We love good news. We love hearing about big wins in your relationships, your finances, and your parenting. Some years it is easier than others, but counting your “wins” for the year sure beats a lot of the negativity in the world right now.
We have developed a habit that every year we look back over the year and count the “wins” – the improvements, the efforts, and the successes – from the last year. We do this as a couple, as a family, and often with our clients.
We saw a lot of positive, happy people this year when we discussed their growing portfolios and improving relationships. It’s great to see so many smiles on faces and know that it is not just about numbers; they’re seeing improvements in their relationships too.
In fact, U.S. Consumer confidence index was off the charts. Americans haven’t felt this good about the economy since November 2000. Research shows a. more jobs, unemployment at a 17-year low, b. more growth, two quarters in a row of 3% growth, not seen since 2004.
Each year we take time to look back and ask, “What were our “wins”’ in three categories:
- As a couple
- As parents
- With our finances
Your wins don’t have to be huge, earth-shattering victories. Count the small ones too. If you can’t think of anything right off the bat … keep thinking. Something went right this past year!
Some years are so busy it’s difficult to even recall what happened. Scroll back through your camera roll on your phone, page back through your calendar, or maybe even look at your Facebook posts.
As a couple did you:
- Find a new hobby
- Consistently care for one another
- Finally get that date night happening
- Laugh a lot
- Involve each other in decisions
- Get intentional about love and respect
With your money did you:
- Practice honesty, even when it was difficult
- Cut back in areas you agreed on
- Start a college savings plan
- Max out your IRA
- Start a business
- Find better insurance
- Take steps towards starting a “side gig”
- Give more to your church or a nonprofit
As parents did you:
- Connect often with your kids
- Discuss clear expectations
- Teach them “life lessons”
- Apologize when your behavior didn’t measure up
- Explain or discuss challenges
- Include them in some money management decisions
- Meet their friends
There are many, many ways to find something positive you did this past year. There is at least one “win” in everyone’s life. Make sure you look closely. Up the bar and maybe find one a month or a one a quarter?
We found some wins this year in our relationship:
- Date night almost every week this year
- Saw more movies than we have in years
- Really enjoyed time together (not talking work at all).
We enjoyed some wins with our kids too:
- We made family dinner a priority and enjoyed talking with our boys about their day’s “high’s and low’s”.
- Our son, Cole, joined a suicide prevention team at school and he is a huge source of information to our family and friends and his classmates about that tragic trend.
- Cade, our youngest, really learned to advocate for himself this year. He is learning valuable, lifelong skills about talking to adults and communicating his questions.
We had financial wins too:
- Our move to a new office space for The Money Couple and Defined Wealth.
- Continued our priority of complete honesty and transparency about money and decisions (which not only improves our relationship, but our finances too).
What a great year! We feel incredibly blessed. We count your desire to learn more about improving your relationship and your finances as a big “win” in our life. So, thank you very much!
Even in difficult years – and we have had several – we found a “win” somewhere in the past and we hope can too.
Happy New Year!
Make it happen!
Other resources for a great start: