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We all know that old saying ‘New Year, new me’, but you don’t need a total transformation to make the most of 2017. haven sat down with some experts in their field to find out what you can do to get your head in the game and kick off the New Year with a BANG!

PERSONAL PLANNING

Did you know around 50 per cent of Australians make New Year resolutions but there is an 88 per cent failure rate? We all start the year with the best intentions but many of our goals and resolutions are focused on high-stakes items such as a promotion, new car or a designer handbag.

Certified life coach Kathy Whines says that people often go after ‘stuff’ they want to have and want to accomplish that is outside of themselves with the hopes of feeling great when they achieve them. This makes goals and resolutions hard to reach.

“Get clear on how you actually want to feel first and then set your intentions and goals,” Kathy explains. “Everything we do and want is driven by the desire to feel a certain way.”

When looking at the year ahead, Kathy recommends finding a piece of paper, a pen and a quiet place to write down the feelings you want to feel this year. Once you’ve established that, you can write down the goals, objects or things that will help you feel this way. For the more visual people you may choose to turn this into a vision board. Starting the same way, your vision board would have the ‘things’ you want to acquire or achieve to ensure you feel the way you want to feel in 2017.

Setting goals based on feelings and emotions should ensure your goals are more achievable as the ‘stuff’ you desire will relate closer to your desire for happiness, love or joy.

FINANCIAL PLANNING

Goal setting doesn’t stop with our personal achievements. We need to create short term and long term financial plans to ensure our money is managed efficiently.

When we look at our finances, we often think about paying bills and buying the items we need and want in the immediate future. Many of us don’t always think way off into the future about how we can invest wisely to ensure our kids have a bright financial future, for example.

When approaching your family’s financial planning this year, why not look at things a little differently and begin by investing in your kids’ futures.

iInvest Securities managing director Jo Condon says an investment plan like iInvest for Kids can provide long term benefits preparing kids for adulthood. She says the process is similar to opening a bank account, however you can start establishing a share portfolio for your children early on.

“You give them so much already, but imagine giving them a gift that would really make a significant financial impact in their life?” Jo says. “A gift that would create options like: fund a quality education, provide a deposit for their first home, or enable them to experience travelling overseas.

“The iInvest for Kids program is a long term savings strategy aimed at maximising investment returns for the child for the period of their schooling years. The other major benefit is that while the investment is liquid and can be sold and funds returned within three days, there is no ATM card which might otherwise see the investment at risk of dwindling down over time.”

On top of helping your kids prepare for their financial futures it is important to open up the discussion about the cost of products and investments from a young age. Jo says this ensures kids are financially savvy by the time they are teenagers and can make informed spending, saving and investing decisions throughout life.

“More than just the legacy, you will have taught them a valuable lesson in investing wisely; that every penny counts along the way.”

PHILANTHROPIC PLANNING

Planning ahead for 2017 shouldn’t be all about ourselves. The beginning of a year is a great opportunity to stop and think about how we can make a difference to the lives of others.

A great way to start is to look at your time and finances and work out how much you could spare to make a difference for those less fortunate. Whether it’s helping out with a charity three times this year or donating a particular amount of money to a cause you feel passionate about, everything helps.

Philanthropic activities may also help you achieve the feelings you’re hoping to experience in 2017, as outlined by Kathy. Those seeking to make a difference can benefit greatly from working with different not-for-profit organisations. Your local charities are only a Google search away!

Visit www.iinvestsecurities.com.au

Visit www.creativelearningcoach.com.au

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haven  

haven is all about family, life and style in Brisbane's inner city suburbs, the Gold Coast, south to Byron Bay. We have been keeping parents in the know for over eight years, with fun, fresh and helpful stories that they can take tips from or treasure in their own library.