I love new year goals. Maybe it’s the inner list writer in me, but there’s something seductive about writing a list of all the self improvement I’m going to do over the next 12 months or so.
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Top of my list are: master yoga handstands, get out cycling on my bike and save for a house deposit.
How to stick to your new year goals
Goal setting is powerful as it defines our dreams and gives us something to stretch and aim for. It’s also easy to lose motivation quickly when a goal seems too big, too small, too hard, too inconvenient…
I thought I’d turn to some of the Stockspot team for their top tip on the process they go through to help them achieve their new year goals:
Matt Rudd – Head of Operations
“I question the intentionality behind the goals I’m setting.” – Sarah
Melanie Novacan – Director of Marketing
“When setting goals, I like to ensure there’s a mix of simple, everyday goals that create momentum and build towards a longer term goal.
“Every year I have a goal of taking my children on a destination holiday that includes us learning something new together, or something that we can share, and I include them on the saving and planning for the trip on a weekly basis.
“Last year it was a skiing trip to Mount Hotham and we will decide over the Christmas-New Year break what next year’s goal is… I’m thinking surfing! But the kids will be part of the decision making process as well as working out the destination and then establishing our savings goals to be able to get where we want to go.”
Sarah King – Head of Client Care
“I question the intentionality behind the goals I’m setting. If there’s a genuine ‘intention’ there, I’m likely to achieve it, if not – I most likely won’t. It takes the pressure off and I won’t set that goal for myself.”
More from Sarah: 5 basic financial lessons all kids need
Chris Brycki – CEO & Founder
Chris reckons obstacles are your friend. “Obstacles are your most valuable asset when it comes to reaching your goals. They highlight the reality of what is required to accomplish them. And if you really wish to accomplish your goals, understanding and dealing with the reality of what is required is critical to make it happen.”
“I include on the saving and planning for the trip on a weekly basis.” – Melanie
Applying goal setting tips to real life
I’m sure you’d love to hear about my other new year goals like being a better yoga handstander, but instead let’s look at how I’d save for my (tiny) house.
What’s the intention behind wanting the house?
Ultimately it’s about long-term financial and psychological security. I don’t mind renting while I’m young but the insecurity of renting when I’m retired is not something I want to deal with.
I always want to be free to travel, enjoy life and not worry about affording essentials. So the more I save up over the next few years will experience the benefits of compound growth to help me reach my goal.
What are my obstacles to success?
The most obvious is my current spending habits, which means I need to make some sacrifices:
• Buying new ‘stuff’ for 12 months? Yes, I can give up buying clothes, interiors, candles etc.
• Pricey yoga classes? Not completely, but I can cut down and do yoga at home and in the park
• Wine? 100 days alcohol free challenge anyone?
The insane prices of homes in Australia is also a big obstacle. I can’t do anything about this but I can invest my savings to get a better return on my money. Instead of a 1% return on a savings account, I’ve put money into a balanced investment portfolio (Stockspot’s Turquoise portfolio) which has returned 6.61% after fees in the last financial year.
The less obvious obstacle is ignoring market noise. It’s easy to get scared off from investing if markets are down and everyone is predicting the bottom of the market.
So I need to commit to the bigger picture (future financial security) and dollar cost average over the long-term. It means investing smaller sums of money more frequently. Instead of investing one lump sum at one price, if I invest regularly over a period of 12 months I’ll pay an average price.
What’s my goals road map?
I need to save and invest roughly a quarter of my salary every month to achieve the savings goal I want to reach. It might not be realistic to save this much every month, so I’m going to break it down into quarterly savings goals to keep on track.
What can give me a boost along the way?
I’m a fan of vision boards, it might sound a bit woo woo but they’re a great visualisation tool. I use pictures from magazines or online of what represents my goal. I cut and paste them onto a big sheet of poster board and stick it somewhere I see it every day.
How will I be accountable?
Well I’ve written new year goals right here, so I’m accountable to anyone who reads this. I’m also going to tell my partner, my mum and anyone else who I think will be interested. Most importantly, I’m going to hold myself accountable by scheduling in a quick monthly ‘how am I doing?’ meeting with myself each quarter. Put it in the diary!
What are your new year goals? Hopefully these tips will help you achieve them and you can celebrate your success at the end of the year.
Image by S O C I A L . C U T