What you Appreciate Appreciates

The word “appreciation” has at least two important meanings and applications. In the world of finance, it refers to the increasing value of an asset. In the inner realm of thoughts and emotions, appreciation involves recognizing the value of and feeling gratitude for specific people, experiences, and circumstances.

In her book, The Soul of Money: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Life, Lynne Twist teaches that appreciative thinking is the opposite of scarcity thinking: “When your attention is on what’s lacking and scarce—in your life, in your work, in your family, in your town—then that becomes what you are about.” (more…)

Goals for Life: Your Circle of Caring

The first step to investing in your quality of life is to think about and clarify what is most important to you. This is a time to listen to your own heart and to focus on what you value most in life. Whatever you identify will become the foundation of your life goals.

As you think about your life in the future, it is also important to view your financial plan within a framework of your closest relationships. If you have a spouse or life partner, you will want to factor in his or her dreams and expectations as well as your own. In addition, you will want to take into consideration your responsibilities and your hopes for your children, parents, siblings and whoever you consider to be “family.” (more…)

Goals are Key to Designing Your Rich Life

Financial Life Planning is a holistic process that will help you to clarify your values and guide you in defining and designing your unique version of the “rich life.”

Goal setting is an essential component of this process, and a powerful tool for experiencing what is most important to you.  When you imagine what you want your life to be like and what you want to achieve, these images will become the basis of your life and financial goals. (more…)

Defining the Why of Your Goals

Failing to reach our personal and financial goals can be both frustrating and disheartening. And, to make matters worse, we often realize that we are our own worst enemies when it comes to sabotaging our dreams.

However, research has shown that we can dramatically increase our rate of success by first determining a meaningful and internally motivated “why” for each of our goal pursuits.

Self-Determination Theory (SDT) is a model of human motivation that is concerned with supporting our natural or intrinsic tendencies to behave in effective and healthy ways. This widely accepted model was initially developed by Edward L. Deci and Richard M. Ryan, psychology professors at the University of Rochester, and is now researched and practiced around the world. (more…)

Don’t Let Small Numbers Distract You From the Big Picture

Even though it’s all about dollars and cents, the financial industry runs on percentages; dollar signs are few and far between. The use of percentages is an understandable, and helpful, convention when communicating financial information. After all, a headline saying “Company A’s Net Jumps by 16%” is more helpful than one that reads “Company A’s Net Jumps to $1.02 billion.” Providing percentages rather than dollars also allows investors to compare apples to apples: You can readily discern that an investment that has gained 8% during the past 10 years has been a better bet than one that has gained half as much.

Yet dealing in percentages, especially relatively small ones like inflation rates, expense ratios, and long-term annualized returns, can also distract from important information that factors into your financial plan. Those small and innocuous-looking percentage figures, when translated into dollar terms and compounded over many years, can make a huge difference between success and failure. (more…)

Goal Setting Outside of the Box

“We should never let reality interfere with our dreams.
Reality can’t see what we can see.”  —Simon Sinek

Goals are targets—something to aim for.  They give life a sense of purpose and direction.  In addition, setting goals is a proactive way of designing your life, initiating positive change, and preparing for the future. (more…)