The new year has begun. If you are like me, you stayed out WAY too late on Tuesday night. And, since my birthday (still not quite yet 50 years old) is on Sunday, I am still enjoying a couple of lazy days. Those include getting out in the snowy woods followed by some good quality time on the couch!

I'm super excited about this new year and new decade! Today I’d like to take a little time to peek ahead and see what’s in store.

A dear friend of mine introduced me to a fantastic, introspective exercise that I think we can all benefit from. It is a simple process of looking “back” and “forward” through the last/next decade. You basically choose the three things you are most proud of in the last decade and dig a little into the “why” behind those. Then you shift the focus on the future and target 3-5 things you want to accomplish in the next decade. It’s important to note that these do not need to be tangible “things”.

For example, I am very proud of building my house in the last decade. But I’m also very proud of the relationships I have fostered and the friendships I have built. I have started a habit of reading (for fun and for educational purposes) every morning and have continued to carve out 15 minutes for stretching and yoga as well. Heck, for that matter, in the last decade, I quit my job and started my own business! I guess we can’t forget those sorts of life changes, either.

In the next decade, I would like to spend (much) more time overseas. I would like to focus more on learning to play guitar. And I want to become (at least) conversant in a foreign language (to tie back into the overseas thing!).

This past couple of years has also taught me that I need to expand my network of friends. In this new decade, I’m committed to crawling out of my comfort zone and initiating those new connections. If you are no longer in college, you know exactly how challenging that can be. Wish me luck!

A friend of mine was explaining his and his wife’s new decade “resolution” list the other night. They are picking 20 things (from a list of about 40) that they are going to work through in the 2020s. (Holy cow, it’s 2020! When did THAT happen?) They are putting all kinds of things on that list that have been bugging them for the last few years. Some are super-simple things, like hanging the darn pictures that have been itching to be hung for months. Others are a bit more complicated, like remodeling the guest bathroom.

I honestly think half the battle here is getting those things in writing and keeping them in front of you. So often we haphazardly throw out a few “resolutions” and they are gone from our minds within a few bars of Auld Lang Syne. This year, I encourage you to not only look back at what you have accomplished and are proud of, but look forward and set some decade-long goals for yourself and/or your family. Much like the tradition of going around the table at Thanksgiving and expressing our gratitude for all that we have, the“looking back” part of this is really quite eye-opening and rewarding.

Speaking of rewarding, the other half of that battle is rewarding yourself for checking these items off. Of course, some are a little difficult to mark as “complete”. How do you define “conversant” when it comes to learning Flemish? (Yes, Belgium is number one on my list of places to live overseas!) But if you DO get those pictures hung and you DO finish the bathroom remodel, I strongly encourage you to reward yourself. It could be as simple as a fancy chocolate bar or something more extravagant like a mini staycation at your favorite resort right here in town. The important thing is that we all love being rewarded for doing something good. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to reward yourself.

The new year and new decade are very exciting, optimistic times in our lives. If this is the year/decade you decide to get more involved in the world of real estate, go for it! If you have wanted to sell and have been waiting for the “right” time, perhaps this is it. If you have been pondering that ski condo or other investment property, there’s no time like the present! Is this the year you learn to play the trumpet? Are you going to start a savings account and take the family on a “real” vacation in a couple years? The opportunities are limitless and there is truly no better time than right now to get those goals set and start working toward them. This is one of those rare times we only get to see 7-10 times in our lives! Take full advantage of it!

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