Nik Aamlid, Wealth Advisor
All of us have targets we are trying to hit.
For some, that means you are walking the fields in the fall wearing hunter’s orange, or maybe you are on the golf course. For others, that means you are building a business or working on personal growth.
So whether you’re a hunter, golfer, business owner or life-coach, etc., I can bet that a lot of us have at least one goal involving some sort of financial planning. So, where do we begin as we journey towards whatever target we are trying to hit?
Here are four steps:
1. Know your target
The late, great philosopher and baseball player, Yogi Berra, once said, “You’ve got to be careful if you don’t know where you are going because you might not get there.”
The first step to hitting your target is to know what you are trying to hit.
We see this on both ends of the spectrum often. Sometimes people have a broad idea of where they want to go so they just start saving as much money as they possibly can. This is OK, but oftentimes, this comes at the sacrifice of potentially having been able to do more for yourself or for your family along the way.
The other end is where people don’t even want to think about the future and thus don’t even start. The right approach is often just finding balance.
Peace, confidence and balance generally come with clearly knowing what target you are trying to hit. It’s a cycle.
2. Set your guard rails and don’t overthink it
When we take our kids bowling, we always use the bumper lanes.
We don’t do this to guarantee that they will get a strike every time, we do it because we want to give them the best chance at success possible.
From their perspective, they run in, put their ultra-slick shoes on, grab a ball that they can barely lift, slip and slide up to the lane and then heave the ball down.
They don’t analyze their steps, walk through their motion or map out their ball pattern – sometimes they don’t even wait until the metal bar that drops the pins goes up! They just trust that the rails will keep them on the path and they go.
Sometimes we overanalyze our financial situations because we want to make everything perfect and not do anything until we reach our goal. But, sometimes the best approach is to just set the guard rails (know your goals) and just get started down the path.
3. Make course corrections as you go
I once listened to someone talk about setting goals and how it relates to sailing.
They explained that in sailing, the boat does not move in a straight line right at the target.
It may start out that way, but soon with wind changes and other elements, the boat may move off course and the sailor is forced to alter the sails and make corrections. The final path to the destination can often look like a zigzag instead of a straight line.
The same can hold true in our financial plans.
We may set off on a path that we feel good about, but soon life throws a curveball. These curveballs can be good or bad, but either way, we are forced to make a correction. The sailor doesn’t just bail on his or her whole trip if the boat goes off course, they readjust and keep moving forward.
The key in our financial planning journey is to not overreact, overcorrect or stop altogether – but to reevaluate where we are trying to go, make the necessary adjustments to point ourselves back towards the goals, and keep on our way.
4. Find a guide
A lot of this is may be easier said than done. There have been plenty of times in my life where I am confident of my target, I feel like I have my guard rails set, but I still find myself just going in circles.
I’ve learned the importance of having a guide. In fact, in my planning for the majority of my targets, I make finding a guide my first step.
This prevents me from running around in circles, ultimately saves me time, and gives me confidence when I find someone I trust who can help get me where I want to go.
Their job isn’t to tell me what my goal should be. Their job is to listen to what I want to pursue and then help me get there in the most efficient way possible.
Wherever you are on your journey towards your financial targets, we would love to be considered as your guide. Get in touch to set up a complimentary, no-obligation meeting and let’s get sailing!