Happy New Year! This is my favorite weekend of the year because it holds the promise of limitless possibilities. It is also the time of year that I take stock on where I’m at in life, express gratitude for what I’ve been given, and set goals for the upcoming year. This process is relatively new for me.
Earlier in my life I would assess where I was at, make resolutions to change some aspect of my behavior and charge into the year. The results of my earlier efforts were disappointing. Most years I felt as though I hadn’t measured up to the resolutions I made – stop smoking, get healthier, work on stained glass, read more, become a better person.
What changed? Why am I more satisfied today than in the past? Today I’m taking stock and setting goals, not just assessing and resolving. I’m fact-based when I take stock. When it comes to financial matters, this means preparing a personal financial statement – a list of assets and liabilities. Truth be told, it’s sometimes been a boring exercise and at times it’s been uncomfortable, but I’ve come to find that drafting this statement is the best first step to figure out how to improve a bad financial situation.
Next, I’ve moved from making resolutions to committing to goals. The difference is a resolution is often a vaguely defined promise involving a character trait or behavioral change while a commitment often involves a very specific plan or a course of action. Financially, my goals are to pay my future self a little more by increasing my 401(k) contribution by 2% and increase my charitable contributions by $40 a month while staying on my budget.
This year I have four overall goals I will work to achieve;
- Share my thoughts on financial services with you at least weekly
- Help launch Odyssey (odysseywise.com) out to an unsuspecting boomer population
- Launch a new division within TMG Financial Services to help credit unions grow, and
- Visit Europe with my beautiful wife Karen
Along the way I’ll introduce you to people who are doing good work in the financial services industry and invite you to see what they’re up to. All the best this year and I wish you success in achieving your goals.