Do you have a financial wellness plan?

I remember one of the instructors in my first IT training who shared to us the secrets of successful project management. He said the most important step that helps Project Manager meet his project timeline and budget is writing the project plan and knowing how to break down the whole plan to bite-size manageable tasks.

Planning. Credits: Bill Van Loo

Project plan describes all aspects of the project at a high level and identifies the project drivers, constraints and objectives. Once the plan is ready, break your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks to be able to define milestones and release criteria. The whole plan then becomes the basis of customer and relevant stakeholders in measuring success.

Proper planning of the project will result in reduced cost, improved efficiency and quality-driven deliverable of the project.

This secret also applies to our quest for financial wellness. A financial wellness plan, if written and implemented, will help achieve a happy, worry-free and quality-driven life. :)

I realized that no matter which industry you are in or whatever career path or life goals you want to achieve, the common denominator to success is having a clear and well-defined plan.

Process in creating the Financial Wellness Plan

First, you create your "big picture" of what you want to do with your life (say, for the next 10 years) and identify the large-scale goals that you want to achieve. Then, you break these down into smaller targets that you must hit to reach your goals.

big picture
Create the big picture. Credits: ho_hokus
Make a list of the "financial" areas in your life that you would like to work on. These may include:

List down specific goals for each areas you would like to work on. For example, you would want to record "I will set aside 20% of my monthly income for the next 60 months. This will be for my 1st child's education plan." Or "I want to have 10 million retirement fund by age 55."

Goal Setting. Credits: Angie Torres
Once you've written down all your goals, go through each list separately and choose the goals from each list that you KNOW you can achieve and circle or mark them. On another column beside each goal write down the obstacles, challenges and objectives that may get in the way of you achieving your goal. By writing them down, you will be able to assess if these are easy or hard challenges.

The final step in the process is to put your goals in order, from short term, easy goals to longer term or more challenging goals. Break down the longer term or the more challenging goals to smaller tasks to be able to achieve them easily.

Keep your goal list where you can see it. You need to remind yourself every day of what you are trying to create.

As Antoine de Saint-Exupery had said, "A goal without a plan is just a wish." So start planning and start working on achieving your goals to attain financial wellness.

Financial Freedom sign
Road to Financial Freedom. Credits: Nicci Chicago