free.”
- Visionary: A Power Goal includes a clear vision. It can be a vision you never believed possible to achieve or something you might already have given up. It is of extra value if your Power can be formulated as picture or an analogy to describe exactly what you want to achieve.
- Challenging: It is important that your Power Goal is so challenging it is almost scary. At this point, no one is able to know how your Power Goal is going to be achieved, but you can be certain it will be reached if you are clear in your goals setting. Challenge yourself!
- Measurable (with a limit): There are many ways to make a Power Goal measurable, such as time, money, a person, an object or a situation. For example: “I earn Rs 1 lakh per month” is better than “raising my salary” and “my financial life is as great as it was when my planner first formulated plan for me”, is better than “having no financial”
- Timing: Your Power Goal should clarify what date you will receive it. Establish a definite date and put a time limit. Do not give yourself an enormous amount of time. For example: “I will start my SIP by December 1” instead of “I will plan in the next month.” Make it so clear that if someone else read it, they would have a clear vision of your Power Goal.
You can do this exercise by yourself, but preferably with a professional financial planner, who can guide you through challenging questions. Elaborate as such as you can. Remember this process is supposed to be fun, so have a great time!
Why Set Power Goals?
Once you set Power Goals, you grow and increase your awareness, you have a vision of something specific to work towards, and you are inspired to act upon that vision.
“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible”
Imagine this: You start investing Rs. 5,000 per month towards your child’s education and it is your Power goal. You have been advised that if you make 10% year on year, in 20 years you will reach the target of approximately Rs. 50 lakh. Now suppose in a particular year, your mutual fund gave a 21% return, but your friend’s mutual funds gave 34% return. This will definitely make you think that your fund performed poorly compared to that your friend. But you know that you are still on your path and have outperformed your own benchmarks. You have made better progress than expected. On the other hand, if your funds gave a 5% return and your friend’s mutual fund gave a negative 10% return, you might be a bit relaxed and happy about the fact that at least your mutual funds performed better than his. But the next moment you will come back to your own financial life and feel that whatever the case, you have underperformed your target of 10% each year.
In both cases, you give empower your POWER GOALS first and only then will you see it in perspective. If you don’t have any power goals and targets, the only benchmark you have only comparison with others. Then you start looking at your friend’s return, the best funds in India and the average in the category in which you have started. While all that is fine and required, to some extent, the only point I want to make is that after setting power goals and linking your investment to them, your financial life becomes simpler and you have fewer things to worry about than getting higher return. You do not concern with where best funds and high returns. You would just think of what you WANT.
What is that you REALLY want?
Make up your mind about what it is; now you REALLY want. Is it finding a new financial product for that extra 1% return? Are you still worried about buying the mutual fund and not the 3rd best one? No, you wouldn’t. I am sure that you would then concentrate on how to achieve your Power goals faster rather than on how much returns, product names, fancy strategies… You would start thinking at a different level and that would result in a simple financial life! Your only concern would be how to achieve your power financial goals fast and as easily as possible. That is the power of your goal which overrides fear of risk, greed in extra return and hopes all the money in the world.
“Our Power goals can only be reached through a vehicle of plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success”
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