By Iris Buczkowski
December 31, 2019
It’s that time of year where we are all sitting back, feeling full of holiday cheer, often relaxing now that the festivities are winding down. Feeling still full from copious amounts of food and spirits, and thinking to ourselves that it’s time to consider our New Year’s resolutions. Personally, I never make resolutions. I choose to reflect on the year and look at what I might do better or differently in the new year coming up. If you are like me at all, you look at the list and think, “how in the world am I going to tackle this?!”
After many years of torturing myself with the epic failure of executing my resolutions, I think it’s prudent to look at that every-so-overwhelming list and chunk it down. Take it in pieces! So, after thanking George Bailey for reminding me that yes, it is a wonderful life, it’s time to roll up the shirt sleeves and get back to work. What does that look like for you?
During client meetings that I have after the first of every year I get to hear what some of that looks like for others. It’s not just the famous “I need to lose 10 pounds” item, or the “I need to stick to a budget plan.” It’s real goals, big and small, and that’s where it’s time to eat the frog.
Now, you are probably thinking I have lost my mind. Eating frogs?! Yes, it’s customary in many parts of the world that hosts fine cuisine and frogs are apparently a delicacy. But that is not the type of frog I am referring to. I’m talking about the goliath, the one (or two) things on your list of resolutions, or goals, that are big enough to incite anxiety or an overwhelming feeling of not even knowing where to begin. It’s also the least favorite thing on that to-do list – the one you wish you could procrastinate on forever.
As an advisor it’s my job to show my clients the first steps into thinning down their amphibious life. And it’s not just about your finances or things that impact them. A well lived life is a well-balanced life and without that harmony we tend to trudge through the daily noise and not gain enough traction to check off those to-do list boxes. What is the big thing you want this coming year? A new house? Zero debt? Travel to someplace you’ve never been? Pay for your loved one’s education to the school of their choice? Lose weight or exercise more? Collectively this list would feel daunting, but if you look at it and pick the one thing that you want to focus on, that’s called eating the frog.
This is a practice that can help you with the everyday tasks you face also, not just the big ticket items. Each day when I get to my office, I write down the top five things I want to get done for the day. Then I ask myself, which one is the frog? Now, if you have heard of and adopted this practice you will know that once that frog is gone, you have such a feeling of accomplishment that the other items on the list are much easier to get through! It’s motivating and I highly recommend you give it a try for a few weeks to see how it feels. You might find enjoyment in eating frogs, and just for the record, I’ll stick to the chicken nuggets my kids prefer in real life instead because…yuck! I like simple food.
As you reflect on your past year, form your resolutions, and set your goals, do yourself a favor and create a mindful strategy so you can get the most out of what you are looking to set out and do. There is a great book called Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy that talks about this concept in much more detail. Check it out, talk to your friends, family, professional advisors and ask them to help you. And always remember, as Mark Twain once said, “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”
Happy New Year’s to you and yours!
Iris Buczkowski is the founder of Birch Wealth Management (birchwealth.com). Original content provided by Iris is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as investment advice.