In January everyone focuses on New Year’s resolutions, and I invite you to think about your intentions for the year. What do you want 2024 to feel like? What habits and behaviors do you want to carry into the new year How do they align with your values? Do you know what your values are? If not, I have a fun exercise to help you figure it out.
Someone wise once said that your bank statement and calendar are the best indicator of your values. As you reflect on last year and review where you invested your energy, time and money; elevate what is in alignment with your values and decide what you will not be taking with you into the new year.
Just like fishermen pull the rod back before they cast it forward, reflecting on last year’s wins, highlights, and achievements helps to get the juices going on the new intentions. An important point in this exercise is not to compare your growth and progress to the ideal, which is not reachable like the sun on the horizon, but compare to your past self. How are you a better person (parent, business owner, executive, engineer, skier, runner, etc.) than you were a year ago? What about five, ten years ago? Our inner critic is so good at pointing out how we fell short and what didn’t happen, so it takes a mindful effort to notice improvements and continuous progress. Sometimes it helps to write a year in review from your future self, sitting in December 2024 and reflecting on the year that passed.
If you are looking for the books to support new habits, I’d like to recommend:
- Atomic Habits by James Clear
- The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
- Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself by Dr. Joe Dispenza
To get lasting results, you may want to examine your beliefs and mindset about a certain habit. It took me years to integrate strength training and meditation into a regular routine. I had a lot of negative beliefs around taking time for myself and especially to “just sit there”. My Russian upbringing instilled in me that it’s not acceptable, it’s for “sissies”. Once I realized that this outdated program is running in my mind, I was able to let it go and truly embrace these two healthy habits.
If you are looking for a good book to examine your mindset and beliefs about money, I recommend “You Are A Badass at Making Money” by Jen Sincero. Her journal prompts after each chapter may shed some light on some of your beliefs that may not serve you or get your inspiration going.
What also helps to achieve lasting results is to build or join a community around the habits and behaviors that you want more of. It helps to have a routine and hire a coach or a personal trainer. For some of us, perfectionists and overanalysers, starting small and simple is essential. For example - sleep, water and vegetables – track going to bed at the same time each night, track your water intake and introduce more vegetables to your diet. Adding veggies will crowd out your plate and you will be less likely to be tempted by junk food.
I hope you give yourself grace and space to connect with your values and set intentions for the year. I hope you invest in yourself and in what matters to you. My intention for this year is to:
- Share my thoughts, tools, books and ideas in the monthly letters from the heart.
- To do digital clean-up of apps, files, passwords and subscriptions in the personal and business space
I appreciate you taking the time to read my letter. I’d love to hear from you on what you are bringing into the new year, what you are leaving behind, and what financial topics you want to learn more about.