In any discussion about money and how best to make it work for you, you have to decide what you are trying to achieve with the money, and what it is you are trying to do.

A good financial guide will help you here.

The best way to start is to ask yourself a series of questions which will start you off on exploring your life and the journey you are on.

3 powerful questions to help you uncover your goals:

Question 1: Imagine that you are financially secure, that you have enough money to take care of your needs, now and in the future: how would you live your life?  Would you change anything?

Let yourself go.  Don’t hold back on your dreams. Describe a life that is complete, that is richly yours.

The beauty of this question is that it really asks you to envision what you would like to have, be and do in your life where there aren’t any obstacles around want and scarcity.  The question enables you to put all this aside, all the things that hold us back from being, doing and having what we think we want.  In fact we are so held back that we don’t really think what is it that we want our lives to be about.  So, don’t hold back, think big and write down all these wonderful things that you want to do.

Question 2: You visit your doctor who tells you that you have only 5–10 years left to live.  The good part is that you won’t ever feel sick.  The bad news is that you will have no notice of the moment of your death.  What will you do in the time you have remaining to live? Will you change your life and how will you do it?

This time it’s best to do the exercise from the perspective of your financial position as it is now.  The question brings us into the reality that our lives are not infinite and our time on earth is limited.  Five to ten years is sufficiently long a period to accomplish a lot but also a short enough period to realise that if there are things we want to do, we should not be putting them off.

Question 3: This time your doctor shocks you with the news that you have only one day left to live.  Notice what feelings arise as you confront your very real mortality.  Ask yourself: what did I miss?  Who did I not get to be?  What did I not get to do?

This question brings us face to face with our own mortality and adheres directly to what we would want our lives to say about us.  This immediately can help us to realise what is important and what is less so and focus our attention on what we should be doing.

The importance of these questions cannot be underestimated in the context of understanding what is truly important to you.  Once these questions have been considered, mulled over and answered it is easier to look at your goals and aspirations.  This is because you are putting them in the overall and wider context of your life.

Answering these 3 questions puts you in a good position to set out on a successful relationship with money.  The answers start to give you real insight into what you would ideally do if you were able to cast off the limitations that you hold. They put you in touch with what is really important to you and the part that money plays in all of this.

[These questions were first devised by George Kinder, widely recognised as the father of the Life Planning movement:]