At the dawn of a new season, creating change is often top of mind. The idea of progress ignites a fire within us that many of us recognize as motivation. However, motivation can fade over time. Resolutions can quickly dwindle if fresh habits are not created to help keep you on track. My life’s experiences have shown me that motivation is what gets you started, and habits are what keep you going.

When I organize my goals for each year, I know they must be S.M.A.R.T. This means they must be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. I then break down my goals into categories including personal, business, financial, family, fitness, spiritual and philanthropic. This allows me to address my goals comprehensively while considering how each area works together. The next, and most important part of this process, is defining the action steps I need to take in each category in order to bring the goals to life. Without an action plan, you have not clearly defined what needs to happen to effectively reach the intended goal. Goals are merely dreams unless action takes place.

I have learned the value of planning for various stages of life – and that applies to goal setting as well. I break down each of my goals into 1, 3, 5, and 10-year goals and each year, I review where I am for those goal stages. During this time, I also note what I have accomplished as well as what I have not. I think it’s helpful to look at both so I can determine where I need to course correct if needed.

The final step I take in this process includes updating my personal mission and vision statement in order to ensure my True Wealth life planning is aligned. A mission statement is defined as, “a summary of the aims and values of a company, organization, or individual.” A vision statement is different. It reads “as if” your goals have already been realized to shift your mindset into the achievement phase. Examples would be:

“I HAVE a vacation home that the whole family uses.”

“On my 85th birthday, Tina and I take a 1-mile walk on the beach.  When we return, we have a wonderful dinner, wine, and celebration with the entire family.”

The meaning behind the second example is to show that I am healthy enough to walk 1 mile at age 85, and that I am still close to my family. Envisioning the future is a powerful way to help your mind work towards what your goals are subconsciously. As you move forward into this New Year and new chapter, I encourage you to begin today by getting clear on what your goals are and how you need to get there. True Wealth begins with having a true vision – and you are the sole creator of the vision.