It is completely understandable that many of us are struggling to come up with suitable ideas for New Year’s resolutions for 2021, after the challenges brought our way by 2020. It’s true that lots of our normal aspirations feel out of reach – for example, there’s no point resolving to visit a new and exciting country this year when we’re still in the grip of coronavirus uncertainty! But just because the landscape is tricky doesn’t mean that there aren’t some great commitments we can make for the coming year – here are some of our suggestions:
- Do some wider good. Are your investments where you want them to be? Environmental, social and governance factors have been a key focus for 2020; do your own investments sit comfortably with your own beliefs?
- Get organised! When was the last time you fully reviewed all your savings and investments, and considered what you actually want to achieve out of them? Most savers and investors aren’t saving with the aim of ‘generating a pile of money’ – instead, we have our own plans and goals that the savings are intended to make possible, for example buying a house, paying school fees, or providing an income in retirement. If you haven’t reviewed for a while, how confident are you that you are still on track to meet your goals? And to be honest, if you’re stuck indoors more than normal, a good clear out of those 3 year old statements can be quite cathartic…
- Get up and move! It’s fair to say that 2020 pretty much Zoomed by, and a lot of that time was spent sat in front of our screens (both for work and pleasure), and very little getting out and about. As we are currently in another national lockdown, it’s crucial for our overall health and wellbeing to find a way to work more movement into our day. Whether it’s a walk and some fresh air, standing for your Zoom meetings, a good pace around the house, a quick yoga or stretching session or an online workout, you’ll feel much better for it. What you do doesn’t matter, that you do something really does.
- Think about your safety net. The last year left a lot of people realising that our contingency plans and financial safety nets could probably benefit from being more robust. Reviewing your protection needs, and making sure that your family or business partners are well provided for in the event of your death or long terms illness can enable you to relax and enjoy living for the now. Broadstone protection and financial planning specialists can help you attain a little more peace of mind – and put in place a plan B that could make all the difference if the worst happens.
- Have a new adventure! (Within the parameters of what is possible!) Normally this might mean visiting a new country or ticking an activity off your bucket list, but adventures don’t have to be huge. Actually, you might find a lot of pleasure in exploring something closer to home, embarking on a new book or boxset outside of your usual preference, or expanding your own horizons through volunteering and helping others. Our mental wellbeing is hugely enhanced by distractions, new experiences and connections, and starting the year with some clear plans can boost your confidence and self-esteem.
- Procrastinate less online! OK, we’ve all done it, wasted endless hours scrolling through the mindless glut of social media on our laptop or smartphone. Resolve this year to figure out how to access your pensions and saving online – next time you’re killing time, you could also be checking your funds, or using one of the useful tools and calculators available.
- How’s that expensive gym membership working out – can you use it? Instead of pumping more iron, pump a bit more money into your savings plans! We all have had a change in what we can spend money on this year, whether that be your gym membership or going out for meals. Make use of any savings if you can and budget what you would have spent on a monthly basis and pay it into savings. Who knows once you start you might even continue to find the funds to do this after you can start using the gym / going out for meals again. And in the meantime, going for a run is free! If your income has fallen over the past year, and savings are wishful thinking, then the process of checking through your outgoings to identify any items which can be trimmed is even more useful.
We hope this has given you some ideas, and we’d love to hear some of your suggestions too!
All the very best for 2021 from all at Broadstone.