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  • Writer's pictureSteven Schoenberger

On New Year's Resolutions

A dream becomes a goal the moment you write it down. A goal becomes a plan the moment you break it down into doable steps. A plan becomes a reality only when you take action. - Author: Marshall Sylver

It's hard to believe that we have ushered in a New Year. Yet, here we are in the early days of 2022 with so many unknowns still ahead. I am not a big resolution guy, but there are two goal related ideas that have been on my mind, so I thought this New Year's note would be a good place to share them.

A year ago, after the first 9 months of the pandemic and a stressful 2020 year-end--between quarantine, home-schooling, and work--my weight and overall health was not where I wanted it to be. Fast forward 365 days to 1/1/22, and there is still work to do, but my weight is down nearly 20 lbs. Sounds great, right?

Well I am certainly happy to have seen progress over the year, but at the same time I am almost 15lbs above my intra-year low. So, how should I measure my results?

You probably see where I am going here … progress is not linear. My sprained ankle last May was a set-back. Having schools open, camps in sessions, and starting Open Door Financial, were all positives. Looking at only a portion of the year could make my results appear either inflated or negative. But, in either case, I am not at the end of the journey. What I need to do, and what I encourage clients to do, is take the longer view. Remember where you started, appreciate progress, be aware that there will be blips along the way, and know that there is a plan in place for addressing the unexpected.

Which brings me to the second idea I want to share … the importance of a plan. Many of us take the new year as an opportunity to set goals. This is wonderful, and I wish you luck. I know, however, that a goal alone is often not enough. At Open Door we actually believe that your "goal" is merely the piece that connects your plan to your values. Let me explain with a simple example.

Retirement is a goal. Travel, recreation, hobbies, family, healthfulness are examples of values. Your financial plan is how you get to your goal of retirement, so you can pursue your values! Similarly, a number on a scale may be a goal, but it is not a value. Looking good, feeling good, being active are the values which make the goal appropriate. The plan for how to get there could be diet, exercise, or something else.

A goal without a plan is just a wish.” -Antoine de Saint-Exupery

A plan is necessary to achieve a goal and a goal is appropriate if it aligns with our values. At Open Door we begin the planning process by understanding what values are most important, and then helping clients to set goals that will facilitate their values. We then create a plan which we believe will provide the best chance of success; balancing what is reasonable with what is being sought.

Remember, progress is not linear. Set goals that align with your values and create a plan to work toward them. Stay the course. Time is often your greatest asset. Review your plan regularly to make sure you are on track and that your values have not changed. Have a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2022!

-Open Door Financial

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