As we close the books on another year, it’s helpful to look at what we’ve learned and how we can create a financially healthy 2019.
1. List out your financial wins
What are your 2018 financial victories? Did you have constructive monetary conversations? Did you make commendable fiscal choices? What character traits led you to these victories? Where you diligent, patient, creative, resourceful? We seldom give ourselves credit when due, so take the time to pat yourself on the back. You will be more likely to build on those wins in 2019.
2. Ask family and friends about their financial wins
Did they experience an upward career change, a successful life transition, a pay raise, eliminate their debt, reached a goal? Let’s truly celebrate, encourage and support each other. There is a lot of tough stuff and circumstances out there and it is easy to wallow in the muck. There are tons of small victories among the carnage and we need to seek them out. What we appreciate appreciates, whether in ourselves or in how we build others up.
3. Acknowledge your financial failings
We all make financial mistakes, every day in many ways. We overspent on vacation purchases. We argued with someone we love about a money matter. We didn’t do the end of year tax harvesting or rebalancing we had intended to. We should have put more money away for future goals. When we acknowledge and accept what we didn’t do, we become accountable and it frees us to choose a new direction.
4. Financially forgive yourself and others
A new direction includes letting go of the past. It is the conscious decision to let go of the blame, resentment, anger or other detrimental emotions that holds you hostage. It is about accepting and finding peace in that we are all financially fallible, and that we can choose to head into the new year with new intentions instead of incriminations.
5. Sever the financial ties that bind you
Take a look at your subscription services and review your auto pays. Are there apps you are paying for, subscriptions that are no longer serving you, memberships you no longer use? Cancel them. This is a simple way to free up money that you can use discerningly in your spending plan. Are their people in your life that are financial unhealthy for you? Are there boundaries that you need to define and refine in order to stay in your financial integrity?
6. Donate 20 personal items
We so easily accumulate. Our stuff seems to breed in dark corners! Take a morning to walk through your home and pick out 20 things (yours, not a family member’s) that no longer bring you joy. Put them in a box and in your car and schedule a drop off. My mantra is “one new thing in, something goes out!”
7. Identify and connect with others
You are not alone, and you are part of something larger than yourself. Who can help you become your next best financial self? If you choose a life of improvement (I am still on a growth journey), who can hold you accountable for that advancement in your financial life? Connect with people who support your money goals. Set yourself up for growth and true prosperity by putting the professionals and the proponents in place to walk alongside you in 2019.
8. List your financial fears, then set them on fire
What financial fears hold you hostage from moving forward? Write them down. Say them out loud. They are just perceptions of something that could be. The ghosts of a financial future not yet realized. Just as Scrooge faced his demons — bring yours out of the closet and face them fully. After you make the list, take it outside and set it alight. Dan Zadra states it powerfully “Worry is a misuse of the imagination.” Bring your worries into the light and set yourself free to imagine your true potential.
9. Rewire your financial neuropathways
Create financial affirmations that you can write down, say out loud and tell your brain you are going to do money a new way. You can affirm how you bring money into your life or how you share it with people or causes that are important to you. You can avow how you want to grow your financial resources, or protect them. You may want to declare a new way of making spending decisions. Make your affirmation in present tense. I am…. If you need some ideas, check these out.
Your new year starts now. Each day is a chance for new beginnings and delving into any or all of these will help set you up for new pecuniary potential in 2019.
Danielle Howard is a Certified Financial Planner, author, speaker and financial thought leader. She is the author of the book “Your Financial Revolution,” and the eight week e-course “Retirement – Doing Your Dollars Differently.” Visit her at Wealth By Design, or Danielle Howard.