January is typically the time to make resolutions for the coming year. They most often involve some type of self-improvement – lose weight, get more organized, get a handle on your finances. Yet the reality is that by the end of the month almost 90% have already bailed on their resolutions.

Most often it’s because the resolutions are too general and too vague. After a few days or weeks an obstacle crops up, you get bored, or you don’t know what the next step is.

Related: A new fee-only financial planning service

This is why many people need a coach or advisor to help them get to the next level of success.

Let’s make the analogy of wanting to get fit. After getting a gym membership or buying the necessary equipment for a home workout you feel well motivated to start and go all out. Then your muscles start aching, you start pushing the snooze button instead of putting on your workout gear, you eat too much at a family gathering, and before you know it you’re procrastinating and then giving up altogether.

This is where hiring a personal fitness trainer can get you back on track. He or she will:

  • Ask what your goal is – lose weight, look good in a bikini, perform better at your sport.
  • Identify your unique circumstances – age, level of fitness, previous injuries.
  • Recommend a routine to accomplish your goals.
  • Help you implement your routine and do the exercises correctly, avoiding questionable fads (Shake Weight, Fat Burning pills).
  • Review your progress and help you get back on track if you have a setback.

Sound familiar?

A personal financial advisor can offer you an objective viewpoint on your financial situation. Major life events and changes such as a new baby, divorce, starting a business or choosing your retirement date may leave you second guessing difficult financial decisions.

Related: Where do you get your financial information?

If you are repeatedly having trouble achieving your financial goals, an advisor can provide guidance and encouragement along the way. He or she can show you how to allocate your paycheque to cover debt repayment, taxes, insurance, retirement plans, and living expenses, and help set you on a clear financial path that will give you more peace of mind.

Final thoughts

There is a vast array of resources available if you prefer the do-it-yourself approach for working on your various plans and goals. If you’re already managing well on your own there’s no need for outside input.

But everyone makes mistakes. After eating an entire chocolate truffle cheesecake, or spending your hard earned savings on a weekend in Las Vegas you may be tempted to throw up your hands and quit.

Instead, if at first you don’t succeed, you can try again – but don’t discount seeking advice. Whether it’s a financial advisor, personal trainer, weight loss (Weight Watchers, TOPS) personal organizer, life manager, or business consultant, there’s the right professional for the job.

Related: Steak knives, yes. Financial advice, maybe not

Sometimes, if you think you’re not progressing, paying for an advisor, coach or trainer may be just the thing to guide you back on track.

An advisor’s main role is to set and manage realistic expectations, maintain discipline, motivate you to do better, and hold you accountable for your behaviour.

You can pay for ongoing coaching and service or a one-time only analysis to get you back on track.

If it gets you to your desired goal, then it’s money well spent.

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6 Comments

  1. Emily @ Simple Cheap Mom on January 21, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    I think the reason that my resolutions fail (when I bother to make them) is that I pick things I’d like to do, but they’re not things I really WANT to do. I could say lose XX pounds to be in shape by the summer, but that’s not really something I would make a priority in my life, so I’m bound to fail. If I’m truly struggling with something that actually is important to me, I’d hope I’d ask for help and find a professional!

    • Boomer on January 21, 2015 at 4:15 pm

      @Emily: Yes, the goal has to be important to you. But, many people don’t like to admit that they need help with things they think they should be able to do themselves like handling their finances.

      I’m hopeless with computers and I sometimes spend a lot of time on a task, just getting more and more frustrated before asking for help. I have paid for help but what I should be doing is taking a “Computers for Dummies” course at the local college.

  2. Daniel @ SaveWithDan on January 21, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    Great advice. It’s difficult for some people to realize that you need to spend a little money hiring a coach to get your money back on track. Seems like a paradox.

  3. Barry @ Moneywehave on January 22, 2015 at 9:07 am

    I’m currently a DIY investor but I know eventually I’ll need to hire a financial advisor just to make sure I’m on track.

    As much as I like saving money, I’ve learned that you need to pay for good help.

    • Boomer on January 22, 2015 at 10:16 am

      @Daniel
      @Barry

      As they say, sometimes you have to spend money to make money.

  4. Jackie Bolen on January 25, 2015 at 1:01 am

    I am one of the most disciplined people I know when it come to money and have basically always been a pretty frugal saver, so for me a financial adviser wouldn’t really be that helpful.

    And, the ones that I’ve experienced in banks haven’t been that helpful! I think I might have known more than they did. Ha!

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