In the last week of every year, I utilize this quiet time to reflect on the past year and think about the new year and how to make it a transformational year with Personal Finance. I follow a simple 4 steps process:
1-Summarize my progress towards my previous year’s goals
2-Recognize my key achievements and failures
3-Reflect on the main lessons I learnt from both success and failures
4-Set my new year’s goals , strategies and action plan
I followed this process for many years, which helped me increasing my productivity and allowed me to achieve things I never thought were possible. I recommend you to start this process in order to have a clear plan of your goals and better your progress of achieving them. Let’s have 2018 a transformational year for all of us. To ease the process, I found it useful to categorize my goals into 3 subcategories:
1- Spiritual/Emotional: Religious, family and relationship oriented goals. For example: sending children to university, helping them with their sports, getting married, charity work or organize a father/daughter trip.
2- Physical: Health and body goals. For example: lose weight, run a marathon or healthy eating.
3- Intellectual: Career, financial and educational goals. For example: Promotion at work, finishing a master degree, reading a book every week or develop/implement your financial plan.
It is also recommended to not have too many goals. Focusing on one or two goals per subcategory is proven to have better results. I thought that sharing the key lessons learnt from my successes and failures in 2017 might be useful when you prepare your 2018 affirmations:
1- Procrastination, the act of delaying actions, is my biggest enemy! Even though I significantly improved towards the end of the year, I still wasted time and opportunities. Running a marathon is one of my goals for 2017, but I only started to train seriously in November and most probably will achieve this goal in 2018! In order to prevent procrastination, I suggest the following:
•Start immediately by taking small and easy steps towards your goal. For running a marathon, I downloaded a marathon preparation app and started training daily. However, I should have done this earlier. If you have a goal to start investing in the stock market, open a broker account and start investing, even small amounts. Keep learning and then invest more later. If you would like to save, start automating your savings directly from your salary. Just do it!
•Have an accountability partner. I called an amazing friend and asked him to run a marathon with me. At the beginning he was hesitant, but finally agreed! Now I train everyday, not only because I want to run the marathon, but I also because I made a commitment to my friend :). Declare your goals to a friend or to family member! This will help you to stick to your goals.
2- Education is my best investment. When asked what is your best ever investment? Warren Buffett answered “Investing on myself”. I personally experienced this in 2017. I learnt many investment strategies via books, courses and coaching programs that enabled me to have a very profitable year. My stock portfolio is up 30% significantly beating the S&P 500! I also purchased many bargain priced properties particularly in the UK. I may have invested a few thousands dollars on my education in 2017, but the return was simply impressive.
3- Think big when you set your goals. I recently challenged myself to achieve my financial goals in half of the time I set previously. To achieve that new timing, I have to come up with new strategies. I had many great ideas since then and now my plan is much stronger. Don’t limit yourself to small goals or underestimate your capability. Set large goals and you will find a way to achieve them.
Below are some useful links:
•Open your stock account with Interactive brokers (click here)
•Save thousands by transferring your money via OFX (click here)
•Learn why my portfolio is up 30% in 2017 (Click here)
•4 reasons to invest in the UK residential properties (Click here)
•Increase your financial education via wealth heights e-books and live coaching (click here)
Last but not least, I wish you an amazing 2018 full of happiness, health and success.
Haitham at wealthheights.com