From Ambition to Action: Uncovering the Motivation Behind Personal Goals

For many of us, we are accustomed to setting well-defined goals in our professional lives and measuring progress toward their completion. But when it comes to setting personal goals, this can be a daunting task for many, especially executives and business owners who balance very busy schedules.

Without understanding the true motivation behind our personal goals, it can be difficult to hold ourselves accountable.

Kathy Christensen, Partner and Managing Advisor at Connecticut Wealth Management (CTWM) spoke with Amanda Aronson, President and founder of empowerment company StoryB, to discuss the importance of aligning our time with our values and helpful strategies to accomplish this.

Clarity Around Goals

Uncovering the purpose behind your actions and decisions may seem like a heavy lift, but it is a critical first step in helping you to lead a life that is fulfilled.

“Get started by carving time out in the year – at a point that makes sense to you – and reflect on your values and what might be motivating them,” said Amanda.

For example, what is driving someone to pursue a career that has high-earning potential? Is it wanting to lead a vibrant lifestyle, education costs, saving for retirement, or security for the next generation?

Understanding the reason behind our actions is important as it helps us to better understand our values and how we can organize our time accordingly.

“And it might not just be individuals, but also couples, families, perhaps even multi-generational families having these considerations about what is important to them and how to get motivated,” said Kathy.

Keep in mind that our values and motivations can change over time, which is why it is critical to take this time to reflect.

Creating Alignment

With a clear purpose, next you should look at what you are trying to do versus what you are actually doing.

Take for example someone who is trying to create a sense of security for their family. The predominant feeling might be to accomplish this by providing financial security, but this is not the only way families, children in particular, feel secure.

“Security comes with presence, by spending time together, and feeling like we can rely on one another,” said Amanda. “That takes engagement, showing up, and spending time with our families regularly.”

So, if someone values being a good provider and creating a sense of financial security but is not home enough to enjoy time with their family, then they might need to reevaluate how they go about finding that alignment.

Back to Basics

With such busy schedules, it can be challenging to make progress toward our objectives, which is why we must leverage basic practices to hold ourselves accountable, such as a calendar.

“I’m a big fan of using what you’ve got in its most basic format and focusing on doing the basics really, really well,” said Amanda. “There’s a saying, show me your budget and I’ll tell you your values. I say, show me your calendar and I’ll tell you your values.”

When looking at your calendar, figure out the time of year that works best for you to evaluate your motivating factors. This will serve as an opportunity to reflect on your values for the year ahead.

“While it’s a very simple tool, we live by our calendars every single day, making this very realistic,” said Kathy.

By scheduling quarterly check-ins, your calendar can help you see if you are making progress toward the things that are most important to you.

How Your CTWM Advisor Can Help

“So much of this resonates with the work we do here at Connecticut Wealth Management and our mission to turn life’s aspirations into reality for our clients and team,” said Kathy.

Throughout the planning process, our advisors help clients identify your goals, build a course of action to reach goals within the context of your financial plan, and measure whether your goals are on track or not.

“Digging deeper into the motivation behind your goals will be an important part of what we do in our work here at CTWM going forward, and ensuring they are in alignment with your financial plan,” said Kathy.

Your CTWM advisor is a partner who can help you reflect on the motivating factors behind your individual goals and hold you accountable to leading a well-lived life.

Have questions or want to get a jumpstart on setting your goals for the New Year? Contact the Connecticut Wealth Management team at 860-470-0290 or by filling out the contact form.