With the approaching new year, it is important to take a step back and make sure we are prepared personally for what lies ahead in by making a 2018 to-do-list.
Are you on the right path to achieve personal as well as professional success this coming year? Here are a few things that you should do before 2018 or by the end of January.
Here are 6 things you need to do before 2018.
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1. Look Back and Reflect on 2017
Reflecting on the year that is about to expire helps establish where we are, where we were, and where we are headed.
If you are married or in a close personal relationship, this is something that the two of you should be involved with.
What were your bills this time a year ago?
What was the state of your savings or investments?
Don’t get depressed if this is not good news. Instead, use it to empower you in improving these aspects of your life. Look for the positives. If you paid off a credit card or bought a new house, make a note.
Did you take a nice vacation?
Did you complete an educational course?
Were there other ways you were able to improve yourself?
Perhaps you met a new person or made new friends. Use your successes to build momentum and seek to overcome issues like procrastination that may have held you back.
2. Schedule Doctor Appointments and Checkups
The end of the year is a good time to check in on your health by scheduling doctor appointments.
It also ensures you are using any health benefits your medical insurance plan has available before they expire.
Keep in mind, these include dental, vision, and your overall health.
Entering the new year knowing the status of your physical health can provide you peace of mind.
If health changes are suggested by your doctor it is the perfect time to make those changes.
3. Clean Up and Declutter
Most of us simply have too much stuff.
It may be books, clothing, kitchen gadgets, apps on our phones, or boxes in our basements. Acquiring stuff tends to burden us rather than enrich us. That is why cleaning up, decluttering, and downsizing has so much value in preparing you for the New Year.
Will you add more apps in 2018?
Of course, you will, but you should shed the ones you rarely use before the year is out.
Will you buy new clothes in the coming year?
Certainly. But get rid of the clothes you haven’t worn in over a year first.
If you are an avid reader, aren’t you better served gifting a book you love to someone who will learn from it or enjoy it rather than having it collect dust on a shelf?
Decluttering has a mental and therapeutic benefit to it.
Less “stuff” creates less weight on your mind and spirit. “Stuff” takes space, maintenance, and can quickly outweigh perceived benefits.
Owning a boat, for example, may sound like an absolutely logical goal initially but when you consider the purchase costs, storage, dock space, maintenance, fuel costs, insurance, and transportation expense and divide it by the number of weeks or days you may actually enjoy it, there may be better alternatives.
Decluttering often starts by simply asking, “Do I really need this?”
4. Check Your Finances
Looking at your finances and investments is more complex than looking at the balance of your checking account.
You need to establish where you are RIGHT NOW, at the end of the year.
What are your total debts? If you were forced to pay the balance on your mortgage, car loans, credit cards, department store cards, and other personal debt, how much would it be?
Now, add up your savings and investments, the value of your home and cars, your personal belongings, collectibles, and what you have in your wallet and checking account, what would that amount to?
This, at the very least, that will give you a rudimentary evaluation of your net worth.
The bottom line is, if you were to go away today, never to be heard from again, and your family would have to sell your assets to pay your bills, what would be left over? Knowing this basic number, even if not precise, can help you improve upon it before heading into 2018.
Don’t Forget to Evaluate Your Taxes as Well
No end of the year financial check-up would be complete without an evaluation of your tax situation.
How can you best position yourself in the new year to minimize your taxes, whether they are income, real estate, capital gains, inheritance or others?
There is no doubt a tax professional can pay dividends in your planning for the new year.
Are there things that you add to your to-do-list for the end of the year? Let me know what they are in the comments. If you want to get more done in 2018 than ever, click the button below to download my free ABCDE Checklist Productivity Tool.