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New Year’s Resolutions: WDYWFY?!

It’s New Year’s resolution time, and Brendan has a unique way of choosing goals for the year called “woody whiffy,” aka WDYWFY, aka “What Do You Want For Yourself?” In this Coffee with Brendan, he shares the exercise he uses for himself and with his clients to help set personal, business, and self-development goals for the coming year that matter to YOU.

Topics Discussed:


  • Value-setting exercise

  • Personal, Business, and Self-Development Goals

  • Having an accountability partner


Hi, and welcome to another edition of coffee with Brendan. Today's episode is going to be a special one; not going to talk about the markets or anything like that, but more about new year's resolutions and the New Year's resolution exercise that I use each and every year to help me to accomplish my goals for that year. It's called a “woody wiffy.” And that may sound a little bit funny, but it actually is an acronym for What Do You Want For Yourself (WDYWFY)? So one of the first things to take into consideration when talking about the WDYWFY is that it is truly what do you want for yourself—not what does anyone else want for me? So that is a key piece of any kind of goal-setting exercise, which is that, you know, if you don't want to lose the 20 or 30 pounds that your spouse or significant other wants you to lose, guess what, it's probably not going to happen. But if you actually want it for yourself, then more likely than not, it will as long as you have a plan to accomplish it. So what the winning with this is, is a three-pronged exercise to pretty much merge your personal business and self-development goals. And so that's what this exercise is all about.

And the first thing that we do when we're actually going through this exercise is to figure out, you know which of the which of your values do each one of the goals that you have, correspond to. So in the case of in my case, we actually have a value-setting exercise that Waymark produces. And we can actually give this to you. Many of the clients that I work with actually have gone through this exercise, but for those that haven't, we actually asked them to go through this. This core values exercise, what it does, helps you to identify your top five values. So the first step is to go through this list, pick out anything that resonates with you, then move to your top or whittle it down to your top 15, then your top 10 And then ultimately your top five. And then from there, what you want to do is go through each of the different goals that you may have in the different segments, the personal, the business, and the self-development, and actually lists them.

So what are your personal goals? What are the specific measures and the deadlines that you want to achieve it? And what are the key activities that you need to do? So literally, this is a brainstorming session of all the different things that you'd want to accomplish in your personal life. Make sure that they are ”smart tested.” So smart testing is specific, measurable, action, specific, measurable aligned with your personal values, time tested, and results based, I went a little bit out of order with that. But smart testing it is to make sure that it's a specific one. What you'll notice when I show you what my goals look like is that most of them are smart tested. But there are a couple that are not. And I'll explain in a moment what that's all about. And then you go to your business goals.

Now business, you may be retired, and business may not be something that is relevant to you anymore. But you may have other things in your life that can take this space, whether it's volunteer work, whether I don't know, but long story short, it's anything that's not personal and not self-development can go here. Again, make sure they're all smart tested.

And then finally your self-development goals. So that's the exercise that I go through is pretty much revisit my values, and then go through those three brainstorming checklists.

And then the important thing is now bring it all together, synthesize it into one, one-page document that in my case, I actually put it up on the refrigerator. So I would recommend that you do the same. So this is what mine looks like. It is a little I'll be honest with is a little bit edited. Because I didn't want to get too too personal. But I did decide that I did want to share it with with all of you so that you can hold me accountable to what's going on. But that's an that's an important piece. I know I'm digressing here. But at the end of the day, you should have an accountability partner and preferably someone that's not impacted by it. So as you'll notice, with my goals, there are quite a few that have to do with my family. So having my spouse as my accountability partner might not be the best thing because she's got a vested interest in some of the outcomes. So in my case, my accountability partner is my CFO. She actually just checked in with me this morning on one of my goals and meditation goal that I have. And unfortunately, I came up a little short this week.

But you know, you absolutely should, number one, get the accountability partner. But number two, actually revisit this at least quarterly so at least every three months. So let's take a look at my goal. So the first thing I do is I list my top five values. And those are top five values in order, with integrity being number one.

Now one thing that you'll notice is family is number four. Now, for some people, that is surprising to them. Because I do really like my kids and my family, as you can see from some of the pictures there, but it is number four, and that is behind integrity, helping others in economic security, there are certain times when, you know, I'll have to put some family things to the side so that I can maintain economic security or help others. And then integrity. You know, I've had some family members in the past who have an act, we with much integrity. And in that case, you know, if family was ahead of integrity, then I would turn a blind eye to that. But in my case, the integrity piece is really a number one. So yes, family is number four.

And number five is health. My self-development goals have to do with investing in my own education, continuing to listen to podcasts, listen to books, participate in study groups, I do have a health goal that's there. And what you'll notice here is I do have a smart tested goal, mobility exercises three times a week, for 10 to 20 minutes every time I do it. But then this is a not smart, tested goal. Don't do anything that doesn't help you or don't do anything dumb to get yourself hurt. That is not smart test. It's not specific, there's no timetable on that other than just making sure I don't get hurt throughout the year. And there's nothing really actionable.

But with that said, I do want to put that out there just to kind of remind myself that I do get sometimes go a little bit overboard when I try to stay in shape and try to keep up with the younger guys. And then meditate the 10 times the 10 minutes per day three times per week. That is a smart tested goal. My personal goals, making sure my wife and I have a date night every month with my daughter revolves all around college and her Eagle project for scouts, from my little one, come up with a new after-school activity because she's aging out of the after school activity she currently has. And then just again, another reminder to, you know, just remind myself what's important in life. And then business goals.

You know, this is a little bit of a teaser, here, we are looking at updating our pricing model. So that we have a little bit more consistency with our pricing model. And then you know, just making sure that we win or play hard and work hard and play hard with with regards to actually enjoying what we do. And I feel like we do that pretty well. But we can always do a little bit better. So this is pretty much it. This is my these are my list of goals for this year, I'd say that my last year goals, I did the same exact thing. I actually did do a pretty good job of holding myself accountable to them, like give myself about a B.

You know, I tried to achieve a lot of the things and there are a lot of checkmarks but there are a couple of big ones that I either had to push or or do something with. So long story short, it is New Year's resolution time. I do think that New Year's resolutions are and I shouldn't say I think I know this because it's it's been studied multiple multiple times that the more times that you put things in writing and you put your goals in writing, the more likely you are to achieve them and then add on to that and accountability partner. You know, you'll hopefully knock the ball out of the park with new year's resolutions. So have a happy new year and we will talk in 2023. Thanks a lot!

Brendan is the Managing Director for Waymark Wealth Management. He has extensive experience in comprehensive wealth management. His focus includes retirement planning, behavioral finance, investment portfolio construction, education funding, insurance & risk management, taxes, charitable giving, and estate planning. Brendan has an ability to take clients' complex visions and distill them down to simple action plans, helping them move from where they are today to where they want to be tomorrow.

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