“Want” or “should”? Setting goals that really matter

In an ideal world how we spend our money and time should reflect what we value in life.

But sometimes our goals have a big ‘should’ behind them, rather than truly expressing our desires. Then we wonder why we don’t achieve them or why life feels like a grind.

Perhaps your family has drilled into you the need to buy your own home. You’re saving for a deposit but you find yourself feeling flat when you think about having a mortgage for 30 years.

You might yearn for the freedom of the van life or the kick of being resourceful and building a tiny house. If we listen to what we truly desire we uncover the gold of our life. Different to a want, a desire emerges from a deeper place that is uniquely ours to inhabit. Sometimes it begins as a whisper and as you move toward it the desire grows and takes shape.

So how do you begin to tap into your desires?

Dream them in sensory detail 

When you’re setting goals it helps to write them down. To tap into the desire space take it a step further. Close your eyes and imagine what it would feel like to realise your desire. If it is for a specific type of house take some time to picture the details, the colours, the textures, the feeling of the rooms, the materials, the smell. To bring it into the present imagine yourself putting the key in the front door and walking from room to room.

Take some time to feel it fully and then write it out.

Turn your attention towards possibility

Sometimes when we have a desire we worry about what might happen if we take that step.  Your desire might be to take some time off to crew on a yacht. But you worry about losing your work; or not enjoying it; or the weather being bad; or getting sick or injured.  The voice of ‘what if’ can lead in a negative direction towards fear, doubt, or failure.  Or we can imagine what might be the highest and best possible outcome of our desires. What if someone on the yacht offers us a better paying job or work that is flexible enough to allow us to crew on a yacht for three months of every year?

What if we make a whole bunch of new friends who love sailing? What if we return feeling fitter and healthier than ever? What if the weather is perfect day after day?

Switch your focus 

 Sometimes our goals and desires are shaped by what we don’t want in life. We want to escape a two-hour daily commute in traffic. We want to be rid of our mortgage or credit card debts. We want to retire from a job we loathe.

Even a positive desire can be expressed in a way that keeps us focussing on what we are trying to move away from.  ‘I want to be debt-free´ still has the focus on debt.  What if we focus on what we want to move towards?

‘I want to be financially-free’ is more expansive and open to bigger possibilities than getting out of debt.

Jason Cook, Financial Adviser, is here to help you uncover what really matters most to you. If you’re not sure your chasing the right dream for you, make a time to catch up with Jason.

The material on this website has been prepared for general information purposes only and not as specific advice to any particular person. Any advice contained on this website is General Advice and does not take into account any person's particular investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs. Before making an investment decision based on this advice you should consider, with or without the assistance of a securities adviser, whether it is appropriate to your particular investment needs, objectives and financial circumstances. In addition, the examples provided on this website are provided for illustrative purposes only. Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of the information contained on this website, Infocus, its officers, representatives, employees and agents disclaim all liability (except for any liability which by law cannot be excluded), for any error, inaccuracy in, or omission from the information contained in this website or any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.

Liked this article? Share it!