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Revisiting Resolutions

Are the goals you set back in January on track? Do they still make sense?

Here we are four months into the year. I want to take this time to encourage you to think back to the start of the year. Remember the new year? Or maybe you don't? And no, I'm not talking about all that champagne. I'm talking about the resolutions, goals, lifestyle changes (or whatever you called them) that you set out for yourself in 2017.

Setting goals and taking stock of your progress just once a year isn't enough. This is why we like to meet with our clients anywhere from two to six times per year - talking about goals and checking in regularly can help keep you from giving up and getting discouraged. Doing the math is easy. Execution and behavior changes are the hard part.

So, this weekend, take some time to find where you wrote down your goals (you did write them down, didn't you?), read over them, and give them some deep thought. Don't just give them a cursory once-over. A personal trainer I know sends a motivational worksheet to her clients from time to time, with seven questions to help people figure out why they're working out. Except that each question is the same: why?

A friend of mine tried this exercise, answering the question "Why do you want to get stronger?" seven times. She reported that around question three, she really got to the meat of why she was making these lifestyle changes, and that some of her answers surprised her.

So, back to your goals. If you're off track, ask yourself why. Did you make an unexpected purchase? Then drill down further and ask yourself why you made the purchase. Was it emotional? An emergency? If it was emotional, why was that emotion occurring? Was your goal specific enough to stick to? Ask yourself these questions, and then ask them again.

Try this exercise even if your goals are on track. Why did you set that goal? Do you truly care about that goal, or did you create it based external pressures? If your goal is to buy a home, are you doing that because you truly want to, or because all of your friends are, and you feel like you should too? If so, why is that kind of peer pressure getting to you?

Whatever you're working towards - whether financial, fitness, professional or something else - do yourself the favor of asking yourself why. And if you need help determining how these goals fit into your overall financial plan, please, give us a call. We're always here to help.

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