All things come to an end and with that end, new beginnings. As we start the New Year, it is imperative that we restart and refresh who we are– mentally, physically and spiritually. We need to refocus and develop ourselves personally and professionally to hit our goals for the New Year, and even more importantly, to meet career milestones, make cost-saving financial purchases, and build stronger relationships. We must also remove bad habits, refine our processes, and develop skillsets to meet the challenges of the unpredictable world and the critical demands of life. This is why I call January, “New Beginnings Month,” because this month focuses on the individual, our personal and professional goals, to find a new way to everyday living. Today, I will share with you a life lesson on taking inventory of lessons learned and experienced that can be applied to three areas of your life– time, finance, and relationships. By learning to take inventory of past experiences and applying them, it will help you in your journey to developing a new way to everyday living.
Take inventory means reviewing what you learned and experienced in the previous years. What lessons were considerably impactful or profound that you can use this year? Can any lessons be applied to how you manage your time and priorities? Can you add or take away activities that will give you more value or create ease to accomplishing your goals. One strategy is to tighten up your schedule and be more detailed with your calendar so you can see how much time you have to allocate for what matters most to you. Set aside time for you and your family including vacations, date nights, children’s events, holiday gatherings, and individual time. Scheduled events aren’t set in stone, but they do keep you on track. Adjust if you need to because some unforeseen life circumstances will come up. The more you plan and detail your calendar early, the further you can forecast, which will allow you to schedule what needs to be done to successfully accomplish your goals. If you don’t schedule important events and milestones, insignificant events will push your life around like a leaf that blows in the wind.
In applying the “take inventory” strategy to the financial aspect of your life, budget according to your needs and what yields the greatest return. Consider investing in things that will improve your well-being, advance your career and personal development, and significantly boost your overall happiness. A strategy is to study the pricing trends for the things that you are in the market to buy like produce, goods, vacation packages, and property. For example, winter brings the lowest fare in flight tickets so now is the time to buy. This is the same for the housing market so take advantage of the winter season. Also, plan ahead and buy tickets early for business trips, personal and professional development conferences, and family vacations, which is a sure way to stretch the dollar. If you own a business, consider what can save you money and what can serve you efficiently and then spend accordingly. Being financially savvy doesn’t mean you have to be cheap, you just have to be smart about where you spend your money and how you spend it so you get the most out of it.
Lastly in taking inventory, we will examine your relationships. I say and believe this quote wholeheartedly, “There’s money in the transaction, but the wealth is in the relationships.” We are who we roll with, assimilate to who we associate with, and become like who are around us. “Show me your network and I’ll show you your future,” is what I always say to people who want to start investing in their success. If there are people in your life that do not contribute to the development of your life, personally or professionally, then remove them from your life. Of course there are those people who you cannot remove from your life because of circumstances, but when you do have the “choice,” choose to distance yourself away from them or remove them from your life. Toxic relationships will bring out the worse in you. Your healthy habits will start to waiver, their ways will become your ways, they will interfere with how you communicate with others, and if they are in your life long enough, they will affect your belief system and mentality for success. Try to meet other like-minded people who are positive and successful at what you want to be successful at whether it is in a skill set, a career path, or financial stability.
Taking inventory on what happened in the past, analyzing the corrections and changes that needed to be made, and applying the changes can help you develop a new way to everyday living. January is the month of new beginnings. Take inventory, believe in yourself, and then work for it. This is a new year for a new you and new beginnings. This is a new way to everyday living. Live it!