When I was younger, a close friend told me she was going to be a lawyer. Fast forward 25 years and my friend is an active, successful lawyer. It looks like she’s happy with her decision, and to be honest, she looks happy too.
In this life, I’ve come to realise, there are two types of people: the ones that know what they want from an early age and pursue their dreams following a semi-straight line AND there is the second type, like me, people that zig zag through life looking for our passion while we hold all types of jobs in the hope that one day we will turn up to work and a spark of passion and purpose will bring motivation and a sense of direction.
If you’re the latter, take a deep breath and go easy on yourself. You’re not alone. For many, realising and planning for the future is tough but with the right tools and coaching, not impossible.
I’m sure it comes as no surprise that people who know what they want are more likely to have clearer goals and have a better idea of how to get there. After all, if you don’t know what you want you are less likely to have a plan that will set you up for future success, as you don’t know what ‘success’ looks like yet.
The reality is, most people don’t know what they want. Goals, beyond a daily to-do list, are a hazy concept. Apart from the small minority, most people need professional help setting personal goals, including financial and professional goals.
So, here are some of our ideas for you to start thinking and strategising for your future:
Start with what you DON’T want
Unless you have lived an incredibly lucky life where things have just been perfect, you have had amazing bosses, you love absolutely EVERY part of your job and eat unicorns for breakfast and poo rainbows every day, chances are there are a couple of things you don’t like and don’t want in life.
We are not talking about if you like coriander or not, or if you don’t like it when the barista gets your name wrong. We’re talking about real things like I really don’t want to retire and have to pay rent or retire and having start drinking instant coffee because all of a sudden I don’t have enough to survive for the week. And remember, a rich man is not a good plan!
It’s much harder on the flip side, so much so, that when we’re asked what it is that we want, it can really take us by surprise when we find it so hard to identify.
So let’s start with that. Right now, what’s something that you don’t want in your job, career, future or relationship? ______________________________ Got something? Good. Now ask yourself ‘What do I want instead of this?’ It’s not always the opposite of what you don’t want but sometimes it is.
I DON’T want to breathe recycled air all day… I’ve always loved gardening. I DO want to work outdoors. Maybe somewhere by the sea.
Go with your natural focus and focus on the things that make you itch. Then ask yourself ‘What do I want… instead?’
Think with your senses
Instead of using your head to tease out what you want, why not ask your senses? They have a pretty good idea of what pleases them, and your senses hold some powerful clues about what you want.
Let’s say ‘Jenny’ is facing a job change and she’s been feeling uncertain about what she wants next. Time passes with no result, so a friend asks her what her favourite smell is. Jenny thinks for a moment and declares “It’s my daughter’s hair, just after she’s had a bath and is getting ready for bed.” With that, her friend asks her how often she gets to enjoy that smell and how she could enjoy it more. Poor Jenny replies “I’ve been so busy with work in the last few months. I can’t remember the last time.”
That simple question helped Jenny realise that what she was wanting was a job that allowed her more time to spend with her family. Ask yourself,
- What do you enjoy looking at?
- What would you love to hear more of?
- What do you like to touch (or be touched by)? What do you love to taste?
- And what’s your favourite smell?
- Could it contain a clue about what you want?
Goals and Money
When it comes to your financial security and financial well-being, the aim and the process are just the same. Setting financial goals is no harder than setting personal or emotional goals. They can be short-term, long-term, small, or large, but one thing they all need to be is realistic and achievable.
Start by identifying what you don’t want. I don’t want to end up living on the pension. Work your way back from this and devise a plan to get you there. Yes, there’s a bit of work involved but it will be worth the effort, I promise.
Knowing what you want in life is powerful and knowing how to get there is invigorating. Create your own vision of financial well-being, and with your goals in place you’ll be celebrating that wellness before you know it.
Best Financial Friend Tip
Want to know the best way to maximise your chances of successfully achieving your goals? The magic secret ingredient – a big dose of accountability!
Accountability accelerates your performance and you are up to 95% more likely to succeed if you add some accountability on your journey. Want help identifying your goals and giving you the accountability we all need? Talk to a BFF here.
Carolina Flores. A forever fighter for justice, breaking up barriers, taboos and everything that is keeping us from being financially fit. Always up for a good chat about improving, changing mindset and changing habits. X