Living life without setting goals is like sailing a ship without having planned a course.

We all know the importance of setting goals but why do so few families set short, medium or long term goals.

When we prepare financial plans for our clients it is critical that we have them critique their short, medium and long term goals so that we can help them to financially achieve these goals.

However, over and over again, we see clients struggle with setting goals the main reason appears to be that they have set goals before that they have been unable to achieve, for example, lose weight or give up smoking. Failure to achieve goals in the past have left them somewhat disillusioned with goal setting. They have established a fear of failure.

Another common problem we have noticed when clients go about setting their goals, is that they look at their friends and colleagues and wish for what they have, or more importantly what they think they have. For example, your friend may drive a lovely car, you can see the car is classy and expensive but you are unaware that they have borrowed a lot of money to purchase the car. You can only see one side of the equation. If you would like a sports car and don’t mind debt then this goal is fine, however, if you have a mortgage and large on-going living expenses then the car might be nice but it is probably not an appropriate goal for you, at least at the moment. You need to consider the cost and the benefit.

If you have difficulty formulating meaningful and realistic goals, I suggest that you sit quietly for a moment and reflect on what you are grateful for. I’m not going to suggest goals for you, but what I can guarantee you is that if you reflect on what you are grateful for you will focus on those things that are important to you, not the things that you don’t have or the things your friends have that make you envious.

Focusing on what you are grateful for will help you to focus on the things that truly make you happy. Research has shown that focusing on gratitude improves our health, relationships, personality and career.

So with the above in mind, when setting goals they should be;

1. set with an eye on the long-term.

2. limited in number, and

3. not too hard to achieve.

Should you have any queries in relation to setting your goals please feel free to contact Peter Quinn by submitting an online enquiry or calling us on +61 2 9580 9166 to book an obligation free appointment.

The information in this document does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and so you should consider its appropriateness having regard to these factors before acting on it.  It is important that your personal circumstances are taken into account before making any financial decision and it is recommended that you seek assistance from your financial adviser.