A Goal Remains only a Goal Without a Plan
In many cases investors end up investing and planning haphazardly although they have goals, instead of working through a comprehensive plan. A comprehensive plan systematically eliminates the concerns and dangers that individuals, their families and their businesses face. A plan makes things happen. In our daily life we see people start investment without proper goals and a right plan.
Financial Planning deals with money-management and time-management techniques. Financial plan is helping a sequence of actions to achieve some specific goal. If you do it effectively, you can both save money and time as well.
A financial plan is like a map. If you follow the plan, you can always see your progress towards your projected goal and how far you are from your destination. Knowing where you are is essential for making good decisions on where to go or what to do next. With careful planning you can often see if at some point you are likely to face a problem. It is much easier to adjust your plan to avoid problems, rather than to deal with the problem when it comes unexpected.
While we write an action plan we focus on achieving each of your particular goals.
According to Paul J. Meyer, the characteristics of S.M.A.R.T. goals in Attitude are Everything and are explained below.
The word specific means clear and without any duality and thus specific goals overweigh general goals. Specific goals denote exact expected goals.
Specific goal will usually answer the five “W” questions:
- What: What do I want to accomplish?
- Why: Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal.
- Who: Who is involved?
- Where: Identify a location.
- Which: Identify requirements and constraints.
The second word measurable is measuring the progress towards goal. It’s very difficult to achieve a particular goal if it cannot be measured. A measurable goal has answers of following questions:
v How much?
v How many?
v How will I know when it is accomplished?
The third word attainable means the importance of goals that are realistic and attainable. When you identify goals which seem to be the most important, you begin to implement your plan into action and make them come true. You invent the attitudes, power, skills, and financial capacity to reach them.
An attainable goal has an answer to the question:
v How can the goal be accomplished?
The fourth word relevant means the importance of choosing goals that indicates the goal is not only within reach of skill levels but also has meaning and relates directly to the purpose or vision of the subject. When a goal is relevant it only increases commitment and motivates you to achieve. A goal that supports or is in alignment with other goals would be considered a relevant goal.
A relevant goal means it has positive answers to these questions:
v Does this seem to be worthwhile?
v Is this the right time to do?
v Does this match our other efforts/needs?
v Are you the right person?
The fifth word indicates the importance which defines a period for meeting the measurement in the goal or a deadline date for accomplishing the overall target goal. Having a time frame helps to monitor progress, keep on track, adjust to meet the overall goal and gaining momentum with each accomplishment along the goal path. A goal is associated with time horizon, without time based it will be impossible to write a targeted plan.
A time-bound goal has the answers of the questions:
v When do I need?
v What can I do 12 months from now (of course depending on time horizon)?
v What can I do 6 month from now?
v What can I do 3 months from now?
v What can I do today?
- Visualize your goal with full of emotion. If you don’t believe in your goal, neither you can implement your plan into action nor can you achieve it. You need to put the goal date of the particular goal, and money involved to achieve it. The planner will help you to show the expected tentative outcome, which is invisible but indispensible.
- Write a list of actions. Financial Planners advices on the actions you may need to take to achieve your goal. Writing means you can visualize and review. Can you ignore your subconscious mind? The subconscious mind stores all of your previous life experiences, your beliefs, your memories, you skills, all situations you’ve been through and all images you’ve ever seen. It helps to achieve your goals. If you don’t give correct assignments properly, it won’t act and you won’t achieve. So writing of goals and actions are important. The best way to understand the subconscious mind is to look at the example of us, in our early life, if we couldn’t solve a sum, we used to leave it by nature, but next morning sometimes we could solve it without help. While we think nothing of it, it works like miracle. While we write a plan we write more about solutions, the rich we are the rich solutions are. Therefore writing a list of actions is a must, which the planner does for you.
- Analyze and prioritize. Now you have the list of goals. Look at your list of actions along with the mentioned time. Planners suggest you to complete the same on priority basis, and mark them.
- Monitor the execution of your plan with periodical review. Few clients make a financial plan but they are reluctant to review, that means they just make a plan and keep it as an ornament. It is suggested that you meet your planner for a periodic review and discuss any new developments or issues which might enhance or affect your goals. This exercise will enable the planner to adjust and optimize the plan.