Mike Robertson Associates Ltd, Lifestyle Financial Planners, Battle East Sussex


Interests




There are so many interesting things out there to explore that it can be a little overwhelming and we often give ourselves excuses such as I do not have time for that. However, having a life filled with lots of different interests is key to achieving a good balance and being fulfilled.

Our Lifestyle Financial Planners (LFP) have come up with six ways to help bring a little more diversity to your life:

Independent Financial Advisers or IFAs or Lifestyle Financial Planners who are professionals that offer independent advice on financial matters to their clients and recommend suitable financial products from the whole of the market. We listen to you on all areas including many matters such as investment, retirement planning, insurance, protection and mortgages (or other loans). IFAs also advise on some tax and legal matters.

Step 1: Broadening our horizons.

You often hear people say they are stuck in a rut and have let their routine stop them from pursuing all their interests. Dabbling in a variety of different areas is like cross-training for the brain. It stretches the mind and pushes the imagination, causing you to be more creative. It is a way of gathering new information and experimenting with new ways of doing something.

This in turn can often make you better at the activities you already do. If you are open to new experiences, you can use your knowledge in one area to find a solution for a problem in another - even when at first glance they seem unconnected.

It may seem like adding another activity into your day would create more stress. However, the beautiful thing about exploring a different or new interest is that it provides a way of challenging yourself without the negative stress that comes from a work-related problem. Each new pursuit gives you a different dimension through which you can see the world. The unique combination of interests you develop offers something valuable to share with the world.

Step 2: Who are you spending time with?

Spending our time with people we love and who bring us joy is essential. However, sometimes we forget that meeting new people and discovering diverse ways of living can bring enormous benefits in both the way we think about the world and how we relate to others.

For example, those old men in the pub that sit and chat for hours, have a wealth of knowledge and experience. The problems you may have in your life are nothing new, they would have seen it all before and can offer counsel in a way in which your friends may not be able to. Introducing yourself will open you up to new experiences and concepts as well as providing a connection. It will help you to learn about how other people see the world you live in, giving you greater empathy for others.

Having diversity in our relationships is an effective way of expanding our knowledge. When you work with a LFP, they may suggest you look at ways in which you can increase your circle of friends. Things you may want to consider are:

  • Can you find a mentor to learn from - this may be a work colleague or an older member of your community.
  • Could you introduce new friendships into your life by joining groups - football, church, reading clubs, etc.
  • Are there community events you could get involved with - village fetes, school events, local charity drives.
  • Start saying hello to your neighbours - getting to know the people who live near you will help you feel a sense of community and belonging.

Step 3: What brings you joy?

Staying active keeps your muscles supple - your brain is no different. When was the last time you did something new or made time to read a book you love? When did you last dance or play a game? As we get older, we tend to concentrate on the things we have to do like work, household chores, etc. We do not put enough importance on doing the activities that bring us joy and laughter which would make those mundane tasks seem more manageable.

If you are struggling to discover what interests and activities will bring value to your life, you may want to think about what you liked to do as a child. Were you a person that had an impressive record collection, did you enjoy listening to music, were you always out on your bike, did you love to paint or did you enjoy learning about the Greek gods at school?

Making a list of the things that spark excitement in you is an effective way of identifying interests you may like to incorporate into your life as an adult.

Step 4: Learning new skills.

There are massive benefits to learning new things; they help you grow as a person, increase your knowledge base and support you to improve yourself for the better. When we try something new and succeed, it improves our self-esteem, giving us the confidence to overcome challenges in our lives. The world around us is constantly changing and so learning new skills along the way means that we do not stagnate and get left behind.

A Lifestyle Financial Planner or personal financial planner is a professional who prepares financial plans for people. These financial plans often cover cash flow management, retirement planning, investment planning, financial risk management, insurance planning, tax planning, estate planning and business succession planning (for business owners).

There are many ways to broaden your horizons:

  • Find out how to program - this might sound ambitious but technology is not going away, and people that integrate this technology into their lives are likely to be more successful. There are lots of resources online where you can learn how to code for free. Programming is all about problem-solving so incorporating an interest like this provides you with vital skills that are transferable to other areas of your life.
  • Listening to podcasts - podcasts are a wonderful way to learn about areas that interest you passively, there is a podcast for everyone, from fictional stories to educational discussions. The good thing about these is that you can listen to them while doing other routine tasks like walking the dog, travelling to work, etc. This allows your brain to subconsciously learn things while you are doing something else, helping you to learn faster.
  • Find an athletic hobby you can do throughout the years - identify something active that you enjoy, as you will be more likely to keep it up. It may be walking the dog, playing football or golf, it does not matter what it is as long as you are getting regular exercise.
  • Start meditating - doing a small amount of meditation each day has positive effects on stress, anxiety and depression. It can help focus you for the day ahead or relax you before bed. It does not have to be time-consuming either, a few minutes a day can be beneficial to overall health and productivity.

These are just a few examples of areas you may want to investigate as you develop the different interests you have.

Independent Financial Advisers or IFAs or Lifestyle Financial Planners who are professionals that offer independent advice on financial matters to their clients and recommend suitable financial products from the whole of the market. We listen to you on all areas including many matters such as investment, retirement planning, insurance, protection and mortgages (or other loans). IFAs also advise on some tax and legal matters.

Step 5: Waste less time.

We often don't realise how much time we spend mindlessly scrolling social media or the internet, watching TV and other unnecessary tasks. Learning to manage your time more efficiently could free up space for other interests that add more value to your life. If you live to the age of 79, after you take out time for sleeping, school, working, housework, eating, etc. you are left with on average 232 months to do the things you are interested in - make your time count!

Step 6: Start Small.

Start out by allocating a small amount of time to new interests - just half an hour a day or even a week. If you have not tried something before start by testing the waters - for example, borrow a sewing machine to see if you enjoy using one before purchasing your own.

As you find areas that interest you, your passion and zeal for learning will increase, and you will be amazed at the pockets of time you can find to do what you enjoy.

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Mike Robertson Associates Limited is an appointed representative of Lighthouse Advisory Services Limited, which is authorised and regulated by The Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England No 4501167. Registered Office 30-34 North Street Hailsham East Sussex BN27 1DW

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Mike Robertson Associates Ltd is located in Battle, East Sussex, near Hastings, Bexhill and Eastbourne