With 2016 drawing to a close, it’s about this time of year that people start to think about their New Year’s Resolutions. Common resolutions include things such as eating healthier, losing weight, saving money, or getting more organized. However, according to a University of Scranton study only 8% of people actually achieve their resolutions. With a failure rate of 82%, are resolutions even worth setting?
One strategy you can employ to increase your likelihood of success is using the acronym SMART when setting goals. To explain how this strategy works, I’ll be using the example goal of estate planning, which just so happens to meet the SMART criteria.
Specific: Your resolution is well defined, yet still simple.
Instead of “I will do my estate planning,” try “I will contact a local estate planning attorney to draft an estate plan for me.”
Measurable: How do you know when you goal is completed? What mechanisms are in place to keep track of your progress?
For estate planning this is as simple as signing your will, power of attorney, and/ or trust in front of a notary and witnesses.
Achievable: Don’t set yourself up for failure by setting a goal so lofty you’ll never achieve it. (This isn’t to say you can’t employ professional help)
An estate plan can be created by a skilled attorney fairly quickly. At our office estate plans are often executed within 1-2 weeks of the initial consultation.
Relevant/Realistic: Related to achievable, can your goal be reached given the time and resources available to you?
Lucky for you, hiring an attorney to draft your estate plan takes a minimal amount of your time. Our office usually conducts an initial consultation and then a follow up before signing. In terms of resources, a simple estate plan is very cost effective and can save money in the long-run. For more about pricing options for our estate planning services click here.
Time-Based: Your resolution can be completed within the given time frame, and you have set a deadline for when it will be accomplished.
As mentioned above, your estate plan can be created fairly quickly. One potential resolution would be to have an estate plan created within the first quarter of 2017, and review it annually.
Whether your resolutions include an estate plan, starting your own small business, or some other venture, our team of attorneys are here to help you every step of the way! For more information about the services we offer, or to set up a consultation click here.