Own your new year resolutions! (Part 2)

IN the previous article, we discussed about the importance of having ownership to our new year resolutions and goals, and that clarity of our goals promote ownership.  

When the reason is clear, we will find the motivation and method to do what we say we are going to do. It is also common that many times, when asked “what are your goals”, or “what do you want to achieve in the future” — often people will not have answers to these questions.  

I think this is not uncommon.  

Perhaps because we have not invested much time or have a structure for ‘manufacturing our future goals,” one “quick-fix” is to take goals we commonly see in advertisements and social media and make them our goals.

Therefore, when we think of goals, many times people will come up with such examples as “buying a new car” or “getting a new house” or “retiring at age 50” etc. because these goals seem familiar to us.

While these are no admirable goals, some of them, however, are quite difficult to be achieved. Henceforth, even if we were to focus all our energy and resources today and over the next decades so to achieve them, we may still run the risk of under-living the next decade.

Kevin Neoh

A person who is 30-year-old today and has set his or her focus on retiring by 45 may decide to live a very minimal life today so that 15 years later, he or she can start to enjoy life. However, life teaches us that none of us know whether we will still be alive in 15 years or if we will have the health to pursue certain dreams that we might have been able to pursue when we were younger. 

So maybe the key is to identify goals that are truly personal to us first, with a mixture of “now (short-term), soon (medium term), later (long-term).”

Life is also not just about money. For us to live a life that is worth living, we must also prosper in other areas of life. According to a dated study by the Gallup Group, they uncovered universal elements that separate a life worth living from one that is suffering, and there are five key pillars of wellbeing that are essential to people:

  • Career well-being 
  • Social (relationship) well-being 
  • Physical well-being 
  • Financial well-being 
  • Community well-being 

If we were to evaluate our satisfaction in these areas and explore what we need to improve our score, perhaps we could then identify goals that are truly personal to us and be able to categorise them into now, soon, and later.

Grading our level of satisfaction allows us to consider how far we are from ideal and what the missing pieces are. It helps identify our WHY as well. Moreover, this helps us take a comprehensive look at goals that go beyond financial and physical health and instead take a more holistic look at life. 

We will discuss mindsets that are crucial for successful goal setting in the next article. — Dec 25, 2022



Kevin Neoh is a CFP professional and a certified member from Financial Planning Association Malaysia, he is also a Financial Life Coach.   

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.

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