- Being kind to others takes no effort at all
- The old adage is true – It’s better to give than receive
- Pay attention to your finances, especially retirement savings
Better You in 2020
If you’re done with your presents, tree, menorah, and candles, thoughts turn to the closing of this year and the beginning of the new year. The year 2020 is another opportunity to take a trip around the sun, and offers the chance to be better you in 2020 than you were this past year.
Be Kinder To People
People are a mess. They’re sometimes rude, oftentimes grouchy, they can be mean spirited and angry at things you think are unimportant. Extend some grace to them and see if you can find a way to offer kindness. Don’t assume that they’re even responding or reacting to you. Often the way people behave is about themselves and not outside stimulus, which includes you. They’re having a rough day, and you have the opportunity to be kind, and maybe that will help them feel a little better, instead of you responding with anger and them continuing to sink into a morass of grouchiness.
Enter into situations with the understanding that not everyone is out to get you and that your interlocutor is looking for a solution beneficial to both of you. Assume things will work out in your favor (it’s still cool to have a plan in case they don’t, no need to be naïve!) Trust the process. Believe in yourself and your own power. You can often make someone’s day better (see #1) just by believing a situation can come to a positive outcome. And while you’re at it, assume generosity with yourself. The words you tell yourself all day, every day, are what becomes the running monologue in your head.
Figure Out What’s Going on with Your Money
It can feel really hard to get ahead these days, and there never seems like there’s enough money for the bills and the spending. Do yourself a favor and find out where your money comes in from, how much you have, and where it goes when it goes out. A money journal can be really helpful, wherein you write down all that you buy – a newspaper? A pack of gum? A yacht? Yes, all of it. Keep a running total – start with the new year if it makes it easier for you, start with what you have in the bank. And start with making a list of what you’re buying. Banks will tell you that a fancy coffee can break you, but that may not be where your money heads. When you know where it’s going, you can rein it in and make wiser choices about it for the future.
Think About the Future
Lastly, it’s never too early to think about retirement. Continuing from my last point, now is the time to think about putting aside money for the future. Whether you are 20 years old or 50, you need to prepare for your post-working years. Obviously, the sooner you start, the better off you will be (and the earlier you can start enjoying retirement!). Start putting aside a little bit each week into a plan that works for you. If you’re starting young, you will benefit greatly from the Roth IRA. And why not self-direct it? This will open the doors to many investment opportunities, not just in Wall Street.
Here’s To a Better You in 2020!
2020 is the start of a new decade and can really offer you a chance to make a fresh start. Even if you feel the world around you is a dumpster fire, you can draw your own line in the sand and declare the ‘20s the Decade of You. All you need to do is start small – one little change can make a difference in how you feel, how you act, and how you save.