If you are one of the millions of Americans who has never created any kind of estate planning device, you should make 2014 your year to do it. The promise of a new year can bring a sense of refreshment and hope. It can also give us a great opportunity to give ourselves a goal that we want to accomplish before another year passes.
Yet resolutions are often easier said than done. If you are like many Americans, you have probably made past resolutions that you have failed to accomplish. Fortunately, researchers around the world have identified some fairly simple strategies you can use to give yourself a much better chance of actually following through on your resolution. If you want to go into 2015 with an estate plan in place, here are some strategies you might want to use.
Get a calendar and write your estate planning goals down on paper.
A resolution you tell yourself in the morning, or one you decide upon while taking a shower, can feel great. You know you’re really going to do it this time, and you are intent on making it a reality. But these self-told resolutions rarely amount to actions. Even if they do, the actions usually fall short of actually accomplishing the goal.
This is because these types of thoughts tend not to be as motivating as a physical manifestation of your desire. The simple act of taking a pen or pencil, writing down your goal on a piece of paper, and then giving yourself a deadline is sometimes enough to give you the additional motivation you need to follow through.
Form a group interested in the same thing.
There is a reason people join country clubs, fraternities, sewing circles, and coffee klatches. People are social animals. We feel the need to be around others, and to share our thoughts, feelings, and experiences. When we’re involved in a group, we feel pressures to conform and to act in a way that the group finds acceptable.
Luckily for you, you can use this kind of positive social pressure to set and accomplish your estate planning resolution. If you know of a couple of people who have also considered estate planning but who have yet to begin, you can form a group dedicated to the task. By using social pressure, all members of the group will not only be better able to create a concrete goal, but will have a greater chance at being able to stay on task. Your desire to be a part of the group and to conform to its rules will give you the incentive to keep going, as well as the chance to talk about issues common to all of you.