Winning 2023

December 13, 2022by Alex Willard0

Holiday season is upon us and like my colleague, Kevin Painter, stated recently, “It’s beginning to cost a lot like Christmas.” In his most recent blog post, Kevin informed readers that consumers are “racking up massive credit card debt during 2022, with balances hitting over $900 billion in November, the highest ever.” As consumer debt has nearly increased 4x within the past twenty years, it has prompted this question for me,

“How can consumers balance the emotional with the practical and how can this help us ‘win’ 2023 and beyond?”

Feelings (emotions) are not always facts, but if those feelings (emotions) are explored they can help guide one to a practical action. Below are a few practical steps consumers can take to explore their consumeristic emotions, which should propel them to practical actions.

  1. Consumers should “study” themselves to learn what makes them individually tick.
    • This includes their upbringing, their current circumstances and asking themselves why they are taking a specific action.
  2. Consumers must place “guardrails” in their life to strike a balance.
    • Guardrails can take many forms, but here are a few options: create a spending plan, pre-plan when you are going to enter a store, and be specific in what you plan to buy.
  3. Consumers should delay their gratification by mapping out a plan.
    • This may look like a consumer journaling how they feel in the moment, why they are buying said gift, and writing out a plan on how they are going to find said gift.
  4. Consumers should consider reviewing their current financial situation and plan a few months prior before a purchase (especially larger purchases).
    • Ex. The buyer should ask,
      • “How much do I want to spend?”
      • “Do I/Will I have enough saved to purchase the gift by ‘x’ day? (Also, considering the impact on other areas of your financial picture)”
      • “How will my action impact me/my current/future circumstances?”
  5. Consumers should discuss purchases with a trusted person in their life to receive feedback.

When implementing one or all the above, consumers will be able to build a practical foundation to help them win 2023. In less than 3 weeks from today, the calendar page will be flipped giving everyone a new opportunity. Many of our clients (especially, business owners) have been year-end planning for the past few months and asking what they can do to help their household or business capitalize on the next 365 days. Since every situation has its own challenges, here is a simple process to follow to help find success in the new year.

  1. Define your win.
    • This isn’t society’s win, your friend’s win or event your parent’s win – it’s your win! Make it simple. If you have more than one, perhaps you can stack your ‘wins’ to help yourself gain momentum. Start with something easily achievable.
  2. Ask, “What is it going to take to win?”
    • These are your action steps. Break them down into small, simple tasks.
  3. Take action.
    • Don’t be afraid to ask for help along the way – accountability is powerful.
  4. Celebrate when you win!
    • This is the secret sauce. Reward yourself.

Sometimes the easiest processes are the hardest to follow. Make 2023 your year!

Alex Willard

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