Will 2013 – Be Your Year Of Change?

The new year is here, the Christmas decorations are packed up for the end of next years celebrations and many are reflecting on all that the year holds and many making new year resolutions for 2013. The financial services industry has reinvented itself in the guise of “adviser charging” which for many will be a more likely case of adviser changing. The start of a new year can feel a little daunting – back to work for many and of course the Christmas bills to pay and for the self-employed, tax payments at the end of the month. The gyms are full of optimism and the diet clubs are eager to sweeten their offering. All rather familiar.

No Gain Without Pain? How About Less Pain?

So what will make 2013 different for you? I suggest that for many change is implemented gradually and thoughtfully, but can I encourage you to make 2013 a year when you take more action and more control. Weight loss or getting fit is rarely an overnight transformation. The same is true of proper financial planning. A good plan takes time to get right, but we can start with a few basics and build upon these. My job is to reduce the pain in financial planning – making it easier to get your finances properly in order whilst also reducing the number of mistakes that you would otherwise make. I believe that mistakes are important, but it is always less painful to learn from the mistakes of others rather than make them yourself (we make enough of our own without repeating others needlessly). This is where experience really does pay dividends.

Start With The End In Mind

I’m not hugely interested in New Year Resolutions, as I have to admit that the weight of experience (broken promises to oneself) is often counter-productive. We get the chance to do things better, not simply with the new year, but every day. Indeed becoming successful at anything invariably means forming and keeping new habits – not fighting the existing ones. Today is a new chance, the choices can be overwhelming and all have different potential outcomes. That’s why I start by making sure we begin at the end – as Stephen Covey  and others have said “start with the end in mind”. Of course identifying what you really want is not that straight-forward and where I spend a considerable time helping clients to have a plan based upon their own values.