A goal is just a dream you have with a deadline attached


I said before Christmas that I would not be setting resolutions, just things to do more or less of. I’m sticking to that, but I am going to set some goals for 2016.

Myself and Geraldine were HUGE One Tree Hill fans. In fact, we pretty much like any American US teen drama!

In One Tree Hill, two of the main characters, Lucas and Hayley make a secret prediction / dream each year on a piece of paper, and hide it in a tin behind a brick in a wall. They share it with one another at the end of the year, to see if it had come true. Each year they add a new predication or dream to this list.

We talk a lot in financial planning about dreams, ambitions, wants, needs, and of course setting goals.

These are all pretty much the same thing, after all – a goal is just a dream you have with a deadline attached – well if its realistic it can be!

In my last blog I talked about the Bridge of Wellbeing and that the first pillar for this bridge is setting values and goals. These values and goals start with dreams and ambitions and are just narrowed down.

I read an article about getting organised, this included the normal things like using one calendar, getting rid of old unwanted papers, getting your paperwork ready for the tax year-end and feng shui in your office. But is also suggested the following:

1.Make a list of your goals

  • Write down at least 10 goals you want to accomplish in your lifetime. Be specific. Then put the list away and update it again next year.

2. Choose one or two goals you want to accomplish this year.

  • Maybe it will be to make more money or take a fabulous holiday. How will you accomplish that goal? What amount of money will you need? How will you do it? Type that information out in a clear sentence, put by your bedside, and read it every morning and every night to help inspire you to reach your goals.

So, I have just sat down and done this. The first one is hard, but I will revisit it again next year and no doubt some things will change. The second was easier for me, I find it easier to think of short-term goals than lifetime ones.

I think most people are the same – and that’s when having a Financial Planner to help you build a personal financial plan can be of great benefit. It lays out a plan for your life, based on your values and goals and encompasses a financial and investment strategy.

However, it’s not set in stone, it’s a projection, a living and breathing thing, that will need revisiting and amending as circumstances change and live evolves. Just like me revisiting my 10 goals next year.

I’m off to find somewhere to hide my list.

The bridge of wellbeing

I touched on the concept of wellbeing and financial planning in a previous post in 2015 and this is a subject that really interests me.

The aim of Lifestyle Financial Planning is to help you enjoy a good life (whatever that means to you), knowing you have sufficient money to support you. The key point here being “enjoy a good life” –  it must also address your wellbeing – it’s not just about having more money and possessions than the next person.

Last October I talked about wellbeing being much more than just physical or financial wellbeing, including career wellbeing, social wellbeing and community wellbeing. Any financial plan you make should consider and include all these things.

For anyone, your plan should start by establishing your goals and values and making your choices in life consistent with these. It should be for yourself – not for your money. So how can you do this?

This is where I revert to the Bridge of Wellbeing and it’s 3 pillars:

  1. Define and understand your values and goals;
  2. Deploy financial strategies that use your resources in a way that is consistent with your values and achieves your goals;
  3. Develop your personal investment strategy.


A solid financial plan is important for everyone to enjoy the life you choose to live. It doesn’t have to be complex or lengthy. But it’s sometimes hard to know where to start.

Here are some questions that may help to explore your goals and start to build your first pillar in the Bridge of Wellbeing.

  • What is your biggest achievement, and why?
  • What is your greatest fear in relation to your future?
  • What would you say motivates you most?
  • Where do you want to be in 5-10 years time, professionally, personally and financially?
  • What is the one personal goal you would like to achieve within the next year? what about 3-5 years?
  • What causes you stress?
  • If you had unlimited means, what’s the one thing you would like to do with your time that you are not doing today?
  • What are your hobbies? or what do you like to buy with your spare money?
  • What are the most important things that you and your family want to achieve in the future? How would you feel if your couldn’t achieve them? what are you prepared to give up now to achieve them?

Prepare for tomorrow

new beginning

I had the worst nights sleep ever on Sunday before going back to work. I was not particularly worried or stressed, but my brain seemed to be “waking up” again!! I imagine many other people struggled as well.

This is an extract from a book I’m reading about Mindfulness and I wanted to share it – I think it may help!

“At the end of the day,

When you’re lying in bed at night, before going to sleep, spend a few moments going back over the day….

Think of the people you met and talked to and the events and progression of the day.

If you mind starts to wander off into other thoughts or worries, or thinking about what you have to do tomorrow, gently bring it back to the present and continue reviewing the day in the wavelike motion of your breathing.

You are custodian of your own day. See this exercise as preparing for tomorrow by having put today to bed.

You will be asleep very soon.”

(Tiddy Rowan, Mindfulness)