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Follow Your Values Towards Better Goals in 2023

We're only a few days into 2023, but the stats tell us that plenty of folks are already struggling with their New Year's resolutions. In 2019, Strava, a social network for athletes, determined that 80% of people who made New Year's resolutions abandoned them by the second week of January. A 2021 CBS News poll found that 4% of individuals who make resolutions actually accomplish everything; 8% meet most of their goals; 16% meet some.

On today's show, we talk about some strategies that could help you set better 2023 goals and increase your likelihood of hitting them.


Thing Big, Start Small

So, you want to lose weight in 2023?

Travel more?

Save more for retirement?

Improve your wheel-to-wheel racing performance? (More on this one in a minute!)

Well, sorry, but you're probably not going to hit those goals. Not because they're bad, but because they're not SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timed.

I know from personal experience that no one can just go out and "lose weight." When I set my sights on improving my health a few years back, I worked with a personal trainer on a Specific plan for both weekly exercise and daily diet. I Measured my progress after every workout. My trainer helped me focus on Achievable goals for a guy my age and for the amount of time I could devote to exercise every week. My goals were Relevant because I really wanted to look and feel better. And I had a Timed schedule for hitting certain benchmarks.

My podcast co-host, Keen Wealth's Matt Wilson, has discussed his love of car racing in past episodes. Up until now, Matt has focused on time trials, where drivers are on the track solo trying to run the fastest times. In 2023, Matt wants to do more "wheel-to-wheel" races against other drivers, like you see in a NASCAR race. So, he set his big target for a national race in Pittsburgh in September, and he's set short-term SMART goals that he needs to pass as he prepares for that race.

Likewise, my other co-host, Steve Sanduski, mentioned on this episode that he's setting out on a SMART plan to learn how to sail this year.

Follow Your Values

One part of the SMART framework that folks sometimes breeze over is Relevant. Maybe over the holidays you heard a group of friends and family all say that they wanted to dive into a new fitness trend or learn a skill, and you thought, "That sounds good, I'll do it too!"

Unfortunately, following a crowd usually isn't reason enough to set a goal or resolution. You're much more likely to achieve a goal that really means something to you.

If you're struggling to identify meaningful goals this year, it might be a good idea to start by thinking about what your core values are. For example, one of our values at Keen Wealth is continuous learning, which we practice every day by staying on top of the latest financial news and trends, and which we promote to our clients and audience via educational initiatives, such as this very podcast. Another of our values is to be "humbly confident" in our analysis and in how we help our clients work towards a successful retirement.

Try to come up with your own list of 3-5 values that you follow in your life, work, relationships, and hobbies. Check your 2023 goals against that list to make sure you’re working towards something that’s going to make your year happier and more fulfilling.

Enjoy Today, Plan for Tomorrow

Another reason it can be easy to get frustrated with goals and resolutions is that the end result can feel so far away. That's why it's important to establish short-term checkpoints and celebrate when you hit them. If you successfully meet your exercise and diet goals for a month, give yourself a cheat day and take your spouse out to a nice restaurant.

And if 2023 is going to be the year that you get serious about your financial planning, talk to your advisor about all the goals you have leading up to retirement, and how they connect to your core value set. My team at Keen Wealth is always ready to start that conversation and help you set a course towards your best year yet.





About Bill

Bill Keen is a financial advisor with nearly 30 years of industry experience. As the founder and CEO of Keen Wealth Advisors, a registered investment advisory firm, he focuses on providing personalized retirement planning designed to help people thrive before and during their retirement years. With a passion for educating others, Bill regularly blogs about retirement planning, hosts the podcast Keen on Retirement, and has contributed to Forbes, U.S. News and World Report, Reuters, Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch, Yahoo Finance, and other publications. Based in Overland Park, Kansas, Bill and his team work with clients throughout the greater Kansas City area and across the nation. To learn more, connect with him on LinkedIn or visit www.keenwealthadvisors.com.

KWMG, LLC’s dba Keen Wealth Advisors (“company”) is an SEC Registered Investment Advisor located in Overland Park, KS. The company and its representatives may only conduct business in those states where registered or where excluded/exempt or from licensure. For registration information please contact the SEC or the state securities regulators for the states where the company is notice filed. A copy of the company ADV is available upon request. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where the company and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. No advice may be rendered by the company unless a client service agreement is in place. This information is not intended to be investment advice or construed as a recommendation or endorsement of any particular investment or investment strategy and is for illustrative purposes only. Clients and prospective clients must consider all relevant risk factors involved with each strategy, including costs or fees, and their own personal financial situations before trading.

The views outlined in the book, Keen on Retirement Engineering the Second Half of Your Life, are those of the author and should not be construed as individualized or personalized investment advice. Any economic and/or performance information cited is historical and not indicative of future results. Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted.

The Amazon Best Seller ranking listed on marketing materials is specifically referring to Best Seller rankings for the Kindle Top 100 Paid Lists under the subcategories of: Budgeting and Financial Risk Management, based on data as of September 5, 2019 and the second edition under Financial Risk Management on October 26, 2022. Amazon rankings although relevant on how a product is selling overall doesn’t necessarily indicate how well an item is selling among other similar items or similar item categories. Amazon may choose the most popular categories or subcategories within which an item has a high ranking to determine its best seller rankings. These rankings are updated hourly and as a result, should be expected to fluctuate as such. Keen Wealth Advisors and Amazon are not affiliated entities. 

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