Goals Are Key to Designing a “Rich Life”

Financial Life Planning is a holistic process that will help your clients clarify their values and guide them in defining and designing their unique version of the “rich life.”

Goal setting is an essential component of this process, and a powerful tool for clients to experience what is most important in their lives.  When your clients imagine what they want their lives to be like and what they want to achieve, these images will become the basis of their life and financial goals.  In addition, when you guide your clients in translating those images into words and writing them down, their goals will become clearer and more compelling.  Clients will derive many other benefits from goal setting as well:

  • Goals provide a positive expectancy of the future.
  • Goals stimulate personal growth and development.
  • Goals help clients focus on the desired end result and provide the motivation they need to bounce back from setbacks and disappointments.
  • Goals facilitate “future thinking”—a way of looking ahead and anticipating upcoming needs and wants.
  • Goals that are inspiring and purposeful will keep clients on track and help them avoid distractions.

Despite these important benefits, many individuals are reluctant to set goals.  For them, goal setting has been unsuccessful in the past.  They missed their targets and became disillusioned.  For others, setting goals creates internal stress by mentally switching a dream from the “want to” category to the “have to” category.  Then they begin to feel pressure to perform and experience fear of failure.

Nonetheless, goal setting is an essential component of the Financial Life Planning process.  When you clarify what is important to your clients and what they want their lives to be like, you can help them move toward those images in an intentional way.  Therefore, it is important to guide your clients in adopting a fresh perspective on goal setting.  It is equally imperative to demonstrate how the financial plan you create aligns their life and financial goals with their values and priorities.  A few items from the M.Q. Practice Management Resources Library are very useful in these areas.

The “When SMART Goals Are Not Always Wise” article offers your clients an alternative way to think about goals as well as an engaging, right-brained approach to establishing meaningful life-centered goals.  This item can be used as a handout when introducing the topic of goals.

The Key Elements for Creating Your Financial Life Plan M.Q. Summary Sheet is a client-facing form designed to be completed using wording that expresses the client’s point of view to reiterate important highlights of the conversations you had throughout the Financial Life Planning process.  The Key Elements form allows you to say, “I hear you, and my financial advice will address these elements that are most important to you.”

The Plan for Success M.Q. Summary Sheet is designed to allow you to take items from the Key Elements form and align them directly with the financial advice you are providing your client.  Plan for Success breaks down the financial plan in an easy to understand way and creates a visual bridge for the client between their life and goals and the financial plan you created for them.

Incorporating these resources into your meeting process will help clients establish and stick to goals.  They will also connect clients to their financial plans in an intimate way by forming a clearer, more personal picture of the end result.  In other words, you will be firmly setting your clients on the path to the “rich life.”

Editor’s Note: The “When SMART Goals Are Not Always Wise” article, “Key Elements for Creating Your Financial Life Plan,” and “Plan for Success” M.Q. Summary Sheets are all available to Licensing Levels 2-4.  These items can be located within your password protected account on the M.Q. website by navigating to “M.Q. Resources,” then selecting “Practice Management Resources Library,” and “For Clients.” For information about becoming an M.Q. Licensee, please email: info@moneyquotient.org.

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