I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions. I actually struggle with setting goals, but I do take an assessment of my life at the beginning of the year. Here’s the process that I work with.
Review what I accomplished last year. I review major changes, work accomplishments, personal accomplishments and where I traveled. My goal is to take 3 trips a year. Covid didn’t stop me last year.
Then move to the future. I take time to picture my life in 5 years, 10 years or the next chapter. Looking into the future is challenging for me. My next chapter is retirement. How soon? What will it look like? What will bring me enjoyment in a physical, emotional and financial sense? Where do I want to live? Lots of questions.
If I struggle determining what I want, then I reverse the question. What don’t I want? I want choices. I saw my grandma live 60 years on social security. To do that she lived with family members. I might want to live with my kids at some point – but I want the choice.
Write it down, in as much detail as possible. My focus isn’t on a date or amount. My focus is on the experience I am looking for. When I travel, I think about where I will go? Where I will stay? What car I will rent or if I will rent? How much free time I want?
Again, visualize what that looks like. I slow down, shut my mind off and read what I wrote. See my future as if it is a movie. I want to feel the experience, now. How does it feel to spend a month in France? What does the weather feel like? What does the Hotel, Airbnb or villa offer? Can I walk to a vineyard?
Consider obstacles. I need to be conscious of this question. Do I have the energy and health? Do I have the money to do it? Do I have the time? What will I have to give up to do it? I put limits on myself without being aware of them.
What habits can I change to get where I want to be? Small changes can make huge results. For the last 2 years I do a little exercise every day. Recently I realized that I don’t struggle with depression – at all.
Last, keep an open mind. Allow the universe to have its say. Allow enough spontaneity to bring the element of surprise to my life. Using something as easy as I want to provide $500,000 or more in services to small business owner. The “or more” allows for the universe to add value.
I grew up with SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time) goals. Many times, I felt like I was forcing a square peg in a round hole. Some I achieved, some I didn’t. My New Year’s resolution is to balance my determination and allow for the flow. I plan to enjoy the journey.
Cheers to a great 2022!
By Mary Guldan-Lindstrom, CPA