As you begin 2020, are you full of hope and passionate about life and what you do each day? Or do you worry about the future? If you have lost your passion or if you are caught up in worry, we need to talk “change” in 2020!

Each January I meet with people, who are “set” on setting resolutions for the next year, but I’m not a resolution type of person. I do believe in setting goals—goals that can challenge and transform you into a person, who is highly effective and productive. But you can’t do this without passion. Passion is one of those things that can’t be taught, but it can be “caught.”

Learning to have passion does not include spending more hours in the office or having more money. Over my many years of working with clients, I have never seen any of them experience lasting joy just because they have more.

Now, they may have moments of happiness as they reach certain professional and financial levels. But for most, if not all of them, the one thing that really fuels their passion is knowing that they have accomplished something of greater value than money can offer.

If you are not living within your passion, I want to challenge you to discover what is draining you. Is it the need to have more, or is there debt, and financial commitments that you would like to eradicate? If so, begin this year by writing down the very things that are capturing your spending.

Be courageous; eliminate monthly hits to your credit card account—you know how easy it is to hand over the plastic before you stop and think about your budget or your Commander’s Intent for your life. I can show you how to bring balance and success to your portfolio!

If spending or debt are not issues, then start 2020 with some very simple suggestions:

  • Articulate your values in life. What are the things that you would do before you die, if you could?
  • Take time to know what makes you tick inside.
  • Create an environment where inner energy fuels your passion each day.
  • Talk with a trusted advisor and create a plan that outlines who you are and where you are going in 2020.

Here are some other basic suggestions that will make a difference in the way you take on each day.

  • Create a broad life portfolio Don’t just focus on the financial. Make sure that your life is diversified by carving out time to do what creates passion and a desire to grow and learn in areas that you have side-stepped for years.
  • Eliminate Debt It’s important for you to enter retirement debt free This means credit card debt, student loan debt, mortgage debt and car payments. It may be hard to imagine but one of the most consuming debts that face baby boomers is student loan debt.

People between 55 and 73 have the second-highest student loan balance right behind Generation X. And the average balance is over 34K! When dealing with finances, debt is probably one of the greatest stressors you will face. If a new client talks with me and I see that there is a large amount of debt, I know immediately there is pressure. Sit down, organize your debt and make a commit to paying it off.

One woman was so excited about downsizing her life from owning three houses to two! The third house with seven acres of land was a drain on her and her husband’s life. Her happy meter could not get off zero because her life was entrenched in making the next house payment!

  • Create a Financial Plan that is Comprehensive Probably the top fear I have to address almost every week is the fear that “the money will run out!” This is why it is so important for you to have a financial advisor in your life that you are confident with. This needs to be a person that you trust and that you can be completely honest with when making future investments and purchases.

Before I pull out a pad and start the process of developing a plan, I take time to listen and get to know my clients. I want to hear about their goals, their wishes, shortfalls, victories, and what they want for the future. And I want them to be a part of every step we take in the planning process.

A well-developed plan needs to cover everything from your risk tolerance to your healthcare expenses, estate planning, and retirement needs. When you see everything laid out in front of you, you will have not only more confidence in your future, but you also will have a greater sense of peace.

  • Make sure you have an Emergency Fund This one should really be at the top of the list. Most advisors say to have a three month emergency plan but having a six month is even better. This fund is saved to cover your living expenses for an extended period of time and would be used to cover unexpected expenses. More than half of the households in the US do not have an emergency saving account. This number includes a large number of people, who are over age 50. Unexpected expenses should never change your budget; but if you do not plan for these, this is exactly what can happen.

It is always the right time to prepare for the future. Don’t wait for an “ER” moment to think about how you need a plan. Begin today by creating a strategy that will successfully take you beyond 2020! #goals #leadership #resolution #setting goals #passionate