As the first missive of the year, we find it irresistible to comment on New Year’s resolutions. These resolutions typically fall into one of two categories: things that you give up, such as a sedentary lifestyle, or positive actions, such as saving 10% of your income. The problem with most resolutions is that we have tried to accomplish them in the past and have failed miserably. It is rare that we can come up with a resolution that we really haven’t thought about before.
My resolution is to suggest something so radical that you probably never thought of it before. My suggestion is that you resolve to treat yourself better in 2014. Surprised? After years of working with clients, I have noticed that most people are fixated on the future. They come to us, rightly so, to help them plan prudently for their future. Much of the planning process is driven by discussions about that future.
What can be left out of these discussions is perhaps the most important asset we all have: today. It is sad to say that none of us is guaranteed tomorrow, but all of us have today. So resolve to ask yourself each day: what have I done for myself today? Sound selfish? Absolutely not. It is all too easy to get caught up in caring for others, and indeed that is a noble calling. We would not have much of a society if our sole focus was on ourselves.
On the other hand, when was the last time someone told you to be good to yourself – to do something just for you? I bet it is a rarity. Unfortunately, everyone wants something from you, whether it is your boss, your kids, your partner, or the IRS! In order to maintain a positive outlook on life and to function at peak efficiency, you need to feel good about yourself. One of the best ways to do that is to carve out some time each and every day to pursue your interests, whether they are reading, exercise or something else.
Carving out time for you can work wonders on your attitude, as well as how others interact with you. While we are on the topic, when was the last time your financial advisor suggested that you occasionally spend money on something frivolous? You have my permission to try that one on for size!