Happy New Year!
Many people take a turn in the year to set goals for the future, isolate changes they want to make in their lives (New Years resolutions) and explore other ideas for ways they can improve their lives/careers/anything else. I've never been one to focus on the new year as a catalyst for anything. Hopefully I have the introspection to observe when I need to do something differently but like everyone there are likely plenty of things I miss. We all evolve to learn more about ourselves, hopefully we know a little more at 50 than we did at 40 and so on.
I found several blog posts and Tweets that appear to view this in a similar fashion (don't wait until some date to make a change) that I thought I would share.
Casey Mullooly had a Tweet that included the following; Our obsession with resolving to be better next year suggests that we weren’t good enough this year. And that’s just not true. I touched on this earlier in the year in talking about a post from Barry Ritholtz that said his RIA firm doesn't spend time selling. He mentioned that most RIAs spend 70% (apologies if he said a different number) selling and the rest of the time on the portfolio, client needs and compliance. I am very similar. If I had three "sales meeting" with prospective clients in a year, that would be a lot. That's not a knock on anyone but I regularly say that if you make enough to pay the bills, save some for the future with a little bit left over for some fun then you're lucky and doing very well. Fortunately we are there, I walk the walk on this (hopefully I walk the walk on everything I say). Something else I would add to Casey's point is that life is about the journey not the destination, lamenting over a bad year in the context Casey means arguably equates to wishing away or regretting a year of your life.
Ryan Stephens had a lengthy Twitter thread recapping things he learned from various thought leaders. Number 1 on his hit parade was from James Altucher who said to build your life around themes, not goals. I've probably had one objective goal put in front of me professionally which was my first job out of college at Lehman Brothers. I was an account opener and the program was, open 50 accounts for a broker in six months and then you became a broker. I did it in a little over four months but I was never cut out for that type of sales. I like the idea of themes which James also ties into process. The themes in my life would seem to involve my love of capital markets and everything in my life that goes with that, volunteering with the fire department, photography and relatively new is my increased interest in diet and exercise with being happy at home on top of my list. The treadmill of needing 15% more clients next year seems like a terrible way to live.
My little sister shared 20 Tips For A Positive New Year on Facebook. One that resonated with me was Don't chase success. Decide to make a difference and success will find you. I realize many people view this sort of thing much differently and that is just fine. I have always believed that working hard, doing the right thing and letting things happen will lead to good things. That has been my experience but if that is really atypical then maybe I've just been lucky but not having to chase down <fill in the blank of whatever applies to your life> like my future depended on it has made my life much easier. The idea of living below your means is relevant to this discussion.
Finally a list of principles from PD Mangan whom I've learned a lot from related to fitness and nutrition. The post is from a few years ago but the content is very important (IMO) and useful. From his list, weightlifting also known as strength training or resistance training, is the best form of exercise for staying lean, maintaining and growing muscle, combating the frailty of aging, and maintaining good insulin sensitivity. This one principle seems to sum up a lot of the others. There is much more to what he talks about but on some level, everyone knows that they should exercise. He goes on at length about why weightlifting is very efficient as a means of successful aging/increased lifespan. While I talk about this stuff a lot, I am quick to say that people should do their own research on diet and exercise and draw their own conclusion. I would encourage anyone reading this to be open to the idea that the current state of the medical profession does a good job at addressing acute problems but doesn't do nearly as well with chronic problems, the shockingly high incidences of Type 2 Diabetes and obesity should at the very least prompts some questions and some curiosity.
The picture in the banner of this post is from today, our first serious snow storm of the season where serious is defined as my needing to plow the road. The picture below is a screen grab from a video my wife took of our 14 year old dog Roscoe. He has always loved playing in the snow. He has gotten weaker with age, we feed him hamburgers and give him a lot of CBD oil which allowed us to watch him race around in the snow chasing one of our other dogs, having an absolute blast. Really a very special moment.
Happy New Year!