Okay so take a moment. Breathe. It's been a helluva year!
What’s the positive side of the [email protected]!# storm that was 2020? You are wide awake. You're rethinking your values and actions. As you do so, take advantage of the year's merciful end as the ideal moment to refresh your money plan.
Here are five steps to reflect on your money:
Start by setting aside a time and arranging your workspace. Think of this as a date with your 2021 Self. Light a candle. Put on soothing music if it helps you focus. Adjust the lighting. Remove all distractions: iPhone, television, radio, Alexa, and any notifications on your devices.
Clear your desk or table. Gather your bank statements and any other needed documents. Grab a calculator, notepad and pen. Go online and pull up your bank account and any budgeting tool you might use.
Approach 2021 with a beginner's mind. It’s not like you have a choice anyway. It’s been a battering year and hey, you’re still standing. Leave the judgment at the door. Instead of fixating on what you did or didn't do well, try filling your heart with compassion.
Celebrate any small victories you’ve had along the way in 2020. It’s been a wrenching year for everyone, and you did the best you could. Did you get a stimulus check? Did you spend it on something meaningful or did you save it? Were you able to tighten your food spending? What about your investments? Did they perform well this year?
Now. Step back now and envision how you want your money to look in 2021.
Begin with something easy. I mean really easy. Pick something that's not intimidating or triggering. What can you change swiftly and easily? Set up an automatic monthly transfer into savings? Start saving change in a coffee mug? Put those credit cards on ice? The easy wins will motivate you to keep making improvements.
Build on that momentum as you take on areas that require more time, effort and energy. Pick only one area of focus per month or per quarter. This could be food, clothing or streaming subscriptions.
Focusing on one area at a time sets you up for success. Anything more can get tedious and overwhelming. Your goal is to stay motivated. The real, measurable data you accumulate gives gradual shape to your money picture. That in itself is rewarding and illuminating.
Expect ups and downs in your emotions and circumstances, especially in these times. Don't let this frustrate you. Take a few deep breaths and remember your self-compassion.
Look upon any past mistakes or poor planning as opportunities to learn and grow. It's been a ride wild. Picture your 2021 Self this time next year. She’s smiling with pride and confidence. She knows you kicked ass this year thanks to an open mind that is still wide awake.
As you say goodbye (and good riddance?) to this year, embrace the fresh possibilities that await you beyond the rubble of 2020.
Happy Holidays and Have a very Happy New Year!
We know it can be challenging to balance work, family, friends, exercise, the house, some "me time," and 17 other things you have going on. That's why we launched the Vibrant Money Newsletter!