Okay, I know the title of this blog might sound a little up in the clouds, but I promise that it’s so much clearer and more tangible than you think!
Whenever I talk to clients, I always ask them what their financial goals are. But one thing I noticed was that so many of my clients had trouble actually answering that question — they just didn’t know what sort of financial goals they should have!
So I decided to ask myself that question. And I discovered that creating financial goals and articulating them… is really hard! But why?
Change makes us uncertain
The truth is that most of the time, we just don’t know. There is so much change happening in our lives, every single day.
For instance, I look at my life 5 years ago and the goals I had then, and realize that everything is completely different! The goals I had back then aren’t necessarily the goals I have now.
Especially for younger people and generations, everything is up in the air. And thinking about financial goals can feel overwhelming because we just simply don’t know. Can we plan to retire with our pension if we don’t know whether or not we’ll actually like our job in 10 years?
This can make short-term goals, like buying a new car, simple to articulate and easy to achieve. But it can make long-term goals feel almost impossible.
Shift your focus
So now that we’ve established that these goals are constantly changing, should we really be focusing on those goals? Or should we focus on the values behind them (which are far less likely to change?)
In my opinion, we should focus on values.
This is why I have my clients go over the values in their life while we’re doing the BudgetingBlocks™ exercise. What are the key pieces that are so important to your happiness and fulfillment in life?
I’ve never seen 2 clients come out with the same set of values after doing this exercise. And I think that’s amazing!
We each bring our own perspectives to our monetary values. These values, rather than goals, are extremely expansive. You could achieve any number of goals or accomplishments by focusing on your value, without ever changing the value itself.
Deciding on your values
For me, impactful and creative work is one of my biggest values. Yes, there are parts of my work and life that don’t feel creative or impactful. And that’s okay!
The important part is not to make your values all-inclusive, but to constantly examine your choices and your actions through the lens of these values.
Doing this will automatically expand your financial life because you’re not limiting yourself to a certain goal. Instead, you’re allowing your goals to shift and change as necessary to continue meeting your values.
You might not have these values right off the top of your head immediately. That’s totally okay! Take some time to think it through.
Then, align your goals with those values, while knowing that it’s totally fine for those goals to evolve and change.
Sometimes, an opportunity might come your way that aligns with your values, but not your goals. Coming from a value-focused perspective is an expansive way to allow yourself flexibility in life and really increase your finances and goals in the future.
- Use our BudgetingBlocks™ to plan a financial future that includes the highs and lows of the market. A good budget includes all possible financial scenarios and helps you see where your money is going!
- Evaluate your money with our Live Wealthy Now resource library. You’ll find a balance calculator in there, along with budgeting tools, values exercises, and more.