Are Your Resolutions Looking a Little Different this Year?
We spend a lot of time talking to clients about their upcoming goals for the short, medium, and long term. Many involve some financial aspect: remodeling the kitchen, paying for college, taking a dream trip, replacing a vehicle, paying off debt, early retirement. Having a clear idea of how much a goal will cost and the amount of time you’ve got to get there is the first step in creating an actionable plan.
Due to the pandemic and subsequent shutdowns of 2020, quite a few goals have been put on hold or have taken some kind of detour. Cancelled travel plans evolved into new bikes for the family. Weekly new-restaurant experiences became new or expanded vegetable gardens. The need for an updated vehicle seemed less pressing once so many were working from home – who needs two cars, much less a new one?
The next time your planner asks the question, “What goals would you like to plan for in the coming year?”, your answers may be oriented more toward personal growth and less toward money. Some examples could include:
- Learning something new, such as taking up a language or musical instrument. Think about how rewarding it would feel to better communicate with the locals when you’re able to travel without restriction or worry again, or to entertain friends (or yourself) by sharing your newfound melodic skills.
- Not taking things for granted – like hugs, going INTO a store (any store!), eating IN a restaurant, or having stable employment, even if the job comes with extra challenges during COVID.
- Getting better at using technology, so you feel more connected with friends & family. Our whole office team has become more proficient at merging conference calls, using different video apps, defending against online scams and malware, and uploading/downloading documents to keep things running smoothly while working remotely.
- Finding healthy ways to cope with stress (we’ve all felt it this year!). This could be through exercise, talking with a friend, meditation, laughter, etc.
- Developing patience, a skill that comes in handy in times of worry or fear. Maintaining a calm state enables you to come up with resolutions and gauge them properly, rather than be clouded with frustration.
There are many others, but you get the idea. Financial goals are still an important part of the planning work we do together, but we encourage you to take some time to think outside the traditional resolutions “box”, coming up with goals that support your mind & spirit as well.
Written By Kimberly S. Baker, CFP®