s Financial Planning Similar to a Diet? Short Answer, Yes
We often fantasize of how great it would be to shed those few extra pounds. We look in the mirror one morning and tell ourselves, today is the day we are finally going to get that weight off. We mean it this time. No more pizza. No more cookies. No more alcohol. That’s it, we’re done! We have reached enlightenment and nothing is going to stop us now!
Has this happened to you? A week or two goes by and you found yourself standing in front of the same mirror giving yourself the same speech. How did that happen? You don’t even remember how and when you steered off course. One day you were eating a salad and the next thing you know pizza became a core food group.
There is an explanation for what happened, but you weren’t aware of it (I’ll relate this to financial planning in a minute, bare with me here..). The reason you spiraled off into the abiss is twofold:
1. You Lost Your Why?
When you sat in front of that mirror and had that spark of motivation, it’s because your why was very clear to you. You didn’t want to feel that way when you look at yourself. You wanted to feel more energy. You wanted to feel more attractive. You wanted to be able to spend more time being active with your spouse and family.
But in today’s over-stimulated world, you lost focus on your why. It’s easy to lose consciousness of why you were doing what you were doing. Your brain goes on autopilot and caves into the stimulation without awareness. Everyone is guilty of the same. You walked into that restaurant, saw a cheesy burrito pass by to the table next to yours and your brain made the decision for you.
2. You didn’t allow for a little fun along the way
You contemplated the fastest way to lose those few pounds and then went for it. Well, Keto probably works as well as any diet, but there is no room for error. The truth is any diet can work if you follow it closely and exercise.
There is a reason why diets have been one of the most sought after and talked about topics through history. None of us are perfect and we keep falling off the wagon. We’re human and mistakes are inevitable.
You have likely heard moderation in all things is the key. You will have a higher likelihood of success when you account for having fun along the way. Instead of jumping into the most strict diet, recognize that you are human and plan for small treats along the way. A diet can incorporate rewards so that you don’t completely jump ship all together.
As a financial planner in Utah, working with clients across the country, I see these same mistakes being made with personal finances.
Too many people blindly put away money for retirement or put money into speculative investments without consideration of what it is for. Saving for retirement is important and needed, but do you know what that even looks like? Did you give thought to what a day in that retirement life looks like? How much money will you need to do those retirement activities?
But there is another factor to this. What about right now? Did you plan to enjoy your life now? At the risk of sounding morbid, who knows if this mythical date in the future will be what you thought it was. Our bodies and minds are different at 70 years old than at 40 years old. Planning for retirement is important, but like a diet are you being too strict and running the risk of losing your why?
Be intentional with why you save. You can financially plan to live your ideal life both now and in retirement. Get with a financial planner who can help you through that process of visualizing that lifestyle and then putting together a financial plan to pursue it. A good financial planner can keep you true to your why and help financially guide you to that destination so that you don’t steer too far off course.
If you need help created a financial plan that keeps your why at the heart of it, I’d be happy to help.
Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
All investing involves risk including loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss. There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
The economic forecasts set forth in this material may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.