New financial year new perspective

The start of the financial year is always an excellent time to take stock of your current situation and visualise where you’d like to be in the future.

It’s fair to say this year hasn’t been ‘business as usual’! While no-one could have predicted the first six months of 2020, nor want to repeat them, it’s likely there have been lessons learned. So as you review and set new goals, consider any takeaways from lockdown and how they have influenced your goals and path for the future.


Different priorities and new goals

Your priorities may have forcibly changed in response to the change of circumstances, or perhaps you realised that some things are more important to you than others. Do you now want to spend more time with family, improve your connection to your friends, help out in the community? Perhaps you have a reignited passion for your work or have been motivated to look for greater opportunities. Has not being able to travel in the short-term made you more determined to hit the road or jet off to a new destination?

Work/life balance remains a top priority for many people, yet it can feel elusive at the best of times. By identifying what is important to you and what you want more (or less) of, you’ll be better placed to make changes to reach more of a balance.

You might have also discovered a new hobby. If you’re a gym junkie, you might have made the shift to exercising outdoors and discovered a love of trail running or mountain biking. If you love visiting restaurants and cafes, perhaps you started to enjoy more time in the kitchen, trying to replicate your favourite chef-cooked meals. Whatever hobby you’ve picked up or re-sparked, think about how you can keep it up when life returns to a new normal. Perhaps this hobby could even be a side business or has ignited an idea for a new career path?

Awareness of your finances

It’s likely your financial situation has changed in 2020. Your income and expenditure may have altered during the period of lockdown, and while we were all impacted in different ways, the period presented a degree of uncertainty for everyone, highlighting the need for financial security.

The financial goals you established last financial year or in January are likely to have shifted due to the year’s upheaval. And you may also have new goals following the COVID-19 pandemic. Review your finances and your budget to set new objectives, working with your current situation to build a financial safety net and work towards your future goals.

Setting and achieving your goals

The first half of the year has shown us that plans can and sometimes, must change. But don’t let this stop you from setting goals and working towards your vision of the future.

Ensuring your goals are smart, or specifically SMART – Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic and Time-related, will make it easier for you to follow through and achieve them. Whether they’re related to finances, your career or spending more time with family and friends, drill down into the details.

The SMART framework strengthens your goals by making sure they are thought through. For instance, if this has been a time of financial instability for you, your priority could be having more savings behind you. But how much money will you put away and how often, who will make this happen, and is this feasible? With increased uncertainty, it may be beneficial to set micro goals with shorter time frames. This will allow you to be adaptable while still progressing towards your larger goals.

Getting support

This tumultuous year has also highlighted the importance of reaching out for support. This may be a coach, friend or mentor who provides guidance, encouragement and keeps you accountable on your journey. When it comes to establishing your financial goals and working through concerns, you don’t have to go it alone.

We can help keep you on track to achieving your objectives and guide you through the process, so feel free to get in touch today via our contact page or 03 5120 1400.

Material contained in this publication is a summary only and is based on information believed to be reliable and received from sources within the market. It is not the intention of RGM Financial Planners Pty Ltd ABN 36 419 582 Australian Financial Services Licence Number 229471, RGM Accountants & Advisors Pty Ltd ABN 69 528 723 510 that this publication be used as the primary source of readers’ information but as an adjunct to their own resources and training. No representation is given, warranty made or responsibility taken as to the accuracy, timeliness or completeness of any information or recommendation contained in this publication and RGM and its related bodies corporate will not be liable to the reader in contract or tort (including for negligence) or otherwise for any loss or damage arising as a result of the reader relying on any such information or recommendation (except in so far as any statutory liability cannot be excluded).

Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.


Goal setting made easy with the H.A.R.D approach

Goal setting is one thing – achieving your goals is something else entirely. So what makes the difference between a goal that is achieved and one that falls by the wayside?

Research has shown that people who achieve their goals are more likely to do so because they create a vision of their future and are emotionally connected to their goals.i

Goal setting for the new year

This time of the year is often when we come up with goals, but despite positive intentions, we can easily lose sight of them.

There are different approaches to goal setting. SMART goals are often recommended as they’re more considered and measurable, as you follow specific steps in establishing your goal. However, they’re not fail-safe though – a leadership study found that people who set SMART goals are less likely to love their jobs, and only 14% of respondents believed their goals would help them achieve “great things.”ii The study found that many of us don’t strive for difficult goals, which is where HARD goals can help.

H.A.R.D goals

HARD goals connect your vision to your emotions and values, which then really push and challenge you to achieve great things. They comprise of four elements: Heartfelt, Animated, Required and Difficult.

Heartfelt

There’s no use setting a goal you have no connection with. For example, climbing the corporate ladder or buying a home, common goals for many of us, don’t resonate with everyone – if they don’t, you’re unlikely to strive to achieve them.

Instead, hone in on what truly matters to you and how you want to feel. If you have visions of a relaxed retirement, financial freedom at the end of your working life will motivate you. Or perhaps that entrepreneurial spirit wants to be set free to start your own venture. Whatever it is, ensure your goals align with your vision and focus on the outcome.

Animated

Whether you’re naturally a visual thinker or not, by animating your goal you are picturing exactly what it will look like. By visualising your goal, you’re making it real and building a deeper emotional connection to it.

If you want to grow your business, visualise customers walking in the door or travelling to a new destination to set up a new office. If you want to change careers, see yourself in that field, talking to your new co-workers and learning the skills you will need. This image will provide ongoing motivation and will drive to achieve your outcome.

Required

This element reduces the risk of procrastination, as you’ll be clearer as to why you need to meet this goal. For instance, you might set a goal around doing further training, setting specific courses to complete in the year, in order to progress your career.

You can explore what is required to achieve your goal by considering if it would happen should you not meet it. For example, if you plan on running a marathon, clearly a running schedule and fitness regime is necessary in order to meet your ultimate goal.

Difficult

Just as the name suggests, HARD goals aren’t meant to be easy – and you’ll get greater satisfaction meeting difficult goals. Identify what it is you want to do but are hesitant about in case you fail, or perhaps even if you succeed!

While you don’t want to create goals so difficult they’ll be impossible to reach, you want them to be a challenge and of great importance to you. Perhaps it will be learning a new language, when you’re not much of a linguist, in order to apply for that job overseas, or to work your way to the top position in your company by taking on more responsibilities.

At the basis of all goals is a desire for change. Picture the future you want and then work steadily towards it.

As many goals are financial, get in touch with our team on 03 5120 1400 if you need support with your finances or for advice on how to make these goals possible.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/232822271

ii https://www.leadershipiq.com/blogs/leadershipiq/35353793-are-smart-goals-dumb

Material contained in this publication is a summary only and is based on information believed to be reliable and received from sources within the market. It is not the intention of RGM Financial Planners Pty Ltd ABN 36 419 582 Australian Financial Services Licence Number 229471, RGM Accountants & Advisors Pty Ltd ABN 69 528 723 510 or RGM Finance Brokers Pty Ltd ABN 81 330 778 236 (RGM) that this publication be used as the primary source of readers’ information but as an adjunct to their own resources and training. No representation is given, warranty made or responsibility taken as to the accuracy, timeliness or completeness of any information or recommendation contained in this publication and RGM and its related bodies corporate will not be liable to the reader in contract or tort (including for negligence) or otherwise for any loss or damage arising as a result of the reader relying on any such information or recommendation (except in so far as any statutory liability cannot be excluded).

Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.