How many times have you been told you’re more likely to achieve a goal if you write it down? More times than you can count? Probably. That’s because study after study has proven it to be true. Is it time to create a vivid written financial plan to achieve your goals?
Vividly describing your goals in written form is strongly associated with goal success. People who very vividly describe or picture their goals are anywhere from 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to successfully accomplish their goals than people who don’t, according to Mark Murphy, CEO of Leadership IQ, a leadership training and research firm.
“Writing things down doesn’t just help you remember, it makes your mind more efficient by helping you focus on the truly important stuff,” Murphy stresses. “And your goals absolutely should qualify as truly important stuff.”
When you take possession of something – an item or an idea – you are more committed to it. Neurologists and psychologists call this phenomenon the “endowment effect.” Thus, writing down a goal gives you ownership of that goal. It becomes “yours,” a part of you, something you want to keep and protect.
That’s just one reason why we encourage our clients to have a written financial plan. It’s a way to vividly picture where you want to go and how you will get there.
We also encourage you to revisit that plan periodically – it’s not chiseled in stone; it’s a living document that changes and adapts as you live your life.
October is National Financial Planning Month.
Charles Schwab’s 2018 Modern Wealth Index survey shows that investors with a written financial plan tend to have greater fiscal discipline and better money habits.
Unfortunately, only 25 percent of Americans have a written plan. At Perspective Financial Services, about 50 percent of our clients have a written plan. If you don’t have a written financial plan, talk with your advisor about creating one.