1. Time to get out the calendar for the new year and make note to contact business associates on January first. That’s right on New Year’s day. Overachievers don’t wait for the first business day of the year to make an impression – They get a jump on the crowd. I often get a couple of e-mails or text messages early on January first with a “Hi, Happy New Year, Murray – Best to you.” No business talk, just a new year greeting. It does leave an impression!
2. Think back to what you did over the past year and especially what you didn’t get accomplished. Make a list of those things and then go through and try to determine why you didn’t get them done. Work on correcting that in the year ahead. Much of it may have to do with time management.
3. Know where your money is. A recent survey found 42 percent of Americans have no idea where their money is invested! They couldn’t say what, if any, stocks, bonds or mutual funds they own. Do you know where your money is invested? Financial pros say to make a plan in the new year to take an inventory of what you have and then check it at the end of each month or each quarter to determine if you’re moving ahead or falling behind.
4. Update your insurance policies, wills and trusts. Estate attorneys say the biggest mistake they see their clients make is finally having the proper papers in order but then failing to update them. Check the beneficiaries. Every year family units change. There are births, deaths, marriages and divorces. When I had this conversation with a colleague she exclaimed, “Oh My! My dog is in my will but my 10 month old is not!” Updating beneficiaries is important. There are not many people who would like to see all of their hard earned money to go their ex-spouse, or that person’s new husband or wife!
5. Determine what new skill you want to learn in the new year. Not only will that keep you busy, but it could also help increase your value as an employee. Six out of ten freelancers have updated their skills in the past six months, according to nextavenue.org.
6. Finally, make a ‘to do’ list of things you’d like to accomplish in the next 12 months. Next to each item add a date for completion. Tackle only one item at a time. Behavioral experts think that will give us the best chance of achieving those goals. Trying to accomplish too much at one time often results in failure. They say setting a time frame for each and enjoying the feeling of succeeding one at a time will give us the encouragement to move to the next one with confidence.
Hope your new year is everything that you desire—and more!