It is hard to believe that the first month of the year is coming to a close. How are you doing so far with your New Year’s resolutions? Have you created some new healthy habits around diet and exercise, are you on track to read “said” number of books in this year or are you struggling with the winter doldrums and therefore behind on everything? I am experiencing the winter blues a bit, but planning an escape or two over the long winter does help me get through it. I have also been enjoying the spectacular sunrises and sunsets….even the snow is glorious…I just don’t want to be driving around on bad roads.
I told you that I choose a word for the year. This year “discernment” is my word and so far it is serving me well. I am the type of personally that says yes to everything and gets excited by all of the “shiny objects” that are put in my path personally and professionally. The problem with always saying yes and chasing shiny things is that it is hard to truly get to what matters most to you. Our most valuable asset we have is our time. So how we spend it really does matter. I am finding myself stopping more often and asking the question, is that something that is part of what God has intended for my life. Slowing down, praying and listening has been a good discipline for me this year. My husband and I are also going back through Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life. We did it nine years ago as part of a Sunday school class. It is eye opening to see the comments that I wrote back then in response to each days readings.
As a wealth advisor, the first thing I want to know about my clients is what matters to them. Who do they love? What is is important to them? Does how they treat their money match up? Interestingly, this morning, the Purpose Driven Life Bible study title was “What Matters Most”. It all comes down to love. So are you spending your lifeforce doing things you love, with people you love, serving causes you love? When you filter it that way, “discernment” becomes a lot easier.
The beginning of a new year is also a good time to see how you are doing with your finances. A review of year end statements as you prepare for taxes is a good thing to do. We had done a personal financial statement at the end of each year for a long time. It helps us to see how we are doing year to year on saving for retirement, paying off our home, saving for college, etc. It’s a good discipline to check the financial progress you have made over the past year. For us, the 529 college saving plan we set up for Taryn is about depleted, but she is done and it served it’s purpose. Now we can reallocate finances a bit differently.
January has been a month of big changes for us. Taryn moved away and got her first paycheck today. She is officially in charge of her own bills and as she says, adulting is exciting, but is also a reality check. We have already set her up with her 401k contributions, her own health insurance and other benefits. She is on her way. So far, she loves what she is doing. She is working hard but finding personal and professional satisfaction. What more can you ask!
Here’s to one month in the books. Ready to take on February!
PS…Max is photo bombing the sunrise photo from this morning….he LOVES the snow!