Year-end is my time for reflection and renewal. Business owners use it to set goals and develop a plan with benchmarks for the next year. I started applying this perspective to my personal life.
The end of last year was hectic, with my knee replacement in November and my mother-in-law’s death at Christmas. I didn’t take the time to center myself before 2019 began and I have felt behind all year. I’m not a fan of new year’s resolutions, but I am a big fan of examining my life and what’s working and what could be improved. Here are some of the areas I have explored in the past.
◗ Big-picture planning
Envision the life you want. Are there ways to include bits of it in your current routine? I always envisioned a small, home-based practice. While this is not a practical option for me, I have created a home office and am starting to use it more.
My husband was offered an early retirement package this fall that he declined. We were talking about his choice this week and his big reason for continuing to work was that he didn’t know what his life purpose would be once he left the workforce. He has lots of things he wants to do around the property, but that wasn’t compelling enough. His goal for the next year will be to identify what will give his life meaning once he is no longer employed.
◗ Financial housekeeping
One of the key findings in Wes Moss’ book “You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think” was that “happy retirees spend at least five hours a year planning for retirement.” Jason Butler in the 2017 article “Are you a financial ostrich, engineer or pragmatist?” stated that “the ostrich approach — aimlessly going through life without any sense of what you need to earn, save and invest — increases the probability of you either having to work until you drop or spend your old age in poverty.” A small investment of time will yield huge dividends in retirement.
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