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How to Profit from an Annual Money Relationship Review

The month of December—swirling with holiday festivities, social commitments, and gift shopping—can create the perfect storm to zone out when it comes to money. However, I’d like to challenge you to find a small pocket of solitude and take some time to reflect on your financial life during the past year and create a powerful vision for your relationship with money in 2011.

And I want to be clear here, I’m not talking only about numbers. I’d like you to review and vision changes regarding behaviors, attitudes, and feelings when it comes to money. To guide you in the process, I’m sharing the steps I take:

Past Year Reflection:

  • Use the following questions to help you review your money life successes and challenges in 2010:
  • What went well this year in my financial life? What did I accomplish? What success am I most proud of?

What were some of the challenges I faced regarding money? What do I need to do or put in place moving forward to avoid these obstacles?

To help you get into some of the nitty-gritty details, think about the “transit points” of money: earning, saving, spending, giving, and investing. How were those areas of your relationship with money in 2010? During this assessment, try to be as objective as possible—and NO JUDGMENTS please! The fact you are taking the time to do this review in and of itself deserves a pat on the back.

Visioning for 2011:

Using the information you gleaned from your annual review, start to think about what you’d like your relationship with money to look like by the end of 2011. Here are some guidelines to help you:

Start small and focused. Avoid getting overwhelmed by setting just a few goals to start. You can always add more as the year progresses and you gain traction. Make sure your intentions are stated in a measurable way and include a time frame.

Write them down! Research shows having written goals are more powerful and a greater indicator of success.

Know your “compelling why.” When you write down your goals, beside each one, list the reasons you want to achieve the goal and why it matters. This will help you stay motivated. In those moments of discouragement, simply return to your why.

Make a plan. Schedule the action steps into your calendar. Break down your goals into the specific “baby steps” required to reach them.

Seal your intention. Call a trusted friend or mentor to share what you’ve written and declare your intentions for 2011. There is power in verbalizing your goals and having them “witnessed” by another.

Get support. Nothing increases the likelihood of actually reaching your goals more quickly and easily than having someone else holding you accountable. Partner up with a girlfriend, a colleague, or hire a money coach to keep you on track and moving forward. Check in frequently to ensure forward progress.

Celebrate your victories! Take time to acknowledge each goal you achieved—no matter how big or small. Realize that you’ve completed something and you deserve to savor this feeling of accomplishment!

If you’d like a fun and creative way to support you in setting intentions for the new year—and dreaming BIG—check out my new e-book, How to Craft a Money Vision Board for Financial Success. I walk you through a powerful visioning process supporting you in not only getting clear on your money goals but—more importantly—staying motivated to achieve them! 

Financially Smitten Call to Action for You Today:

What is your number one goal for you and money in 2011? Get as specific as you can. Here are some examples to get your visionary juices flowing:

  • I will keep a money journal to chart my progress with improving my relationship with money.
  • I will read one financial blog a week.
  • I will have saved $1500 by June 30, 2011.
  • I will meet with a financial planner by March 30, 2011.
  • I will participate in the Financially Smitten Virtual Book Salon.
  • I will set up systems to organize my financial records.
  • I will have made $_______ by the end of 2011.