As we are all eager to move into 2021 with new possibilities and moments to be had, this is the perfect time to set your sights on the life you want to be living by the time 2022 rolls around.  We’ve all experienced the New Year’s Resolutions craze, where we set lofty, vague goals that are quickly abandoned by the time February arrives.  That style has never worked for me but I’ve worked out a system that does. I want to help you set concrete, ambitious goals that will set you up for success faster than you ever thought possible.

Using a simple 4 step goal setting sequence, I have pushed myself in all areas of my life, helping me to surpass my financial, physical, spiritual, and family goals.  The sequence is simple, and breaks your goals into 4 parts:

    1. The WHAT: what goal do you want to achieve?  This should be an emotionally impactful goal so it stays at the front of your mind, keeping you motivated to achieve it.
    2. The WHY: this is the most important aspect of the sequence – why is this goal important to you? What will happen if you don’t meet it? What will happen if you do?  These can be both positive and negative reasons to meet your goal.
    3. The WHEN: any good goal needs a timeline to keep you on track.  I suggest setting your first goal deadline for 90 days into 2021 (ie, March 31st, 2021).  Make small milestone goals in this 90 day frame and set up reminders as to when each step had to be completed by.
    4. The HOW: once you’ve determined WHAT you want to achieve, WHY it is important to you, and WHEN it needs to be achieved by, the HOW should naturally follow.  The HOW can include detailing the people, resources, steps, and benchmarks you need to involve on the way to achieving your goal.

    Keep breaking each step down until they are small tasks that are manageable and easy to tackle.  This process can be applied to any of the 4 Pillars of Wealth (Make, Keep, Grow, and Protect Money) to set you up for financial success this year.

    For example, for a long time, I needed to set up my will and power of attorney.  Even though this was an important task (and relatively simple to complete), we had continued to push it off; my wife and I just didn’t want to face it.  However, there were a lot of important reasons to get it done: 

    1. My kids are my life and need to be taken care of no matter what happens to us, 
    2. my clients depend on me to have a plan that protects their wealth, even if I am not running the business anymore, and
    3. if I am incapacitated, I need to know that someone responsible is making choices on my behalf.  

    The WHY was staring me dead in the face, and I knew that I needed to accomplish it now.  The WHEN and HOW were broken into 30 day chunks, so by the end of January, I told myself I just needed to select a lawyer.  Then we had to have a meeting booked by the end of February. Then we had to have the documents signed by the end of March.  Before we knew it, this important, daunting task was complete.

    Think about all the tasks in your life that you’ve been meaning to take on but haven’t got around to yet.  How different would your life be if you took them on this year?  This simple process is the one I followed to start my own business, run 175km around Lake Simcoe, raise over $7,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters charity, and prioritize my relationships with my family.  

    You are capable of taking your life to the next level and achieving the goals you’ve only ever dreamed of.  If you’re looking for some help in reaching your financial goals, give me a call today at (647) 250-7269 so we can start planning for a successful 2021. 

    From my family to yours, I hope you have a happy and safe new year,

    Trevor Dale, CFA

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