Congratulations Class of 2021!
One of the most anticipated events in life is graduation – from high school, college or post-graduate programs. What an incredible time! What a stressful time!
Getting off on the right foot is challenging and in today’s environment, recent graduates need access to critical resources to succeed. As you have most likely discovered by now, if you don’t make the time to decide what you want for yourself, someone else will decide for you. Every daily financial choice matters.
One of the main causes of financial stress is the failure to clearly define what matters most in life and determine what you want to accomplish with your precious time and resources. Until you create a vision of the life you want to live, you’ll find yourself tossed about from one distraction to another.
We wanted to share some bite-sized actions for the recent graduates in your life to help them get a head start:
- Clarify what matters most to you – Block off a few hours to invest in gaining clarity. Find a space that inspires you and minimizes distractions. Get comfortable. Start by doing a “brain-dump” – writing down all of the thoughts, worries and junk running through your head. Set that aside. Next, jot down all the people, places and activities you want in your life. Think of what brings you passion, peace and purpose. Take your time and let your thoughts wander. Reflect on the times you felt joy and excitement. What do you want?
- Identify your skills and strengths – Create an inventory of your talents, expertise, experiences and abilities. Include tasks you’ve completed and volunteer activities or projects you have worked on. Assess your strengths with an online test, such as Myers-Brigg or Clifton Strengths. Highlight those skills and activities you enjoy most and want to do more of.
- List your preferences and priorities – Review the skills and activities you identified as being the most important to you. Define what the outcome will be as you invest more time and resources in doing each one. How will it improve your life? Choose the skill or activity you want to focus on first. Create a plan: Goal, Start/End date, Actions Required, Who Will Help You and How You Will Track Progress. Repeat for each one on your list.
- Clearly define your resources (to get things done) – Assess what resources you have and what you need in order to accomplish your goals. People – build a team of trusted friends and professionals. Look for creativity, expertise and skills that you lack. Ask for referrals and recommendations. Capital – tools, equipment, transportation, room/space, technology and others. Natural – depending on where you live, some resources may be limited. Water, heating, cooling, raw materials and land, to name a few.
Make the time to DREAM!
Help your recent graduate find a way to take the first step and create a clear vision of the life they want to have. This will help them to stay grounded even in the midst of challenges and disruptions. Their vision will help guide their financial decisions to build a life they love.
Until next time!
Your Coach at My Financial Zen