Tag Archives: goals

Sticking to it!

I’m seriously not a New Years Resolution kind of girl, but definitely like to set goals… and preferably ones I know I can achieve.

One year, it was Eat Slower. Being a bit of an inhaler of food, that was a good one… and I’m much better at it now.

Another time, it was Do Something you Love, so I took up singing lessons.  (I clearly note the distinction here between What you Love and not What You’re Good At!) See, it’s not epic like Do Base Camp or go Diving with Whale Sharks… they’ll come later! They’re on the To Do List, but can hardly be considered Resolutions!

At the start of this year, I decided Move More was achievable.

I HATE exercise… and I’ve tried a lot… I don’t like to sweat and I’d probably only run if I was being chased…with an axe!

I’ve never had an endorphin rush in my life from working out and certainly have never felt that I’d improved my life by struggling through a personal training workout or gym session, and truly, I’ve tried!

A woman told me today she feels ‘holier than thou’ when she’s worked out in the morning, meaning she can go enjoy the rest of her day knowing she’s already done herself a whole lotta good. I guess I get that!

And I have persevered in trying to find something, anything that I don’t mind doing and may have just finally found what does the trick!

Well, I’ve been going for 8-9 months now, so that’s pretty epic for me.

A girlfriend asked if I’d try Deep Water Running with her and like you, I immediately said ‘what’s that?’

Basically, it consists of pretend running, cycling and cross-country skiing your way up and down an Olympic sized swimming pool with a few other exercises thrown in and trying to ensure your buoyancy belt doesn’t ride up under your boobs or armpits for much of the time to blaring music while being told what to do by your perky instructor for an hour.

The weightlessness is completely brilliant for anyone who has ever had an injury, dodgy hip or a bad knee.  Consequently, I’m one of the youngest in the class of gorgeous old chooks and a few brave men… and quite considerably too. Bless!

(I rarely admit to having had three compressed discs in my lower back these days as it totally ages me… and it also means that cobra pose in yoga is totally out of the question.) Usually now, you’ll find me on Saturday and Sunday mornings at the local pool in my cozzie and ready to jump in with anywhere between 15 and 35 regulars, weather dependent.

It’s a bit of a social outing for many and you’ll be pleased to know that oversized sunglasses and floppy hats are out in full force! As is hot pink or red lippy (occasionally running into the wrinkles,) tennis visors, serviceable caps and some who, bless them, thought it was an Easter bonnet parade.

Apparently even chewing? smacking? gum open mouthed for the hour is also completely acceptable.  As you see, anything goes!

Nearly all appears serene on the surface as we leisurely coast up and down, sticking diligently to the left of the lane. Underneath however, there’s a frenzy of frenetic activity as our legs and arms pump, shuffle, scoot and paddle us up and down.

My freckle to flesh ratio is on the increase and my motley Celtic completion may be said to almost be approaching light tan.  I think I’ve even freckled in new places never before terribly exposed to the Aussie sun!

Anyhoo, it’s been pretty fun and allowed me to consistently meet my Move More goal, which is a great thing.

On Sundays we also get the added bonus of the gents of the Beer Belly Brigade who pop by early in their short shorts with their buoyancy belts and pool noodles to watch the last of our gyrations before jumping in themselves.

Brilliant!

Also assisting with the Move More Mantra is that we’ve had to rent a flat while renovating our future classroom in the country and walking up and down four stories in heels every day also counts… even if I’m heavy breathing at my front door of an evening, or more so if I head up to my bedroom… five floors!

So, whoever said New Years Resolutions were a waste, just didn’t set the right ones.  Why not try again yourself sometime?  I’d love to hear how you go… oh and yes, I’m still singing (warbling) regularly too!

Now, where are those Latin Dance classes held?

Kicking Goals!

It’s kind of hard to believe that it’s already been a year (this week) since my trip to Malawi with The Hunger Project and 15 amazing women.

