When it Comes to Your Financial Goals, Consider Implementing These Three Steps
Nearly everyone agrees: the more choices, the better. From restaurants to shops to home furnishings, people relish having lots of options. But, too many choices can also lead to decision fatigue, indecision and procrastination, especially concerning personal finances. The noise emanating from financial companies, who try to convince you their product is better than all the rest and is the missing piece you need to reach your financial goals, can be overwhelming. After hearing all of this, and feeling a bit overwhelmed by information overload, many choose the easiest and least stressful option: do nothing and put planning for their financial future off. It doesn’t have to be this way. Consider implementing the following three steps to avoid progress paralysis.
As a Chinese proverb says, a long journey begins with the first step. What is your journey and where is your destination? We all have many financial goals we want to accomplish, from funding retirement to college for children to special vacations. To avoid being overwhelmed by wanting to accomplish them all, prioritize them by defining your top few goals for the next year. Be specific. For instance, next year I want to begin to save monthly the amount necessary to fund my child’s college education at a four-year public institution. This specificity will empower you to set a course to begin accomplishing your goal.
Focus on the Fundamentals and Create Positive Momentum
It can be easy to get bogged down in the minutia of financial decisions. What college plan should I invest in? What funds should I use? How often should I review the investments? While these are important considerations, the most important and impactful decision is implementing the discipline to save on a regular basis. This is the fundamental building block of any successful financial plan. Focus on mastering the discipline of saving for a specific goal, creating positive momentum to fuel your desire to accomplish the next goal.
Don’t Let the Desire for Perfection Impair Incremental Progress
With many financial goals to choose from, it can be natural to want to aim for perfection and fully fund each goal all at once. This may not be possible nor the most prudent approach. Even if you cannot fully fund all your goals initially, the process of implementing a regular savings plan and making incremental progress toward your goals is rewarding and empowering. Don’t let the desire for perfection prevent you from making incremental progress.