I read a funny poem at the end of 2020 with a theme of “forgetting that the year ever happened” and that we should just ‘start 2021 early.’ I was having a conversation about the poem over Christmas and reflected on how it compared to the sentiment around 2021. The consensus across my conversations for 2021 was that it was a tough year and the outlook for 2022 was that tough times lie ahead, but it came with a sense of acceptance. It was a reminder for me that “Everything is Relative.” By this, I mean that 2019 was a mostly normal year and 2020 impacted everyone worldwide, so our desire to put 2020 behind us and get back to normal was what we hoped for. I think it’s fair to say that the gauge on ‘normal’ has shifted a little, now that we have had 2 years of disruption – and it seems we are just hopeful that 2022 is not worse than 2021. My reflection brought me back to a quote that I love, which is “Happiness = Reality – Expectations” (by Tom Magliozzi).
In thinking about this quote/equation, I believe we all are set for a more enjoyable year in 2022… “Why?” you ask. Well expectations for 2022 are on average, low; and knowing that we all have some control over our own reality, means that we can focus more on what’s in our control and what’s important to us; and by doing this effectively, we simply increase the level of our Happiness. Given the time of year, what better place to start than a focus on our New Year Resolution/s, which brings me to another quote that I like – “A Goal without a plan is just a wish” (by Antoine de Saint-Exupery). Most New Year Resolutions are just wishes because we don’t devise, document, or commit to a plan for achieving them. At the end of December, I started to think about the year that I had planned in front of me and what might take it from a good year to a great year, so I thought I would share with you how I transformed my resolutions into achievable goals in the hope that it motivates you to do the same.
- The Goal: The good old ‘lose weight’ chestnut. I will lose 6kg before my birthday in March, which will require me to train 3-4 times per week and be disciplined with my portion sizes at mealtimes.
- The Plan: I have emailed my trainer my goal and that I will start training on Monday 10th January and I signed up for the ‘Lite’n’Easy’ meal plans to commence the same week.
- The Goal: Golf Handicap below 20 by June 30. I have only ever played social golf and am a classic ‘hacker’ if you have ever seen one. My brother and good friends play and I have always wanted to join them, but I say that I don’t have time.
- The Plan: I now have a 6-month Golf Club Membership and a set of clubs. I have arranged with my brother and friends to commit to a fortnightly weekday game before work and will play club competition on Saturdays on alternate weeks. I also committed to 4 golf lessons over the next 4 months to make the goal more achievable.
Think how you can convert your New Year Resolution/s and make 2022 a memorable year for achieving your personal goals!
- You don’t have to write a blog, but once you have your goal and plan documented, make sure you share it with a few people who care about you and your level of commitment to implement the plan will go to a new level!
- If your goal timing spans over more than 3 months, make sure you include progress milestones in your plan for periods less than 90 days to ensure you celebrate the success of being on track and sticking to the plan; or alter the plan and milestones according to where you are, so you don’t lose motivation for chasing what may then be an unachievable goal.
Good Luck and make 2022 a great year for you and your family!
Paul Shepherd (CFP® Professional, BEng, DipMgt, DFS[FP], AIF®) is a representative of Alman Partners Pty Ltd, Australian Financial Services Licence No: 222107.
Note: This material is provided for information only. No account has been taken of the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person or entity. Accordingly, to the extent that this material may constitute general financial product advice, investors should, before acting on the advice, consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to the investor’s objectives, financial situation and needs. This is not an offer or recommendation to buy or sell securities or other financial products, nor a solicitation for deposits or other business, whether directly or indirectly.