“Thank you.” It is something that my husband, Dave and I are constantly reinforcing our kids to say and live. The phrase is so simple yet so powerful. It is more than a habitual gesture. It is a recognition for the work, kindness, generosity, opportunity and/or gift that one receives. It is recognition that comes from the heart.
I will always remember the first “Friendsgiving” that Dave and I hosted for our friends a couple weeks before Thanksgiving back in 2002. We had just started dating, and thought it would be a great way to bring our friends together. We cooked for over 25 people. We almost dropped the turkey and not everything was warm, but it was so awesome and so exhausting! What took us a full day to prepare and cook was eaten up in less than 45 minutes. Then we had to clean up.
It was one of the first times that we understood what our parents-especially our moms-had done for us year after year. And while we surely had said thank you to them each year, we had a new appreciation for the hard work that went into celebrating not just Thanksgiving but even daily meals. Calls were made to both of our moms the next morning to say simply but deeply, “Thank you.”
It is the time of year, where there will be a lot of talk about what you are doing for the holidays, what you are giving, what you have to do before year end personally, professionally, financially. Our time and our resources can seem very limited. And there is much truth is all of this. This is where financial planning and the practice of gratitude can redefine what life feels like, especially during the craziness of the holidays.
Practice Gratitude – Begin your day being thankful for something. End your day being thankful for something. Reach out to someone who has meant something to you-even if you haven’t spoken to them in years. Use a gratitude journal. Say “thank you”. Give praise and appreciation.
Reflect/Meditate – Life can be hectic. Slow it down. Take 5-10 minutes a day (this can be broken up in 1 minute incriments if that is easier) just to breathe and reflect. It is sometimes hard to remember the small (and big) things that happen each day with the speed and noise of life. Maybe someone random smiled at you. Maybe your child wanted to snuggle for an extra minute. Maybe a business deal finally closed. Even the act of waking up is something to reflect on.
Write it down and post it – If you need a reminder of the things you are most thankful for on the especially hectic days, write it down and put it up where you can see it. This may be people, values, whatever it is that will help center you. It is helpful to remind yourself on a daily basis of what is important to you at your core.
Give – Give more of what you want in the world and for yourself. It is as simple as that. This can be time, energy, work and/or money.
Develop a Mentality of Abundance – This begins with working on creating a mindset of opportunity and that there is plenty to share in the world. This is the opposite of a scarcity mentality that can create anxiety, fear and spending behaviors that are not sustainable. Try new things. Begin getting comfortable with failing forward. Support people professionally and/or athletically that you might be in competition with. Give a compliment, mentor, start a scholarship, donate. Say thank you!
Revisit your spending – Track your spending. Recognize everything that you have been able to do. Identify areas of overspending. Identify areas of spending that are not providing value to you and/or others. Identify areas that you can simplify. If you want to change the way you are spending and saving, work with your CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER to discuss what is important to you and the goals you want to work towards. If you want to give more financially, work with your CPA and your CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER to determine how to best approach this with the dynamics of your current finances and how you might be able to build upon this in the future.
The awesomeness of gratitude is that is impacts every aspect of our life in a positive way. It deepens our relationships, relaxes us, improves our decision making, makes us healthier, reduces our spending habits, and supports the path towards a more financially independent, healthier, happier you.
Practice gratitude and your world will be centered on what matters most to you!
“The secret to having it all is believing you already do”
Katherine Liola is the Founder and President of Concentric Private Wealth®, a comprehensive wealth management firm with a focus in behavioral advice. Katherine and her husband, David, a global director in the IT cyber security space, live in Willowsford, with their children, Harper (4), Gannon (3), and Emerson (1). Katherine loves spending time with her family whether it be at a local park, a winery, or traveling to some place new. Katherine competes in triathlons and distance running with Team FeXY and finds that training helps her keep up with her children.
Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Advisor. Fixed insurance products and services offered by Concentric Private Wealth®.
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Advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®, Registered Investment Advisor.
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