What if I told you that you could make one decision now that would make all your financial decisions for the next 12 months so much simpler? Would you be interested? (Duh. Of course you would!) I call this decision your Chief Initiative, and it is basically a values and goals statement that can guide all your decisions for the next year. Think of it as a true north for your finances.
In my financial planning practice, I was meeting with a couple who seemed to be not only on different pages about their finances, but in an entirely different book. The husband had very different life goals from his wife’s. He wanted to borrow money to start a business, change houses, change jobs, etc. She, on the other hand, was nervous about so much change and financial instability. So, I asked them both to identify their biggest life value — their Chief Initiative. Interestingly, for both of them, their biggest value was family. Eureka! Common ground.Knowing your Chief Initiative will help you focus every financial decision on that value. Think of it as a true north for your finances. Click To Tweet
Knowing their Chief Initiative helped them focus every financial decision on that value. It narrowed the focus for making decisions from a place where everything was possible to a place where it was easy to see whether a decision was in line with their values or not. It was only one word — family — but the effect it had on their ability to come together and make tough decisions was incredibly powerful.
If you’re interested in the process I went through with them to uncover their values, you can download it for free in this workbook here. You may already know what your Chief Initiative should be. For many people, it’s a gut feeling that they can’t deny. They already know what their strongest values are: family, charity, stability, prosperity, etc. But for some, there won’t be a single value that comes to mind right away. Maybe you’ll have a bunch that you have trouble choosing between, or maybe you haven’t got any.
Either way, these questions can help guide you to choosing one that you want to focus on:
- What’s causing you stress in your life? It’s likely that you’re feeling stressed by something because it’s going against a core value.
- What is most important to you in your life? I’m talking about the thing that you would do or want or believe no matter what.
- If money were no object and no obstacle, what would you focus on?
- How do you want to feel? Maybe you want to feel free, responsible, honest, spiritual, or abundant. That feeling can guide your decisions.
Once you’ve chosen your Chief Initiative, you can validate it a bit more by asking yourself, “What does [your value] mean to you?” The most amazing thing about this process is that there is no right or wrong answer. You value what you value — period.
Remember to download your own free copy of the Chief Initiative workbook so you can help uncover your values for yourself – download that here.