Do more than wish for a Happy New Year
Each year Deakin University in association with Australian Unity publish The Australian Wellbeing Index. As part of this they conduct research to determine the various factors that impact on our happiness. Through this research Professor Robert Cummins who authors the index’s report has identified the three factors that have shown to have the greatest impact on our happiness which have been termed the Golden Triangle of Happiness.
Sense of purpose.
The purpose of my financial advice is to improve my clients' lives by assisting them to achieve their goals. Determining the purpose for which my clients are working is the foundation on which a plan is created. Everyone is different and this drive varies. The purposes for which my clients work so hard include; traveling the world, career advancement, providing the best education to their children, and retiring to pursue their hobbies. Whilst having goals is important in finding a sense of purpose you need to ensure your goals are clearly defined. You also need to be able to measure your progress with time-bound goals.
Defining your purpose:
Take 10-15 minutes to clearly define your goals.
Use the SMART principle:
Specific Be clear and ask yourself what, why and how.
Measurable Establish criteria for measuring progress towards each goal.
Achievable Make them realistic given your current situation, resources and time available.
Relevant Ensure they match your mission or your ‘bigger’ life objectives.
Timely Set a time frame for each goal.
The power of money to affect well-being lies in its ability to alleviate stress. There is a clear relationship between your income and your happiness. However, this is only up to a point; additional income beyond $100,000 pa has been shown to offer diminishing increases in your well-being. At the same time, it is entirely possible to maintain your well-being with limited financial resources where you feel in control of your finances. Often the most important part of financial control is being active in the management and decisions of your finance.
The number one requirement to be in control is to spend less than you earn. Start by creating a budget (I have one available here).
Budgeting provides a means to create the disciplines and habits to be successful and take control. On average, it takes 2 months for a new habit to be formed and so, for those whom have never used a budget and are not disciplined in their spending, it is important to hold themselves accountable. At least for the first few months until spending habits become routine.
Success breeds success and so by breaking down your goals and regularly measuring your progress you will begin to gain a sense of success and achievement that carries you forward to achieving your goals.
This has been found to be the most important factor in determining your happiness. Finding someone whom you can work closely with, who supports you in your objectives and aids you where you face challenges will have a considerable impact on your overall happiness. As a Financial Adviser, I like to think I can offer a relationship to my clients that fosters their success and supports them to achieve their goals. It doesn’t really matter where you find these relationships but they will be key to your overall well-being and success.
Improving your relationships
Reflect over the past year and look at the main relationships you have.
Identify those relationships that have provided you with the greatest support and make it a focus to foster these. Where you have relationships that are restraining you from your objectives, find a way to limit their impact on you moving forward.
Peter Gehlert is the Principal Adviser at Hart Wealth Management. He specialises in providing strategic and holistic financial advice. If you have any questions about your own finances contact us here to organise an initial financial planning consultation.