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What Do You Want?

We've all heard the adage: "Be careful what you wish for, you may get it." A more realistic statement about attaining financial security might be: "Be careful what you wish for and how you plan to get it, or you won't." This may sound pessimistic, but it's really not. You can succeed in reaching your goals for building wealth for your lifetime use and passing it along to your heirs. But, in order to do it, you'll need to do things a bit differently from most people, who rarely create workable personal financial plans, or, if they do, don't follow through long enough to see the benefit in them.

If you ask several people how wealthy people got that way, you may hear several explanations: "they were lucky," "they were true financial geniuses," or "they inherited it." While any or all of these statements may be true, they won't help most of us, who are not that lucky, that fortunate in picking our relatives, or that smart (well. . . maybe!). But don't despair, this list of "how they got theres" omits what probably is the most important factor: "they were determined to meet their business and personal financial goals."

In order to direct your determination where it will help you the most, you must first identify what you have now. Assuming you've done that, the next step is to set your goals for the future.

We've identified two important aspects of goal-setting:

A final word about your goals. As important as goal setting is, it is something that deserves to be done right. Hastily constructed, ill-thought out goals may do more harm than good. If the goals take you in the wrong direction, or are simply too easy to achieve, achieving them will not help you much. If the goals are so difficult that they are practically impossible to reach, you are setting yourself up for failure.