We are pleased to share with you a special piece from renowned Australian money educator Vanessa Stoykov.
Below, Vanessa explains the intrinsic value, and potential benefits, of setting aside time to reflect on 2021 (a most unusual year) and plan for 2022 (the new year now standing before us).
Reflecting on 2021 and planning for 2022 by Vanessa Stoykov
As we enter a new year, saying goodbye to what everyone would agree was a most unusual year, it may serve all of us well to reflect on what happened in 2021 and who we have become in the process.
Nobody can stay the same after living through a pandemic—changes to our work, access to friends and family, and leaving many of us home-schooling.
As we all enjoy the freedoms allowed since vaccination targets have been reached, it’s also time to do some conscious thinking around your future and your financials—for 2022 and beyond.
What do I mean by this?
Ask yourself what you really want from life. Be brave. Drop the thoughts of what is best for someone else. Because happiness and energy flows from you to everyone else. And, if you don’t have a growth mindset about exploring how to improve your happiness and your future, nobody is going to do it for you.
So, go wild. Journal your dreams and wildest thoughts—nothing is off-limits. I find setting the time aside and doing your favourite relaxing activity can be helpful—whether that be a walk, a bath, or even a massage. Get yourself in a state of relaxation and block out a couple of hours for yourself.
Be inventive in how you find this time because it is critical to your growth. Once you have invested the time in your ideas, test them out with other critical stakeholders in your life—whether that be a partner, parents, children, or anyone who has a stake in your plans. Off the back of this, start to nut out how moving toward that dream would work financially.
There is little motivation to save and invest for a rainy day, outside of having an emergency fund (which is critical). The best motivation is knowing what you really want and then figuring out the best way to do it financially.
Once you have a goal, you can start to do some of your own research around money. Do you need a loan? Sell a property? Insure yourself? Whatever your plan for life holds, there is a corresponding money activity that goes with that plan to make it happen. You may even find that you need financial advice, as well as coaching, or just a sanity check. Either way, the more you talk about these plans with others, and use some of your own time to understand the challenges, the better.
Importantly, your plan will evolve into 2022 and beyond—aligned with the life you want to live, always fluid and adjusting as life changes, and you do too. So, good luck with setting goals and dreaming big. We all only get one shot at this thing called life, so make sure you squeeze every drop of joy out of it you can.
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