I’m old (relatively speaking) and in the course of my life I have made more New Year resolutions than I care to remember. Most of them lost me by, oh let’s be optimistic, end of Jan.
Why is that? Every New Year I really thought I had chosen my quests well, that I had set them realistically enough to be obtainable. Something always interfered and I didn’t realize what that was until this year!
All the good wishes for the New Year I received and most of the newsletters from gurus and other advisers I am subscribed to talk a lot about ‘clean slates’. I like that thought. It feels like a total absolution, forgiveness of all sins and missteps of the past year.
Ohh, how I wish..!
There is no such thing as a clean slate, is there? We enter the new year with all our old habits, good and bad and all our expectations, realistic or not. We didn’t resolve anything, or not enough, in the old year, so issues have come along with us into the New Year. That’s who we are, that’s us: a mix and match of traits and talents, wishes and woes, expectations and realities.
Money slates are no different.
Maybe this is the year to clean up the money slate, to sort out some money impulses and decision criteria, become financially leaner, more agile, more alert, more engaged, and safer, with a buffer to soften the ups and downs of life. We all deserve that.
It is very difficult to examine and cleanse those notions about (our) money. They are often emotionally charged and we may have grown accustomed to them, like old palls or an old picture on the wall. We have learned to take them for granted.
But look how much we’ve changed, grown, aged, just in the last few years alone. So why would these money ideas from the past still rule our lives today? To make matters more complicated: the money business itself has changed over the years as well and not always in favour of hardworking people like us or our financial security.
I believe part of the solution lies with us.
It is up to us to bring our finances to higher ground and to do that efficiently we need to recognize our habits and routines for what they are and what they do to our money. We need to separate ourselves from old beliefs that don’t work anymore in this day and age. Many of them come from long years ago, as far back as early childhood sometimes.
I’m not saying that these habits are bad or that our parents didn’t do a good job.
There are too many changes within and around us to sit back and pretend all is the same.
It’s that simple.
We have to get re-acquainted with our Money Self.
For this New Year I wish you
A cleaner money slate!
A closer relationship with your Money Self
I’ll make the wishes and then you do the fun stuff. You get to think and write or talk about your money-self, your money-life, you and your money.
Find a nice journal or notebook and a smooth-writing pen and write!
Or use a small recorder and talk!
Begin with what you know:
- Describe the piggy bank from your childhood and what has become of it. Do you have photos of it?
- Did you get pocket money, birthday, or good report card money? What did you do with it?
- Did you have a job when you were in school? (Babysitting, paper route?) and what happened with that money?
Please, don’t look at it as a nasty chore or something you have to do. This is you you’re talking about. How can that be boring or chore-like?
And please, be kind to your Self!
The Money Whisperer
Author of: Showing up for the Golden Years