Goal setting is one thing – achieving your goals is something else entirely. So what makes the difference between a goal that is achieved and one that falls by the wayside? Research has shown that people who achieve their goals are more likely to do so because they create a vision of their future and are emotionally connected to their goals.i Goal setting for the new year This time of the year is often when we come up with goals, but despite positive intentions, we can easily lose sight of them. There are different approaches to goal setting. SMART goals are often recommended as they’re more considered and measurable, as you follow specific steps in establishing your goal. However, they’re not fail-safe though – a leadership study found that people who set SMART goals are less likely to love their jobs, and only 14% of respondents believed their goals would help them achieve “great things.”ii The study found that many of us don’t strive for difficult goals, which is where HARD goals can help. H.A.R.D goals HARD goals connect your vision to your emotions and values, which then really push and challenge you to achieve great things. They comprise of four elements: Heartfelt, Animated, Required and Difficult. Heartfelt There’s no use setting a goal you have no connection with. For example, climbing the corporate ladder or buying a home, common goals for many of us, don’t resonate with everyone – if they don’t, you’re unlikely to strive to achieve them. Instead, hone in on what truly matters to you and how you want to feel. If you have visions of a relaxed retirement, financial freedom at the end of your working life will motivate you. Or perhaps that entrepreneurial spirit wants to be set Complimentary to start your own venture. Whatever it is, ensure your goals align with your vision and focus on the outcome. Animated Whether you’re naturally a visual thinker or not, by animating your goal you are picturing exactly what it will look like. By visualising your goal, you’re making it real and building a deeper emotional connection to it. If you want to grow your business, visualise customers walking in the door or travelling to a new destination to set up a new office. If you want to change careers, see yourself in that field, talking to your new co-workers and learning the skills you will need. This image will provide ongoing motivation and will drive to achieve your outcome. Required This element reduces the risk of procrastination, as you’ll be clearer as to why you need to meet this goal. For instance, you might set a goal around doing further training, setting specific courses to complete in the year, in order to progress your career. You can explore what is required to achieve your goal by considering if it would happen should you not meet it. For example, if you plan on running a marathon, clearly a running schedule and fitness regime is necessary in order to meet your ultimate goal. Difficult Just as the name suggests, HARD goals aren’t meant to be easy – and you’ll get greater satisfaction meeting difficult goals. Identify what it is you want to do but are hesitant about in case you fail, or perhaps even if you succeed! While you don’t want to create goals so difficult they’ll be impossible to reach, you want them to be a challenge and of great importance to you. Perhaps it will be learning a new language, when you’re not much of a linguist, in order to apply for that job overseas, or to work your way to the top position in your company by taking on more responsibilities. At the basis of all goals is a desire for change. Picture the future you want and then work steadily towards it. As many goals are financial, get in touch if you need support with your finances or for advice on how to make these goals possible. i https://www.researchgate.net/publication/232822271 ii https://www.leadershipiq.com/blogs/leadershipiq/35353793-are-smart-goals-dumb

Goal setting made easy with the H.A.R.D approach

January 11, 2021
Goal setting is one thing – achieving your goals is something else entirely. So what makes the difference between a goal that is achieved and one that falls by the wayside? Research has shown that people who achieve their goals are more likely to do so because they create a vision of their future and…

Review of 2020, outlook for 2021 – from Pandemic to Recovery

December 10, 2020
Key points 2020 was dominated by the Coronavirus pandemic but shares saw okay returns on the back of policy stimulus and vaccine optimism, resulting in constrained but positive returns for balanced growth super funds. For 2021, the combination of massive policy stimulus and the prospect of vaccines allowing a return to something more normal by…
Five tips for a better retirement

Five tips for a better retirement

November 10, 2020
Retirement is an exciting time. It’s the long-awaited reward for a lifetime of work and, if you’ve planned it correctly, it heralds a life stage synonymous with relaxation and enjoyment. However, to make sure your retirement is everything you’d hoped for, it’s crucial to make smart decisions to help you stick to your financial plan,…

Taking control of your finances after a separation or divorce

November 10, 2020
Going through a separation or divorce can be a stressful and emotionally-charged time, particularly when it comes to conversations around shared finances and the division of assets. Having a clear plan for how you approach these discussions can help provide direction and ensure you reach a fair solution that everyone is happy with. Set yourself…

Life cover: More essential than ever

October 13, 2020
Living through COVID-19 has brought many challenges and shifting priorities as we deal with the financial impacts of the pandemic, and that includes the issue of life insurance.  On the one hand, the pandemic has highlighted the importance of life cover. On the other, those who may have lost a job or lost income are…

Federal Budget 2020-21 Analysis

October 13, 2020
Building a bridge to recovery In what has been billed as one of the most important budgets since the Great Depression, and the first since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic dragged Australia into its first recession in almost 30 years, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the next phase of the journey is to secure Australia’s…
Opportunity through disruption

Opportunities amidst the COVID-19 disruption

October 13, 2020
COVID-19 is resulting in significant disruption to well-established business paradigms, impacting businesses, sectors and stocks across the board. However, as Albert Einstein once said: “in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity”. That certainly rings true in 2020 as analysts predict significant changes in the types of businesses that will prosper through the crisis and beyond,…

Getting retirement plans back on track

September 15, 2020
After a year when even the best laid plans have been put on hold due to COVID-19, people who were planning to retire soon may be having second thoughts. You may be concerned about a drop in your super balance, insecure work, or an uncertain investment outlook. Whatever your circumstances, a financial tune-up may be…

How to spend and invest at the same time

September 15, 2020

Building resilience to spring back stronger than ever

September 1, 2020
Our resilience has been tested of late and continues to be, with the ongoing situation of the coronavirus pandemic throwing challenges our way.  Resilience has certainly become a now frequently used buzzword, but what does it actually mean? According to the Oxford dictionary, the word resilience means “the ability of people or things to recover…
Financial Planning Gold Coast

A baby boomer’s retirement path

July 15, 2020
Baby boomers are born consumers and love choice. For those unsure, a baby boomer is generally defined as those born just after World War II – 1946 to 1964. During these years, the number of babies born in most western nations, including Australia, was staggering.  Today, around 20% of Australia’s population is made up of…

New financial year – new perspective

July 13, 2020
The start of the financial year is always an excellent time to take stock of your current situation and visualise where you’d like to be in the future.  It’s fair to say this year hasn’t been ‘business as usual’! While no-one could have predicted the first six months of 2020, nor want to repeat them,…

5 Steps to Easing Anxiety After Lockdown

July 13, 2020
With restrictions lifting in Australia, shops and cafes are reopening, social gatherings are permitted again and things are slowly starting to head back towards normal. And while many people are jumping at the chance to get back out there, some of us are feeling rather reluctant. Even though being isolated for so long can feel lonely,…

Maintaining your mental health through the pandemic

June 4, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted our day-to-day lives in a dramatic way. One of the biggest changes to come from this period, was a transition to working from home for many people.  On top of this adjustment, parents had the additional challenge of monitoring remote schooling for their children. Social interactions were severely reduced and…

Time to reassess your financial priorities

June 1, 2020
At a time of uncertainty about the economy, not to mention unexpected social isolation, people are rethinking their personal and financial priorities.  Whether you are spending less by necessity or because you are living more simply at home, this could be a good time to reassess your spending and review your household budget. Our spending…

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