What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail? This is the question I often ask
my clients as we discuss their financial goals. Many people cannot think about their own
aspirations without condition; they have to imagine themselves winning the lottery or
coming into a large sum of money unpredictably in order to share their most inspiring
and outlandish goals. As a financial planner, this surprises me, for I have seen dozens
of cases where, with a little ambition and the right financial plan, the most inspiring dreams become reality.
In real life, most big ideas start with a simple thought like “Wouldn’t it be cool if…”. Through the lens of financial planning, our job at Four Points Wealth Management is to open your eyes to the possibilities you may not even realize are within your reach. And it all starts with the right financial plan.
To start, let’s cover a few good-to-knows.
Align Your Goals and Your Values
Pop culture, friends, family, and geography can influence your goals. But what’s really
important is to make sure your goals align with your values. Make sure you understand
the why of your dreams because you could end up chasing something you don’t actually
want. Like do you really aspire to own a private jet, even if you don’t enjoy traveling that
Make a Vision Board
Making a vision board is a good first step to align your goals and values. Start by
gathering a collection of images that correspond to your goals. Pinterest is a great tool
for this. Next, look at your collection of images and think about what feelings they
inspire within you. This method of visualization can help you affirm your goals of choice.
Align Short and Long Term Goals
Small steps lead to big results. Running inventory on your goals can help you
categorize and prioritize them and keep you on track for hitting them all. You may want
to delay some short-term gratification for long-term satisfaction, like putting off buying
new skis and instead put some money toward a down payment on your dream ski
Rent the Dream
There’s a reason why test drives exist: they work! Nothing will give you a better
indication of whether or not a dream is worth pursuing than getting to experience it first-
hand. Many big dreams are more approachable on a smaller scale. If you want to retire
and sail around the world, for instance.
Why not rent a sailboat for a week and see if you’re cut out for retirement on the high seas? You may end up liking it as much as you thought, or you may adjust your dream to better fit your expectations. The point is, you never know until you give it a try.
Start with a Good Strategy
Combining effective goal planning techniques with modern financial planning is powerful
stuff. Throughout the years, I have developed the following tool to help clients reach
their goals. Simply follow along step-by-step, filling in the blanks as you go.
Fill in the Blanks of Financial Success
Step 1: How cool would it be if_________.
Use this framework to brainstorm a list of ambitions, dreams, and any things you desire
or aspire to have.
Step 2: I will create/have/achieve __________ by ________.
Use the dreams you identified in step 1 and transform it into a goal by making it specific
Step 3: The obstacles that are in the way of creating my vision are_________.
Identify obstacles in your way. By identifying hurdles you may have to overcome, you
can plan to minimize their impact.
Step 4: I feel ________ knowing I created and produced __________.
Visualize your success by putting yourself in a mindset of accomplishment and
Use the steps above to walk through this process yourself. Now that you have a clear
vision, it’s time to bring it to life with an actionable plan and good financial advice from a
Success Stories and Next Steps
Recently, a client of mine wanted help building a comprehensive financial plan. He had
a lot going on in his life, including being a single dad, saving for college, keeping pace
with his professional life, building his investment portfolio, planning for retirement, and
having fun along the way. One of his big dreams was to own an investment property in
the mountains by the time he turned 50. We built a plan that would help him pay off
debt to strengthen his cash flow, ensure he was saving enough for retirement, and
optimize his investment strategy to align his personal ambitions with his financial goals.
After 18 months of planning and execution, we met up again to discuss his progress.
Through hard work and dedication, he was ready to begin the process of buying a
mountain property two years before his 50th birthday.
So what’s your big, “Wouldn’t it be cool if…” dream? No matter what it is, a good
financial advisor, like a Certified Financial Planner®, or CFP®, can help you align your
goals, create a clear path to success, and keep you accountable. The best way to find
one? Take advantage of a free consultation from Four Points Wealth Management. We
can help you personalize a financial strategy to get you where you want to go. Still have
questions? Reach out to me and I’ll help you get ahead of your financial goals.