2021: What Worked, What Didn’t, and Where We Go from Here
“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”
- Heraclitus -
Many of us went from 2020 to 2021 feeling somewhat optimistic, right? New year…fresh start…surely this pandemic will be over with the changing of the calendar….
Not so much.
The last couple of years have been a time of self-evaluation like many of us have never experienced before. The good news is that many are taking this opportunity to make changes and create new goals.
The website Lightly Roasted Thoughts posed these six questions to help you evaluate the previous year:
- If I had to sum up this last year in one sentence, what would that be?
- What results/experiences would I like to repeat next year? And what would I like to not repeat?
- What were my top three lessons learned?
- Who made me feel happy and confident and who did not?
- What worries me most about the future?
- What have I done to be kind to myself this year? In an ideal world, how would I like to describe my life at the end of this upcoming year in one sentence?
I decided to answer these questions myself and take an honest look back:
If I had to sum up this last year in one sentence, what would that be?
We spent this last year learning to live and thrive with our new normal.
What results/experiences would I like to repeat next year? And what would I like to not repeat?
I’d like to repeat the appreciation of spending time with family and friends. We’ve pulled our circles tighter. Of course, I could go the rest of my life without having to take another Covid test.
What were my top three lessons learned?
1. Keep moving.
2. Everything will not be perfect, so don’t expect it to be.
3. Stop getting upset over things I can’t control (someone please remind me of this the next time I freak out!).
What worries me most about the future?
Social Media and disinformation. When used for good, social media can be a fantastic tool to keep in touch or update others on what is going on. Something about how it is being used today just doesn’t feel right.
What have I done to be kind to myself this year?
I started getting regular massages. In full disclosure, it took a neck/back issue that kept me from sleeping well for a month before I gave myself permission to take this step. Now I look at them as the only way to keep myself in front of a computer each day – so they aren’t optional.
In an ideal world, how would I like to describe my life at the end of this upcoming year in one sentence?
I want to focus on my health in 2022, so I would like others to look at me and think – wow – what a healthy person.
Evaluating Your Finances
Being a financial advisor…I can’t just let it go with these general questions. It’s important to look at our financial goals, too.
The good news is that, according to Financial Advisor IQ, “Americans began to develop better financial habits in 2021…. Seventy-one percent stuck with a financial resolution, compared to 58% in 2020 and 42% say that they’ve become more thoughtful about saving and spending, according to the study.”
Here are some questions you might ask yourself to create some financial resolutions this year:
- Where do I stand in relationship to my goals? Have I gotten closer or further?
- How is inflation impacting me? What part of this is likely temporary (gas and grocery prices) and what part is likely to remain permanently higher (takeout food)?
- Is the level of risk that I am taking in my portfolio still the level of risk that I am comfortable with taking?
- Many people used this past year to either pay down debt and/or refinance their home. Did you use this additional cash flow to enhance your future? Are you saving more or just spending more in different areas?
- How is your cash reserve looking? Has it crept up to be too high or do you need to do some replenishing?
It’s always important to look at where you’ve been and where you’re going. If you have any questions about your financial future, we’re here to help!
Cecilia Beach Brown Is a registered representative offering investment and advisory services through Lincoln Financial Securities Corporation, Member SIPC. Advisory Services are offered to residents of Maryland. LFS and its representatives do not offer tax or legal advice. Please see your tax or legal professional regarding individual circumstances. C Beach Brown, LLC, Pilot Financial Advisors and Lincoln Financial Securities are separate entities. LFS-4143065-011022