Learning firsthand the magic of mindset and what a difference it’s made as people become empowered to take charge of their own futures was a powerful lesson and made me think carefully about my own limiting beliefs.  And although I’ve kicked a few to the curb, there’s always more to add to that list!

Meeting the amazing villagers who had all lived in abject poverty and yet were stepping up into leadership positions to empower their communities was incredible to be part of.

Transformational Leadership isn’t just about fearless leaders rocking social media but everyday people making a difference in the lives of others – they’re the true rockstars.  And it certainly put the privilege I’d been born into, into stark relief.

I remember thinking that certain awards were ‘out of my league’ or that ‘I’d never be as amazing as that person’ or that ‘I couldn’t do what they’re doing!’  So I chose to question all of that and set some goals of my own.

I wanted to travel more, write a book, do more public speaking, stay involved with The Hunger Project and have an award winning financial planning practice, and what’s really cool… is in the last 12 months, I ticked all those boxes.  It’s only now that the memories are coming up in my Facebook feed that I’ve realised how far I’ve come… and what I still have to go!

Time to set some more Big Hairy Audacious Goals and get kicking!

What are you planning to set up for yourself in 2018?

 

Mindset Matters

Mindset matters.  If I’ve learnt anything from my trips to Africa with The Hunger Project and helping people in abject poverty to turn their lives around, it’s the importance of our mindset.  Mindset drives every part of our lives from our wealth and happiness to achievements and relationships.

If the words ‘financial planning,’ ‘budget’ or ‘money and finances’ leave you feeling bored or disengaged, it’s time for a change of mindset.  You are the one who can change your financial future.  I’ve met many professional and successful people who put ‘money’ on the back burner and hope it’ll take care of itself somehow.

But, only you can decide to become interested in your finances.  It’s the first step in making any progress and can happen as quickly as you decide to become interested.

And it may not be suddenly being interested in ‘finances’ but again, working out what makes you happy.

If an annual holiday where you can ski, dive or relax with a good book in a hammock is really important to you, you will find ways to make it happen.  If paying down the mortgage or getting rid of credit card debt is important, then setting goals and taking an interest in their outcomes if the first step.

Goals based financial planning is much more effective as it’s tied to outcomes.  You’re getting to set the goals and constantly achieve them.  It’s much easier to give up a night on the town or drinks with your mates if you know that the $100 you spend now, will be a dive on your trip, or ski hire for a day.

Setting our intentions is paramount.  ‘I want to save $5, 000 for a week in Thailand or $10,000 for a driving trip down Highway 1 in the USA by this time next year means’ we have become very clear on what we want and when.  ‘Someday’ and ‘one day’ don’t cut it when planning.  Attention to detail helps us to reach our intentions.

Depending on our upbringing and thought patterns, money or the thought of it, can trigger emotions.  If the thought of doing a budget or having a certain amount set aside makes you happy, then great!  But if you are getting knots in the stomach at the thought of sitting down to examine your finances, it might be time to examine your thought patterns more closely.

If you do feel that you trigger a particular emotion when dealing when money or react to something when the subject comes up, take time out to examine your reaction.  Is what you think really true or could there be other possibilities?  Learning to insert ‘thoughts’ between triggers and emotions can take time.  Seek professional help if you’d like to understand more about your triggers and thought patterns and feelings.

Some are brought up to believe that ‘money is the root of evil’ yet the original text states that ‘the love of money is the root of evil.’  There’s a very clear distinction here between ‘having money’ and greed.  It may be worth examining some other strongly held views.

If debt is a problem, the same theory can apply.  “I want to eliminate my credit card debt entirely in the next two years” helps us to focus on an outcome that will make us happy and feel much more content.

What’s a goal that you’d like to start working towards today?  And when would you like to achieve it by? I’d love to hear from you!

