How To Reboot Your Finances, Health And Relationships In 2020
There’s no better time than the present to turn your life around
January 7, 2020
The start of a new year is a great time to think about what you want the next few years of your life to look like. However, simply making resolutions isn’t the way to go. If you really want a fresh start, you have to create a solid foundation for lasting change.
And that involves being honest about what you want, and then looking at the thoughts and habits that are holding you back from transforming your life for the better. So forget resolutions, think reboot.
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Resolutions are hard to stick to. Saying that you want to lose 10 kg or save $10,000 is easy, but if you don’t include a step-by-step plan for achieving those goals, and don’t understand how your current behaviours and habits are limiting you, you may feel overwhelmed and lose all motivation to see your resolutions through.
Says Dr Lim Boon Leng, a psychiatrist at Dr BL Lim Centre For Psychological Wellness at Gleneagles Medical Centre: “For lasting change to occur, you have to start small and go slow. When you start small, or break a big goal up into smaller goals, you’ll find the changes easier to implement and sustain. And when you go slow, you’re less likely to feel daunted and therefore more likely to stick to your goals.”
Once you’ve decided that this is the year you turn things around for yourself, you need to get a realistic reboot plan in order. To do this, first establish your goal, then ask yourself a few important questions to help you bring your intentions into clearer focus. Ready to start your reboot plan?
How To Reboot Your Finances, Health And Relationships In 2020
The Goal: Most of us simply want to be able to save more or spend less, but you may also decide that this is the year you want to grow or invest your money.
But First, Ask Yourself: What does financial security mean to me? How much do I want to save or invest, and why? How have my current saving and spending habits been preventing me from acquiring wealth? Am I earning enough to save the amount I have in mind? If I set a budget for myself, will I stick to it? What are my current debts and which ones can I afford to pay off first? Am I happy with the interest I’ve been earning? Do I need a financial planner to help me sort out my finances? If one of us were to suddenly lose our job, would we have enough to live on for a while?
Tips To Reboot Your Finances
Always pay yourself first: We’ve all heard this many times – you can’t acquire wealth if you don’t save regularly. Keon Chee, director at Legasy Planners, an estate planning company, suggests saving 20 per cent of your salary every month. “Keep doing this and you won’t miss it after a while.”
Pay off your most expensive debt first: If 25 per cent of your total debts are tied to your credit card, 6 per cent to your insurance, and 2 per cent to your mortgage, and you just received your year-end bonus, you should pay your credit card debt first, says Keon. “If I had a way to borrow on my insurance company to pay my card debt then I would, and I would not pay the bank more than the usual monthly amount in order to reduce the loan balance. I would then ask my credit card company to make an automatic deduction from my current or savings account every month.”
Want to invest? Start small: Don’t analyse or stress yourself too much, says Keon. “Follow American billionaire Warren Buffet’s advice: You won’t make millions yet but you need to take the crucial first step. You may also wish to work with a financial advisor to help you with your financial goals.”
The Goal: This may be the year you leave your current company for a better one, move up the career ladder, or make your current role more rewarding.
But First, Ask Yourself: What does career satisfaction mean to me? Am I really happy and thriving in my current job or company, and if not, why? Am I making the best use of my talents, skills and experience, and if not, why? Is there another role or company I’m interested in? What’s stopping me from making the leap? What do I really want out of my career in 2017 and the next few years? Are there any training courses I can do to help me move forward?
Tips to Reboot Your Career
Remember: Employability is more important than having a job. A job is here today, gone tomorrow, says Paul Heng, executive coach and founder of Next Career Consulting Group, Asia. It’s important to make sure you’ll always be employable, be it brushing up on certain skills or working on your professional image.
Keep Building your skills: Never stop learning, whether on the job or through outside courses. A variety of skill sets is always better than one.
Network like there’s no tomorrow: “You never know whom you’ll meet,” says Paul. “That person might be able to help you with your career in some way. Don’t restrict yourself to local networks. If you can access regional or global networks, even better.”
The Goal: You want more quality time with your loved ones.
But First, Ask Yourself: What does quality time with the family mean to me? What’s stopping me from spending quality time with the people I love right now? Have my family complained about not seeing me enough? If I had the time or energy to spend the day with them, what would we do? How would they benefit from my being around more?
Tips to Reboot Your Relationships
Discuss your plans with your spouse: Daniel Koh, a psychologist at Insights Mind Centre, suggests talking to your husband about how to improve the time you have together as a couple. “Review every aspect of your relationship from the last year – look at things like communication, sex, and bonding,” Daniel says. “How did you fare in these areas? You should both look at what needs work and then draw up some plans.”
Engage in meaningful activities: Think about how you’re going to spend that quality time, says Daniel. Watching a movie is relaxing, but if your goal is to communicate more with your kids, then that won’t help.
Learn to draw boundaries: If spending more time with family is important to you in 2017, then you must say no to others who may be competing for that precious time. “Unless you set those boundaries, you’ll always find yourself strapped for time,” Daniel adds.
The Goal: To lose weight, eat better, and be stronger and healthier.
But First, Ask Yourself: How do I define being fit, strong and healthy? What has kept me from achieving my health goals? Am I just too busy to exercise or eat regular meals? Do I overeat when stressed? Am I willing to put in the work and time that it takes to keep my body strong, lean and healthy? Why is it important for me to lose weight, eat better and feel healthier? How would I feel if I managed to accomplish this? Do I need expert medical help to get my weight under control?
Tips to Reboot Your Health
Watch for hidden sugars: You already know to avoid sugary foods and beverages, but Joan Liew, master trainer and co-founder of Fitness Factory, also says to watch for hidden sugars in sauces, snack bars, and some low-fat foods like cereal and crackers. “Sugar is a big contributor to weight gain, so if you minimise your intake, you’ll help bring down the number on your weighing scale,” she says. “When buying packaged foods, read the label: a low-sugar product contains 5 g of total sugars or less per 100 g.”
Eat more white meat: Lean white protein keeps you full for longer, so you end up eating less. Plus, Joan says that it helps to preserve muscle mass and requires more energy to digest. Just a palm-sized serving per meal is sufficient.
Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see results right away: Healthy weight loss takes time. “If you haven’t exercised in a while, start slow and make sure the pace is sustainable or you’ll give up halfway,” says Joan. “I always advise women to add weight or resistance training to their workouts – this boosts your metabolism, prevents diseases like type 2 diabetes, as well as strengthens your muscles. And, don’t worry, you won’t bulk up.”
How to stay on track?
Dr Lim offers these tips for staying motivated while you work to overhaul your life:
Reward yourself: Every time you hit a small target, treat yourself something inexpensive. Or, if you’re watching your spending, try some positive self-talk to encourage you to keep striving.
Remember, you’re a work-in-progress: See your reboot as a journey rather than a destination. With this mindset. You will find it easier to deal with any twists or turns that may occur along the way.
Slipped up? Learn from it: Mistakes happen but don’t let them stop you from moving forward. If you find yourself lapsing back to the undesired behavior, ask yourself why it happened and see where you can tweak your reboot plans so you don’t repeat it.