WEDNESDAY WEALTH RECAP
Here’s what’s been happening this week…
- On Monday, the life of the 20th century’s most influential civil rights activist, Martin Luther King Jr., was celebrated. Alexander Green reminds readers of King’s incredible accomplishments and lasting impact.
- It looks like 2022 could be the year of the value investor. Nicholas Vardy points out that one investment titan is buying billions of dollars’ worth of his own value stock. Maybe it’s time for you to buy in too – at a discount.
- Last year, Chief Income Strategist Marc Lichtenfeld predicted the rising inflation rate we see today. This week, he advises readers on how dividend stocks can protect their income growth, despite risks of inflation.
EDITOR’S NOTE: It is hard to believe that we’re nearly done with the first month of 2022 and heading into February…
February has proven to be a tumultuous time for New Year’s Day goal setters. Repeatedly, studies have shown that 80% of New Year’s resolutions are abandoned around this time.
If you’re one of those individuals who feel their motivation is fleeting and you’re losing steam when it comes to achieving your resolutions, now is the time to reset and reframe your goals.
That’s why in today’s article, author, therapist and life coach Dr. Joel F. Wade discusses how to reshape your New Year’s resolutions before it’s too late. Use the tools in this article to salvage your resolutions and create a better 2022 for your financial and emotional well-being.
Now’s the time when many of us are struggling to keep up with our New Year’s resolutions.
We’re trying to embrace the things that we vowed to do this year, even though we’ve never done them before…
Even though we’ve resolved year after year to do them this year.
Each time, we’ve felt anywhere from a mild regret to a deep shame when we don’t make the new thing happen magically, like a spell we cast on New Year’s.
I’m going to tell you why it never worked before and why this time you’ll have a good chance of actually reaching those goals.
The magic spell of New Year’s resolutions doesn’t usually work because we focus on the result and not the process that will get us there.
If you’re struggling to achieve and work on your resolutions, now is the time to rethink them.
First, we need to know what our goals are.
Establishing and Understanding the Power of Realistic Goals
Identifying what we want to achieve this year is essential. But once we have that clear, our main focus needs to be on establishing the regular habits that will enable us to actually reach those goals.
Want to know a common reason New Year’s resolutions fail? If the chosen goals aren’t actually possible, nothing good will happen.
One of the primary ways our mood system drops – and can even drop into depression – is from having unobtainable goals or expectations.
Today, at 62 years old, even if I poured all of my resources into it, and even though I’m in very good physical shape and already compete in my age group for water polo, I will never win a gold medal in water polo or in any other event at the Olympics.
I will never become a billionaire. I will never win a Nobel Prize in physics. None of these are possible for me. This isn’t pessimism; it’s a fact of life.
If I set unrealistic goals, nothing good will come of it. I’ll feel continually frustrated, disappointed and even ashamed.
Meanwhile, my mood system, which is paying close attention to all of my foolishness, will let me know that I should stop and reconsider what I’m doing because it’s not good for my well-being.
It will drop my mood a bit, lowering my energy and motivation, and enabling me to think more clearly – so that I can change course toward something that will lead me in a better direction.
If I ignore that kind of communication from my mood system, which is wise and ancient, it’ll continue to drop my mood, hoping that I’ll pay attention.
Too much ignoring and too little listening will lead, fairly predictably, to some level of depression.
So let’s not do that.
We also don’t want to choose goals that are too easy because that’s just not much fun.
So now that we’ve chosen an appropriate goal – or maybe three or four, but not too many – it’s time for the next order of business…
We need to identify the concrete challenges in order to actually reach those goals.
Don’t spend time envisioning your goals or wondering what it will feel like to have reached your goals.
Part of you will then feel like you’ve already done it, but then you’ll have to come out of that reverie and face the reality that the work hasn’t even started yet.
That will drain your energy and undermine your motivation.
So identify your goals and move quickly toward identifying the steps needed to reach them.
Putting Your Goals to Work
If my goal is to write a book this year, I need to write consistently and well. Maybe there are some things I need to learn before I can actually do the job.
I can imagine it, I can dream about it, I can wish with all my might to make it so. But if I don’t have a plan for the steps to get there and the daily habits that will get me through the challenges I’ll be facing, nothing will happen.
Map out the specific tasks that will bring that knowledge and those skills.
If I don’t need to learn new information or skills and am ready to dive in, then I need to identify the specific habits that will lead me to reach my goal.
That may mean writing several hours every day, whether I want to or not; whether I feel like it or not; whether writing is easy and satisfying that day or a hard, frustrating slog.
Identifying and establishing regular habits is the key to… regular habits are the key to everything.
Don’t stress. There are four straightforward steps to follow to get there…
Here they are:
- Look at your own goals. Make sure they’re doable but challenging enough that you’ll feel satisfied.
- Determine whether you need to learn anything new in order to achieve them. If you do, then determine the habits of learning that will bring you new knowledge or skills. If you already have the knowledge and skills, then determine the actions you’ll need to take to achieve your goals.
- Determine what the regular, daily habits are that will enable you to take those steps and overcome those challenges. Write those down as a daily chart so you can keep track of when you do them and when you don’t.
- Identify the first action you need to take and when and where you’ll take it (this makes it about three times as likely that you’ll actually reach your goals).
It’s not magic or luck or chance that determines whether you’ll reach your goals this year… It’s the process.
The process can feel like magic if you work it because if you follow these steps, you’ll have created something that you never would have otherwise.
Even if you don’t reach the specific goal in the specific time frame you’ve planned for, you’ll be much closer to it.
And that kind of earned success is one of the great satisfactions of life.
One of the best ways to stay accountable is to say your goals aloud. Drop me a line here to share your 2022 goals with me!
We’re in this together…
P.S. My course A Master’s Course in Happiness can help you to take charge of your habits and your life in ways you may not have thought possible. And my new course, Mastering Emotions, Moods and Reactions, can help you use these more biological systems in much greater detail, with deep understanding and practical skills for mastering these systems and living well.