How's Your Year Going?
The 4th of July weekend is both the unofficial midpoint of summer and the unofficial midpoint of your whole year. With vacations in full swing and the kids busy with friends, camps, and summer jobs, your work and family life might be entering a lull for the next couple weeks. That could give you an opportunity to reflect on your progress towards your annual goals. While time does fly during the summer months, there's still plenty of year left for you to double down on what's working, course correct where you've slipped behind, and get more Return on Life in the second half of the year.
Ask yourself these three questions to conduct your own midyear review:
1. Are my goals still specific and relevant enough to motivate me?
The best intentions can often lead to bad goal setting at the beginning of the year. Maybe you followed a popular social media trend towards a goal that wasn't really inspiring to you. Maybe changes to your family or career have forced you to remove a goal from your $Lifeline or push it further into the future. Or maybe you set a goal that was a little too vague and, six months later, you've lost sight of the best way forward.
Don't feel bad about crossing items off your annual to-do list that aren't improving your Return on Life. On the other hand, if you're lagging behind a target that is still meaningful, try to break down that big goal into smaller, more actionable parts that you can check off every day. And if you're on-track, think about ways to speed up your progress. Small changes can often make a significant difference. For example, how much faster would you arrive at a financial objective if you increased your monthly savings by just 5-10%?
2. Are my habits helping or hurting my progress?
Good habits make progress towards your goals almost automatic. If you set out your workout clothes and shoes before you go to bed at night, you'll literally have to trip over them before you can skip your morning run. When you automate your monthly contributions to savings, investment, and retirement accounts, you're essentially "paying yourself" before your long-term financial goals get lost in too many extra carry-out meals or too many clicks at your favorite online store.
As you look for ways to automate good habits, also think about automations that might be keeping you from addressing bad habits as well. Maybe your favorite fast food restaurant's app doesn't need to be on your home screen. Automatic bill payment can be a major timesaver, but if you haven't reviewed your budget and your bank statements lately you might also be paying for streaming services you don't really use or cell phone charges that your teens should be covering with their summer paychecks.
3. How do I feel about my financial plan?
Inflation. High interest rates. Volatile markets. War in Europe. Political divisions at home. There's plenty to be nervous about when you're trying to gauge your financial progress and the world feels so unsettled. Changes in your own life and goals can also complicate the picture and make you feel stuck.
One of the goals of our Life-Centered Planning process is to help folks get out of these financial ruts, gain forward momentum, and feel a greater sense of freedom and possibility from their money. Schedule a meeting so that we can help you with your midyear review. We can discuss the goals you set at the beginning of the year, work through our interactive tools, and make a plan for finishing the year strong.