Want to Achieve a Financial Resolution? Share it!

New Year Resolutions are often mocked, usually for being far too difficult to achieve. There’s no doubt though that, done correctly, it can beneficial to your mental health to make plans for bettering your circumstances.

For the greatest chance of success, so maintaining the change over time, experts recommend keeping your goals simple, achievable and communal. The first two are self-explanatory and sensible, but making it communal, which means that you involve others in your journey, is rather more difficult to appreciate. However studies consistently show that group efforts are far more successful in their outcome than efforts made alone. This is due to a combination of factors, most especially the strength of commitment to a social group and the positive feedback loop that is created through peer progress. So, if you want to get fit, join a class and don’t just wander up to a gym by yourself!

Because our money is usually a very private matter, a real Irish trait and one I’d love to see change, resolutions to improve our finances tend to be quite isolating, which obviously means they tend to fail. Clearly if there was a finance-fit class in the local leisure centre, or a ‘Money Watchers’ group in a nearby hotel, you’d be able to experience the benefits of going through this with other people. Because this isn’t the case, there is no communal incentive in persisting, especially when things get difficult. Thankfully, you have options.

The most productive is to engage with an independent advisor who will work with you in an ongoing way. This advisor should fulfil two roles really – that of the instructor (keeping the fitness analogy) and also encouraging classmate.

They should be able to recommend the right plan for you, the steps necessary to achieve it, the benefits of doing so and any risks during the process. That comes from their expertise. The advisors approach once you’ve started the process is really what’s important though, as they need to be there to encourage, cajole and congratulate where necessary. As such, you need an advisor who is not simply looking to transact with you in business, but rather develop a long term relationship. You’ll almost certainly have to pay for this process, but that in itself can be a very useful commitment device.

For 2019 we have changed the name of our service from a Financial Plan to a Financial Planning Programme, identifying that nothing is achieved immediately and it always takes time to set goals and progress towards them. If you’ve not been through a Financial Planning Programme yet give us a call. If you are an existing client who’s had a Financial Plan in the past then look out cause we’re going to be in touch soon about taking the next step toward a better financial you!

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