New Year, New You? On Turning Over a New Financial Leaf
How was 2009 for you? Are you breathing a sigh of relief now that 2010 is here? Or maybe you had a good year last year and are looking forward to an even better one this year.
Regardless, it’s pretty common to thinking of turning over a new leaf to go along with the new year. Losing weight, paying off debt, and quitting one thing or another are popular resolutions.
I’m not one to make resolutions though. I suspect it’s because they seem too pass/fail to me. It’s as if the moment I slip up I’ve lost my chance at changing for the year. I’ll be setting a goal or several goals instead reasonably soon.
Analyzing how I did on last year’s financial goals got me thinking along the same pass/fail lines. Several of my goals were along the lines of “do x each month”, so if I missed a month I technically did not achieve the goal. (Even though I did really well at what I’d wanted to accomplish overall.)
It struck me that change — or turning over a new financial leaf — is not a pass/fail kind of thing. Or at least it’s not a very “real life” kind of thing. We don’t live our lives and end up as either a “success” or a “failure”. Instead, we’re people, with a lifelong history of experiences, and a variety of small triumphs, failures, and everything in between.
Turning over a new leaf also isn’t something that has to be associated with the New Year. Sure, New Year’s is a handy time for reflection. Reminders of it are all around us. But if you plan on making a change this year or setting some goals for yourself, cut yourself a little slack while you’re at it.
Give yourself permission to screw up now and then, and then to try again no matter what the time of year. Every day is a new day, and now is always the best time to take a step toward the things you’d like to achieve.