Are you blooming?
We are wrapped in the beauty of spring. After the rain, foliage is bursting with color, and I am watching the rivers pick up speed flowing past my window. The eighth-graders over at Basalt Middle school took off Tuesday on the run over to the high school. I always tear up at this annual rite of passage, as I watch the burst of energy and valiant effort by all. Today, the laughter and banter of the elementary school kids enjoying the last day of school with their field day activities fills the air across the street. The kids are growing, and nature is thriving.
Is your financial world flourishing? Yes, the Dow is trending up, but is that the only component you are monitoring? There are the qualitative and quantitative sides of your monetary existence. How do you cultivate and nurture the entirety in order to reap the bounty of financial health. Just as your body works optimally as you strive for the right balance of exercise, proper diets, managing expectations and knowing yourself — so it works with a holistic financial approach.
We have traditionally embraced “SMART” goals. We have been encouraged to create goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and tangible. It can work, but for many, comes up lacking. This template for growth and goal setting can feel uninspiring or rigid. Our goals become “should do’s” sometimes based on other’s expectations or a mindset of lack. What if we looked at growth in all areas of our lives a bit differently? What if you based goals or growth opportunities on if they are significant, meaningful, attractive, rewarding and timely?
Significant goals resonate with your soul and keep you motivated and joyful as you move toward them. Meaningful goals are personalized to your values and priorities. Attractive goals create a positive image that draws you to toward them and makes the sacrifices needed to accomplish them worthwhile. If your goals are rewarding, you use a different scale to weigh the costs of the commitment. The day to day choices become clear as you honestly appraise the tension that will always exist. Because we have seasons in our lives, we want to properly address the timing of your endeavors. Some goals should have specific targets, and others should not.
Life is about the continuum of progression and change. How do you facilitate successful transitions and growth opportunities? Your circumstances are unique, and your response to change is greatly influenced by those experiences. We all have an internal compass that reflects our values and priorities, but it can get thrown off course because of external pulls, or circumstances outside of our control.
Are you satisfied that you are moving towards reaching your personal financial benchmarks? Do you get caught up in the “finances are not my strength”; or “I will deal with that stuff later”? Those are just a few of the mental obstacles that need to be overcome. In the words of Henry Ford, “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.”
What area of your financial life would you like to improve? It may be around your charitable giving, your investment strategies, your tax management tactics or your spending habits. It may be around your level of financial education, feelings about your money life, or communication skills with those impacted by your decisions. Pick one area and decide how you want to improve or grow. Start there, building on your successes. As we watch life unfold around us, let spring 2015 be an inspirational component for you to look at a new way to financially bloom.
Danielle Howard is a Certified Financial Planner practitioner. Her office, Wealth By Design LLC, is in Basalt. Visit her at http://www.wealthbydesign4u.com. Advisory Services offered through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor. Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research Inc., a broker/dealer, member FINRA/SIPC. Cambridge and WBD are not affiliated.
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