Combine Your Financial Goal Setting with a Romantic Valentine’s Day Retreat

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Jane M. Young, CFP, EA

Valentine’s Day is a time for showing love and appreciation for someone special in your life. It’s also a good time to work on your relationship and work on issues that cause conflict. One of the biggest sources of conflict and disagreement in relationships is money. Money itself isn’t the cause of our disagreements; we fight over our divergent goals and priorities for money. Many fights arise out of the lack of communication about our wishes, hopes and dreams. If you and your partner are constantly squabbling about money and how you spend your household income, I have a fun Valentine’s Day solution for you.

I suggest you take a romantic, strategic planning retreat. Block off a full weekend for you and your partner – no children allowed! Select a romantic Inn or Bed and Breakfast somewhere within a reasonable driving distance. The only requirement is a private area with a writing surface. Spend Friday night and all day Saturday discussing your values, sharing dreams, setting goals, creating a budget and making specific plans for the future. Reward yourself with a nice dinner and a romantic evening Saturday night, then play all day Sunday! Make this your Valentine’s Day gift to each other, this year, and every year.

My New Year’s Resolution Challenge to You!

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Jane M. Young, CFP, EA

I am a huge fan of short and long term goal setting and the use of to-do lists. We can be much more productive if we organize our objectives and our time. I wouldn’t set out on a major vacation without an itinerary nor would I try to cook a complicated dish without a recipe. Without goals or to-do lists we are too easily distracted. We waste a lot of time and end up going down the wrong path.

I encourage everyone to start with a list of about 20-30 long term goals. From this list identify about 10 things you would like to achieve this year. Then develop a to-do list of things you need to accomplish this week or month. You are way ahead of the game just by writing down some goals and priorities. This forces you to think about your values, desires and objectives for the year. This will serve as your personal strategic plan to make sure you are on the right track.

I know everyone comes up with a list of New Year’s resolutions and we seldom stick to them. So why bother? I think the process itself is good because you have given some thought to what you want to accomplish. You may not reach all of your goals but some of your effort will come to fruition.

I have a special challenge for you in 2010. Think about all the things you would like to accomplish or change in 2010. Select just ONE thing that you must accomplish or change this year and write it down. Make a vow to yourself to do whatever it takes to accomplish this one goal. Create an action plan to reach your objective. Share your goal with at least one other person who will hold you accountable. Be sure to monitor and reward your progress.

If you want to share, I would love to hear about your “One Goal” for 2010 and how you are progressing.

Annual Goal Setting Begins With Thanksgiving

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Jane M. Young, CFP, EA

As we approach the end of the year we look back on our achievements over the last twelve months and start thinking about goals for next year. I am a strong believer in personal strategic planning and goal setting. The first step in the goal setting process is to evaluate our values. Thanksgiving is the perfect time to reflect on those things for which we are thankful. By acknowledging what we are thankful for, we can easily identify the values that are of greatest importance to us. Once we have clearly identified our values we can set meaningful goals for 2010. When our goals are in integrity with our values we are more likely to monitor and achieve them. We will find that reaching our goals will be much more relevant and rewarding.

Take a few minutes to write down what you are thankful for this holiday season. Don’t forget to show gratitude to those around you who have helped you to achieve your goals or just put a smile on your face over the past year.

Happy Thanksgiving!!