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Instead of a New Year’s Resolution, Make a New Year’s Reflection!

Every year millions of people around the world look to the New Year as a chance to hit reset and start anew. We view the progression of time with a renewed vigor as it allows us to raise the bar we set last year. The version of ourselves from the last 365 can’t hold a flame to the new and improved you.

The 2018 us will have a

  • fully funded emergency fund,
  • IRA,
  • 401k,
  • and see the next bitcoin coming before the talking heads on our gym’s TV do.

Wait, if all it took is a new year to conquer all that ails us, then why wasn’t the last year our great reckoning? These new years come around every time the garbage man is hoisting a brown forest of former joy to the landfill after all. Are we setting the wrong resolutions? Will our bank accounts be forever destined to have as many commas as they do periods?

Instead of a New Year’s Resolution, Make a New Year’s Reflection!

This post has been written by a new guest writer, Brandon Carey.

Maybe the problem is not the resolutions we set. Maybe, instead of taking on the standard New Year’s resolution we should take the time for New Year’s reflections.

new year's reflectionYour New Year’s Reflection

Think back to the resolutions you set last year. How do you feel now that you finally know how to dab? Did something derail your attempt to have a 6 month emergency fund? Why didn’t you get the full company match?

While I do enjoy pointing out your failings as a temporary distraction from my own less than optimal successes, I am not here just to make you feel bad. I want you to reflect on the resolutions that did not go the way you wanted so that we can determine why those resolutions went unresolved. Digging beneath the base answer of “I didn’t meet x goal” gives us actionable information.

Maybe the emergency fund did not get filled because too many unplanned expenses snuck up on you. Deciding to set the same resolution won’t change your ability to stock away un-purchased milkshakes. But if we look at the expenses that popped up we can plan ahead and include them in our budgets. This is a situation where the ‘why’ behind the failure is more important than the failure itself. Diagnosing the cause gives us an achievable resolution and raises our chances of finally hitting that target.

Using the New Year’s Reflection to Achieve YOUR Resolution!

A resolution is a noble activity to undertake but even the noblest of intentions does not guarantee success. Peeling back the layers of our shortcomings will reveal where we went wrong. Making personal finance personal is not just a bumper sticker I’ll be launching on Amazon once this posts; it’s a recipe for success.

Taking the next step towards our larger pursuits requires that we learn more about ourselves. This site is called Life and My Finances for a reason; the two are related. Your life will have unique benefits and challenges that others will not. If I tell you to stop spending your money on cable when you don’t even own a TV how have I helped you?

The boilerplate financial advice that everyone gives is great for the standard family with a:

  • picket fence,
  • dog, and
  • 2.5 kids…

…but odds are that’s not you.

Your resolution must start with the you that you are today. How does that person get to be the person with financial independence? Our goals are not the same and neither are the reasons why we miss them. Reflect on New Years past to make your resolutions successful. Make 2018 the year you stock that retirement fund! Buy that rental property! Eat your cake and have it too!

What’s your New Year’s Reflection?

Battle of the Mind


My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.

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