If one of your resolutions is to get started on the estate plan you have been putting off for so long, you can do yourself some favors by going about it in the right way. The new year offers the promise of a renewed sense of self, new opportunities, and the ability to do those things you never got around to doing last year. Making a resolution to get started on estate planning is excellent, but it’s not enough.
There is a reason so many similar resolutions fail. People don’t always use the right tools to help them ensure that they make their resolutions a reality. In order to help you keep this year’s resolution, here are several tips you’ll want to keep in mind.
Tip 1. Visualize success.
Our minds are the most powerful organs in our bodies. Simply by visualizing the future we want to achieve, we prepare the rest of our bodies for achieving that goal. This is why so many athletes use visualization techniques when they train.
If you have an estate planning New Year’s resolution, you can try to visualize success in order to achieve your estate planning resolution. Try to visualize what you want to happen in the future. Do you want to ensure that your grandchildren have a college education that’s paid for? Do you want to know that you and your spouse will be looked after if you ever need long-term care? Whatever specific goal estate planning goals you can visualize, try to put yourself in the place where you have accomplished this goal and imagine how it will feel when you are there.
Tip 2. Use behavior models.
Do you know people who have created an estate plan before? Have you talked to them about it, have you asked what they did? One of the more difficult problems of following through on a resolution is that we often don’t know where to get started. Fortunately, by looking at what others have done, we can use their examples to model our own behavior. If you know people who have begun the estate planning process, talk to them. Ask them questions. Ask about her decisions, their concerns, and what they did to get started. Use their answers as your guide to starting your own plan.
Tip 3. Use vicarious learning.
When we compare ourselves to others, we can often surprise ourselves with what we can do. If you visualize a successful person who has created an estate plan and who has used it to benefit his or her family, you can use that image when you are facing a difficult decision. If you’re procrastinating, for example, imagine what your idol or role model would do if that person were your place.