Top 5 Financial Tips

So it wasn’t that long ago that 2017 kicked in and you promised to get on top of your finances this year!  How’s that going for you now that we’re around six weeks in to the new calendar year?

You know what they say about “the best laid plans of mice and men” right?

If you want to break it down into a really easy to follow guide, I’ve got five top tips for you to help get on top of things over the rest of the year…

1. Set goals

Take charge of your financials this year by working out your goals, objectives and priorities and put a plan in place to reach them.  If you want to get rid of credit card debt, increase savings, pay off your mortgage more quickly or boost your superannuation savings, the MoneySmart site has tools to help you work out a plan.  Alternately, hooking up with a financial planner can help you work with a professional money coach to assist you to make it happen, articulate what you’d like to achieve, and give you someone to be accountable to.

2. Map with a budget

As any successful journey begins with a reliable map or an up to date GPS, the path to wealth starts with going back to basics and having an accurate budget.  The thought of doing a budget might make your eyes glaze over, but a budget helps you see where your money is being spent and where you can make changes that will help you build wealth. You can use MoneySmart’s simple money manager to create your budget.  I often recommend clients use it for their budgeting needs.  It’s online, simple to use and comes in a few different languages too.

3. Get a better deal

It’s good to regularly check and make sure you aren’t paying too much for your mortgage, investment or personal loans or insurance policies. Shopping around regularly for the best deals could save you thousands of dollars over the long term. Talk to your lender or mortgage broker about what they can offer.  Different banks have different deals, so they’ll search around for a better deal if they want to keep you as a customer. If they won’t help, feel free to shop around yourself and switch to another option or lender.

Before automatically renewing insurances, check whether your current insurer is giving you the best value for money. You might be able to get a better policy for a lower price or with better conditions.  Often it’s worth asking a broker or agent for help as they have access to different policies and can run comparisons for you based on what’s important to you.

4. Improve your knowledge

It’s long been acknowledged that “knowledge is power.”  Before you commit to any investment opportunity, make sure you understand the features, costs – upfront and ongoing, benefits to you, and all possible risks.  Does the investment fit in with your plan? Don’t invest in something you don’t understand, and “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

Forewarned if forearmed, so equip yourself with as much knowledge as possible. Subscribe to investment magazines, download popular books on the subject, follow experts on social media or if you still feel clueless, engage a financial adviser to assist.

5. Manage Risk

Investing wisely helps build your wealth for the future.  You’ve probably heard of the benefits of compounding interest, so the longer time frame you have, the better off you should be.  All investments involve an element of risk – and often, “higher the risk, the higher the potential return.” Before you invest any money, take the time to understand the risk versus return.  You need to work out your own personal style of investing.  Are you conservative?  balanced?  or an aggressive investor?  Often, we’ll have a different profile for different types of investment.  If you’re younger, you’re likely to have a much more aggressive approach with your superannuation than you would with funds being saved for a housing deposit.

You’ve probably heard “don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”  This is what diversification is all about. By spreading money across different asset classes and industry sectors, you are less likely to be affected by a particular economic event, like a drop in real estate prices, a fall in the share market or in a particular industry or sector.

So work your way through these five tips.  I’d love to hear how they’ve helped you get on top of your finances!!

Why chat with an Adviser?

With only around 20% of Australians thinking it’s worthwhile seeking professional financial advice, it begs the question – ‘what’s in it for me?’  ‘Why would I see a financial adviser?’

And I can give you 6 pretty good answers to that question!

Firstly, seeing an adviser can help you set and achieve personal financial goals.  Sure, you can do that on your own… but do you?   Most of us fare much better when we share our goals and feel accountable to someone for achieving them.  But then, some never think to set financial goals or have a clue about achieving them.  This is where an adviser can provide much value.

Secondly, we can help you make the most of your money.  Chances are, if your like most you live first and save last… if there’s anything left over.  Advisers can assist with salary packaging, planning, tax minimisation and ensuring you get paid and get to save.

