I have a friend who, in the last year and at age 50, left her marriage with a very small pot of capital, retrained, and started a career in a profession with higher income potential and last week, purchased a small 3 bedroom flat in her local area.
Another friend just told me she, at 55, has completed a Masters in Education. She has a hearing impairment and is a breast cancer survivor 10 years free of disease.
Isn’t this fantastic? They are living, breathing examples how the power of having goals in our lives can bring about massive change in our circumstances.
Yet, sometimes when I articulate my admiration and congratulations on their achievements they look somewhat bewildered and nonchalant.
This is the insidious thing about goals. Sometimes we forget to look back and see how far we have come and pat ourselves on the back before we keep looking ahead to the next thing.
Gratitude and appreciation for our achievement feeds in to our happiness and confidence levels, which help propel us forward to the next thing.
Having goals is a human predilection. Without them, we would never have conquered Everest, discovered antibiotics or won Olympic gold medals. On a more modest scale nor would we attain degrees, buy houses, run half marathons, start investment portfolios or the myriad desires which takes our fancy.
We all have different ways of expressing our goals. Some people are more internally driven and need only to set their own internal compass to get them on their way. Others proudly announce to family, friends and anyone who will listen whenever a new target is in their sight. There is no right or wrong way to verbalise what you want.
Lists help. So do dream boards, life coaches or whatever you need in that moment to motivate you. Setting some is the key, not necessarily how you go about it.
When it comes to financial goals most of us have an overriding ambition to have financial security (whatever dollar amount that means to you). To get more specific in how that looks for you talking it over with a financial adviser can help. More pertinently, they can help you with strategies to get where you want to go.
Maybe the goals seem very obvious and not worth the effort to specify. Paying down your mortgage and building your super balance or saving for a first home deposit may appear quite generic but remember this is your journey and your efforts. They are worthy of communication to yourself, at the very least.
Just remember, every so often to take time to see how far you’ve come. Think back 5 years and celebrate your finer moments and the person you have become as you’ve brought about the successes in your life.
So, to my two dear friends, and they know who they are, I raise a metaphorical glass to you and say…Woohoo. You go, girls!
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*Jill is a qualified chartered accountant, starting her career at Arthur Andersen in Perth, Western Australia and then in London at a satellite communications company. After relocating to Sydney from Perth in 2000 and raising her children to school age, Jill worked in asset management and business development at Access Capital Advisers for three years. Jill left Access Capital Advisers in 2009 to start wisewomen, a business aimed at educating women on personal finance and investing. Jill has a Diploma in Financial Services (Financial Planning) from Kaplan Professional.