As we approach the end of the year, people start talking about “turning the page” and “putting last year in the rearview mirror.” But it’s likely that 2020 is going to stick with all of us a bit longer than a typical year might.
And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Life will continue to be very different for the foreseeable future. Reflecting on the challenges you’ve overcome could provide a road map for overcoming new challenges.
Here are three ways to approach the New Year with a constructive and positive outlook.
1. Learn from past experience
COVID-19 always will be linked to your memories of 2020. However, if you dig a little deeper, you might find that certain challenges already were on the radar before the pandemic pushed them to the present.
Perhaps you realized your business model and digital footprint were not as efficient as they could be.
An interruption in your household income might have heightened your awareness on increasing your family emergency savings account.
As mortgage rates continued to fall, you evaluated the possibility of refinancing your existing mortgage.
When clients develop and refine their ongoing wealth plan, they are able to quantify and assess their comfort level in various aspects of their lives.
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This allows them to bring these formative experiences to light and address them in a positive manner.
The end of 2020 and early 2021 might be a good time to revisit that exercise and see if any recent experiences have reset some of your baselines and impacted your long-term goals.
2. Practice gratitude
It is sometimes hard to appreciate all the good things in our lives when so many of our friends, family and neighbors are suffering.
But positivity and gratitude are essential to overcoming adversity. If you don’t appreciate those good things, it’s difficult to understand where you are in life and where you want to go.
Helping others during this time can make a major impact on both your life perspective and the ones you are there to support.
Yes, you are going to remember being stuck at home — a bunch. But what about all the fun and creative ways you and your family spent time together?
Appreciate the game nights, movies you watched, and hopefully more togetherness.
Be grateful for all those extra meals and breaks you got to share with your kids while they were learning at home and you were working from home.
As you review your situation, you might discover that disruption in some areas of your life, such as work, has improved other areas, such as leisure and family time.
Those could be meaningful changes that affect what you really want out of life going forward, regardless of what caused those changes in the first place.
3. Stay positive and follow your path
What is your 2021 going to be like?
Despite all the uncertainty we’re still facing, it is possible to answer this question.
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The key is to apply what we’ve learned in the past year to the things in our lives we can control little by little each and every day.
As you look ahead, try to set aside the pandemic, elections and market worries. Instead, think about what retirement looks like — what is a realistic timeline?
If you are retired, continue to pursue the things that make you happy.
COVID-19 may have altered your path, but you can stay on track by making adjustments to your wealth plan.
Stay on the path and be persistent about fulfilling your goals whether it is a new home remodeling project, helping out with a wedding or college tuition, or saving money for the dream trip on your bucket list.
Understanding where you are coming from, where you are right now and where you want to be in this year and beyond is the core of a good wealth plan.
This article is provided by Pete Alepra, a financial adviser at RBC Wealth Management in Cedar Rapids. The opinions in this column, prepared by ROL Advisor, are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Securities offered through RBC Wealth Management, a division of RBC Capital Markets LLC, Member of NYSE, FINRA and SIPC.