To Keep Your Resolutions, KNOW YOUR “WHY”!
By Libby Banks, The Law Ofﬁce of Libby Banks
Over the years, I’ve made many a resolution at the New Year. Some I’ve kept, others went by the wayside quicker than day turns into night. Why is that, and how can I really keep the resolutions that are important to me?
I’ve contemplated that question and asked a few experts how to succeed with more of my New Year’s resolutions. One told me it all boils down to this: find your “Why.”
The resolution may be to exercise regularly. Your plan: get up at six a.m. and get to the gym early every weekday. But when the alarm goes off, and the air outside those comfy blankets is chilly, you didn’t sleep well, and your spouse snuggles close, what makes the difference between hitting the snooze button and getting out of bed? It’s your “why.”
Why are you committing to this goal? Keeping with exercise, maybe it’s to be sure you can keep up with your grandchildren. It may be to live a longer life than perhaps your own parent did. Maybe it’s to look good, to be attractive to the opposite sex.
But digging deeper into that “why” will make the difference between being successful and having the resolution fall by the wayside. Why do you want to keep up with your grandchildren? Perhaps to avoid being left on the park bench or at home when the family goes off to do some fun activity. Maybe you want to take the grandchildren on a life-changing trip. The “why” for staying healthy and living a long life? Perhaps it’s to be there to support your children in their own journey through life. Looking good for the opposite sex? Maybe you are looking for that true love, starting a family and having a happily ever after.
Keeping the “why” of your goal in mind is crucial to succeeding when the going gets tough. It’s easy to be gung-ho about getting to the gym when you are off for the holidays and you get to sleep in and still get out for your daily dose of activity. When you are back at work, the stress is kicking in, and you were up half the night comforting a child who had a nightmare, you need to focus on the ultimate reason your goal is so important. That’s what gets you to crawl out from under those warm blankets, put on the tennis shoes, and head out the door.
So why am I talking about this in my usual estate planning article space? Because many of my clients commit to doing an estate plan as part of their resolutions. Why? Here are a few good reasons to put this goal on your list this year.
- It gives you peace of mind! If you’ve read my articles before, you know you need to put some kind of plan in place. When you have done so, it will be a big load off your mind. Many of my clients look visibly relieved when we finish up their plan.
- It shows your family you love them. Your family loves you. When you die, it will be a huge loss for them. You show them that you love them by making sure you don’t leave a mess behind. It’s agonizing for your child or other heirs to deal with all the pieces of your life and estate without the proper documents, with no guidance from what you left behind, and with no way to know if they are doing what you wanted. Give them the gift of a good estate plan.
- It helps maintain family harmony. If you’ve set out your wishes in a proper plan, the chances of family arguments or drama are greatly diminished. Knowing what your wishes help to eliminate the fighting that can take place if no one has a clue what you intended to have happened.
- It makes sure you can be cared for more easily if you are unable to care for yourself. If you are incapacitated and your loved ones need to step in to help, will they have what they need to do so? This situation can be fraught with stress. If your family doesn’t have the ability to step in easy to care for you, they may have to go to court to declare you unable to handle your affairs and to be appointed your guardian and conservator. This court proceeding will be costly and time-consuming. Having the right plan in place can help to avoid court and assure that your family can smoothly take over and assist you.
Not sure about why you should do estate planning, or just what you should do? I offer a complimentary initial estate planning consultation to go over your situation and talk to you about the what and why of a plan tailored to your needs. Give me a call at 602-375-6752 or visit my website at www.libbybanks.com to get more information.