This is the second exercise in a series designed to walk you through an entire financial plan. The exercise is embedded in an Excel spreadsheet you can download and save for personal use. You can find the backdrop for the exercise HERE or just jump right in with the instructions given below:
Deliberate over that which you want to mark your life. Write down a word or phrase that will be your Personal Principle—your value—and then give a sentence or two of explanation. These are yours, but I encourage you to share them with a good friend and your spouse, if applicable. (One of the nuanced difficulties and benefits of marriage is the necessity of allowing your Personal Principles to be folded into those of your spouse. If your spouse is a willing participant, encourage him or her to complete this exercise as well to develop a set of Unifying Principles for your family.)
You might benefit from reviewing Ben Franklin’s list of personal principles—his “Thirteen Virtues.” The goal is not to make Franklin’s your own, but to be informed by his intellect, entertained by his wit and inspired by his wisdom:
Your GOALS—especially your financial goals—may be better informed when you complete this entire process, but practice now writing down a few goals that meet the specific, measurable, attainable, and meaningful criteria, then come back to them after completing the full plan series. Financial goals will then be broken down into specific steps to meet those goals in your Action Plan in the final step.