We also know a bit about Centrelink, and have helped some who didn’t even know that they were entitled to the Pension or an Allowance to be able to claim what they’re entitled to.

One of my favourites tho is assisting you to feel more in control of your financial situation.  Knowing that you’ve got a plan, someone to keep you on track and that each year you can see that you’re getting ahead, is priceless!

We all make mistakes, it’s a part of living and learning.  But some of them can be extremely expensive.  Being able to run business, investment and financial deals past an expert who knows their numbers can potentially save hundreds or even thousands of dollars in expensive mistakes!

And finally, we know all about protection.  Having a brilliant financial plan is no good if all that you’ve already worked so hard for isn’t protected.  Ensuring that your own life and the wellbeing of your loved ones is taken care of means real peace of mind.

Now, aren’t they 6 good reasons to make an appointment today?

 

What’s Enough?

Do you have a financial goal in mind that you’d like to achieve?   Is it to have a set amount in the bank?  To save for a particular purpose? Where or when did the goal start? Do you need to raise your goal so you’re not just surviving? Or do you need to lower it, so you can finally breathe?

If you’ve got a goal, to start with, a huge ‘Well Done!’  Many of us coast through life, just hoping things will work out with a bit of a wish and a prayer!  And sometime they do.  But maybe they could be even more amazing with a bit of planning.

Is your goal just for you individually?  Does it include your family? Is giving back something you’d like to be actively involved in?  Or is pursuing your dreams top of your priority list?  Or is it a mix of the above?

You’ve probably noticed, that the mind says yes to what you decide to tell it.  Why not start by being incredibly clear on how much you want and set a time frame for when you’d like to achieve it.

i.e.  I want to be part of the Hands Across Water bike ride in Thailand in 2018 and fund raise $10,000.   I want to have cleared my $5,000 debt and cut up my credit card by the end of next financial year.  I want to reduce the principal owing on my mortgage by $10,000 within 18 months.

The key ingredient here is to figure out the ‘why.’  The ‘how’ will follow… You’ll figure it out.  The why is what will drive you!

Hot tip:  Make sure your financial goals at some stage, involve giving back to others.  It’s a great attractor!

I heard a quote recently at a Business Chicks event that resonated, “I slept and dreamt that life was joy.  I awoke and saw that life was service.  I acted and behold, service was joy.”  Rabindranath Tagore

Accountability issues

We all have good intentions around our wealth and money.

And yet, most of us never get to reach our goals. Other things  tend to get in the way and we get to another January 1, review out New Year’s Resolution, get into gear, and give it our best shot once again for a couple of weeks.

One of the best things you can do for yourself however, is find someone to be accountable to.  Can you think of a friend, colleague, professional or family member who is not going to let you give up on your goals and will keep you accountable?  Who do you know who will check up on you, getting you to raise your standards and reach those goals you’re setting?

People who get to reach their goals, often will set up consequences for themselves should they not achieve them.

For example, if you don’t start the regular investment plan you wanted to by a certain date, tell a friend you will donate some money to their favourite charity and make it painful! $1,000 not $10.  Drastic times call for drastic measures!

Set a goal and set the time frame.  Just pick one thing that’s been on your financail bucket list for a long time.  Should you pay off a credit card?  Can you put extra on the mortgage? Start saving for that holiday you’ve always talked about? Will you start an education fund for your kids?  Find that investment property you’ve been talking about?  And by when?  You need a realistic deadline to achieve your goal!  One month?  One year?

Choose one goal in the area of your personal wealth that you’ve wanted to achieve for years.  Then decide, when you’d like to achieve it by, and who is the best person you can ask for help from. Send them an email or call them today and have a chat about what you’d like to do.  Maybe it’ll work both ways and there’s something they’d like to be kept accountable for too.

How’s that for a win-win?  I’d love to hear what you come up with.  And if all else fails – I’m here.  Tell me and I’m happy to keep you accountable!