Working with clients over the years I have found an array of reactions when the subject of goal setting is raised. At one extreme you have clients who it instantly appeals to and who look forward to the organisation associated with goal setting. On the hand you have clients who baulk at any suggestion of such regimentation – they do not wish to live their lives in such a manner!
It is ironic that the latter group are probably closer to what goal setting seeks to achieve, particularly in financial planning. Financial planning should be about giving you the resources you need to live the life that you want. A crucial part of financial planning is goal setting – without goals a financial plan is just a report of your financial situation which will provide no direction as to where you want to be.
Setting goals is not an easy exercise. It is subjective and trying to pin down exactly what you want from life is something that a lot of us have not given serious consideration to. However the benefits are numerous and include –
- Clarity and Direction – Goals allow you to concentrate on what you want to achieve and what you need to achieve them
- Motivation – Stated goals are more likely to motivate you to take action
- Optimisation of your resources – Goals allow you to channel your available resources to meet these objectives
- Reduction in Stress – By prioritising and selecting a number of specific goals you will minimise the distractions and stress of trying to achieve everything
When I look at these benefits, and my own experience with clients who actively engage in goal setting as the basis for their financial planning, it is very obvious that these clients achieve an authoritative, personal and effective roadmap for their future.