Before the New Year
Whether you are relaxing as the year closes or frantically busy with holiday activities, you may not realize that we are closing the decade.
The decade! That just stuns me to think about. It seems just a few years ago, we were worried about Y2K and now twenty years have passed, and we are entering the 20s.
Sounds futuristic, and yet it’s only a few days from now.
Watch these 3 Indicators
Whenever I look to the future, I reflect on the past. At the end of each year, I take stock of where I am and where I want to go. Most importantly, I’ve learned to hone-in on three indicators that tell a powerful story: my bank statements, my relationships, and my calendar.
Most of us think about money as a measurement of how we are doing financially. It is that, but it also reflects our values. Look at what you actually spent your money on, not what you wish you did. Do I see surprises in how I spent my money? How much did I give to others in need? How much did I invest? Don’t just look at your ATM slip. Take the time to study where it all goes.
“I don’t care too much for money, money can’t buy me love.” -Paul McCartney
“The safest way to double your money is to fold it over and put it in your pocket.” -Kin Hubbard
Relationships are another point of reflection. In The Book of Mistakes, I say, “Your friends determine your fate.” There are numerous studies that demonstrate that the people you are around influence you more than you realize. Am I nurturing the ones that mean the most to me? Have I been open enough to accept new friends? Am I weeding out those who no longer make sense?
“Your friends determine your fate.” -Skip Prichard, #TheBookofMistakes
The last indicator is my calendar. At this point in my life, I realize that it’s the most important – by far. No matter how much I want more of it, it’s fixed. If I want to see what I value, I look at my calendar and it tells the story. If I want to be fit, how much time did I spend in the gym or outdoors? If I want to be close to friends, how much time did I spend with them? If I want to give back, how many hours were spent working for and with the charities that make a difference? At work, did I spend time working on the non-important things, or did I spend my time what will pay off in the future?
“Time flies over us, but leaves its shadow behind.” -Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Next Ten
As we close the decade, I am taking a few days to reflect on the last ten years and then look to the next ten. My goals are big. My dreams are vivid. My hopes are overflowing. If I want to make them come true, I start by adjusting my current habits and activities. Analyzing where I invest my time, money, and relationships is the best place to start.
Ten years from now, I am certain that 2030 will arrive. The question is where will you be? If you want to be somewhere amazing, take time to dream it, plan it, and analyze it. Then, you’ll look back at the decade and admire your growth.