Bringing Vision to Life

Posted by siteadmin on Wednesday 17th August 2016.

Way back in 1979 a group of students at Harvard Business School were asked a simple question - 'Have you set clear, written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?'

The results were surprising considering that the students were some of the brightest sparks in North America:-

  • 84% had no specific goals at all
  • 13% had goals but they were not committed to paper
  • 3% had clear, written goals and plans to accomplish them

Fast forward ten years and the researchers revisited the same group of students who were now making their way in the world of business.

The 13% of students were found to be earning double the amount their peers in the 84% group were.  But the 3% group who had committed their goals to paper with a plan on how they would achieve them, were found to be earning up to TEN times more than the 84% who had no clear written objectives.

It’s an often quoted study and as much as I cringe at the over use of the word ‘goals’ when it comes to lifestyle financial planning, it raises a very serious point.

I think the act of writing down our financial ambitions (note I never said goals) helps us visualise and therefore makes them somewhat more real and achievable.

Some people come to see me and warn me that they are disorganised.  While they may not have written financial aims, I’ve seen on several occasions people who have created detailed spreadsheets of what they want their financial future to look like.

These people are not disorganised at all.  Far from it and usually they are well on their way to living the kind of life they really want.

In just the same when you check your bank balance on an ATM.  The piece of paper you receive gives you a clear idea of your current finances.

It’s the same with a well thought out list of your financial objectives which can add a massive degree of clarity to your thinking and planning.

Writing things down is often the first step followed by working with a financial planner.

When I see people for an initial meeting we often look at what financial planning is, how it works and how it will benefit them in the future.

Just like the wise 3% of students in the Harvard study proved where having a vision, planning how to achieve it and committing to it usually pays off handsomely.