What’s your financial game plan for 2020?

I’m back to talk to you about what it takes to crush your 2020 goals. I mean that literally – the bit about talking.

For the first time ever, I have recorded my message to you. Someone I’m working with suggested (i.e. told me), “You need to shoot videos of your tips.” I’m French Canadian, which means I talk with my hands and speak faaaaaaaaarrrrrr too quickly, always, even when I’m trying not to. But, I lovelovelove talking about this stuff and helping women rock their finances. That’s what my colleague was getting at and why she wanted me to put out some videos.

If you’re a video-watching type, this one’s for you:

If not, keep scrolling and I’ll give the nutshell of what I talked about below the video.

Back to your goals: What’s your game plan for 2020?

In this video, I boil it down to the essence of what you’re trying to achieve: your goals. But not just any goals; I’m talking about identity-based goals.

I talk about what those are and why they’re so much better than outcome-based goals.

Then we get to the nitty-gritty. You know what you want – then what?

It’s all about behavior, ladies. In fact, I get even more specific and talk about vital behaviors, something that research tells us is key to creating lasting change.

And isn’t that all that a goal is – a desired change?

Here’s the video. Keep reading below if you want the written version.

Prefer reading? Here’s the scoop.

In my previous post, I talked about why resolutions are useless. You know the drill. In fact, you’ve probably abandoned a handful by now.

When I ask you about your goals, I’m talking about what you want to achieve this year, complete with the behaviors you’ll need to get you there.

If you haven’t identified your goals, no problem! That’s where I come in.

My job over the coming year is to walk you, step by step, through the processes and system you’ll need to succeed.

Why a system and what is that anyway?

A system, in this case, is simply a series of predetermined vital behaviors, repeated with intention, to achieve your goals.

It may sound fancy, but it’s not.

Nor is it complicated.

Let me illustrate this by working backwards. Your goals are things you want to accomplish: Become financially secure, debt-free, organized, confident – whatever it is for you.

It’s the state you wish to be in by the end of the year.

It’s the new identity you intend to carve out for yourself in order to be congruent with you most cherished values.

We’re focusing on identity-based goals, not outcome-based goals, as James Clear recommends in his book Atomic Habits.

Wanting to lose 30 pounds is an outcome-based goal, as is aiming to pay off $4,000 of debt. An identity-based goal would instead have you focus on becoming healthy, fit, and muscular, or debt-free. One describes what you’ve done; the other describes who you are.

Research is very clear that identity-based goals are more compelling and more effective when it comes to producing lasting change.

In order to achieve your goals, you need to do something, to take repeated action.

Actions that are repeated become a habit over time.

Habits are a series of automatic behaviors that either serve us well or hinder our progress.

Any way you slice it, it’s all about behavior. And this is where I’m turning my attention this year.

Move past stumbling blocks, big and small

In their book Influencer: The New Science of Leading Change, authors Joseph Grenny, Kerry Patterson, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler demonstrate the following:

A handful of high-leverage behaviors drives most of the improvement in any successful change effort. Discover these vital behaviors and change them, and problems – no matter their size – topple like a house of cards.

The trick, then, is to figure out which behaviors are vital to creating the change you want. That is, which behaviors have a disproportionate effect on your results? Those are the behaviors you’ll want to focus on.

The bonus is that you don’t have to change a dozen behaviors. According to the Influencer authors, you simply need to identify the two most important vital behaviors. It just takes two vital behaviors to create significant, lasting change. That’s doable!

We know that financially successful people focus on two vital behaviors: 1) they save money regularly; and 2) they track their spending and saving, ensuring that they live well below their means.

That’s it – pretty simple! Obviously there’s more to it than that to become financially independent, but financial strength boils down to these two behaviors. Skip one of them and it’s hard to move forward.

My homework for you, for now, is to a) determine the identity-based goals you seek to accomplish this year (from my last blog post); and b) figure out which two behaviors would have a disproportionate impact on your results given the change you seek.

If you’re having trouble identifying the vital behaviors, stay with me. I’m dedicating this year to helping you identify your vital behaviors, lock them in, and crush your goals.

Stay tuned for more. In the meantime, give some more thought to your identity-based goals and the two key behaviors that will have the biggest impact in helping you achieve them.

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