The Importance of Having Goals

George T. Clarke |

Goals have been on my mind lately:  fitness goals, personal goals, and goals our clients have.  Let me start with a number --  500,062 popped up on my online rowing Log Book recently and I was immediately reminded of a goal I set a couple of years ago.  That goal was to reach 1 million meters of indoor rowing, or Erging for those familiar with either the indoor or the on-water sport.  As soon as I saw the number, I realized that I needed to re-establish my earlier routine because now I was half way there and it suddenly seemed in reach.

I had set that million meter goal back in 2016 after having returned to my childhood mode of summer transportation – rowing.  No longer a daily means to get from our summer cottage to my cousin’s across the pond and on to our favorite cove for an afternoon of fishing, but a highly mechanized form of exercise designed to keep me relatively fit.  Readers who know me well realize I am not much of a gym rat but what they do not know is whenever I made it to the gym, I dragged myself through the various machines but always came alive when I finally hit the rowing machine saved for last.  Hating most forms of exercise, I wouldn’t run on the gym’s treadmill for 5 minutes but I could stay on their Erg for an hour.

So in late 2016, I obtained my own rowing machine and set my goal.  Unfortunately, I had to take a break from rowing last year as I struggled with some balky hips.  Now I’m back with new hips but having forgotten about my Goal for such a long time, I rowed only a dozen of times over the last couple of months, more or less when I felt like it.  However, there it was; 500,062 staring at me and I immediately sat down and planned my routine to get me back on track to that million-meter mark and my highly coveted reward from the erg manufacturer of a commemorative T-shirt.

We all know that goals are important if we wish to achieve certain objectives.  Exercise Logs, Bucket Lists and To Do Lists abound for our fitness, lifelong experiences and mundane errands but knowing where you are concerning your retirement, family legacy or charitable giving goals takes a well thought out and periodically updated holistic Financial Plan.  Even the most affluent, with seemingly plenty of cash flow or assets should not risk winging it when it comes to estate and retirement planning, health and asset risk protection or tax-efficient investing.  This is a complex puzzle folks and the pieces must fit together in order to achieve your goals in an efficient manner.

Sometimes, we see situations where competent but separate subject matter experts have each done their thing to benefit a specific client goal but no one is looking to see if all the components work in concert to achieve the client’s overall objectives.  A Comprehensive Financial Plan engagement probes deeply into your personal desires and tolerance for risk, evaluates what is already in place and if it all works together, then tailors strategies for change.  And like my online erg log, which prominently displays my total meters rowed to date, the Financial Planner circles back periodically to measure your progress and to make sure your goals are not forgotten when unexpected life events come along that can disrupt them.

Our team schedules regular check-ins with our clients to make sure the strategies we help them put in place are working towards their goals.  In the meantime, if you have any questions or want to talk about how much fun indoor or on-water rowing is drop me a line, I’d love to hear from you.