December Found Us Again

December 1, 2022

Welcome back to our regularly scheduled programming! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving (if you missed the recap of my one-word challenge, you can find it here)

It’s been a relatively calm week for markets and the world. Jerome Powell (US Fed Chair) seemingly soothed markets on Wednesday with a speech and former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried attempted to clarify his actions (I for one still have a lot of questions). December will end with a flurry of market news (jobs report and an inflation print), along with the usual lower trading volumes, 2023 predictions/forecasts, and tax-loss selling. So for this week, let’s dive into a non-investment related topic. Enjoy!

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This happens every year – you’d think I’d be used to it by now! After a wonderful holiday week, we come back to reality and find ourselves in December. Wait, where did the year go? Only one month left! So much to be done! This month brings holiday and family obligations, shopping, decorating, gift wrapping, parties, cooking, baking, and a whole host of “adulting tasks” (tax projections, paying of property taxes, year-end finance items, etc). And in addition to all of that, it can also invoke a bit of anxiety/regret/stress about all the 2022 goals and to-do’s that remain unaccomplished…with only 31 days to go.

The media loves to latch onto the “finish strong” messaging. Does any of this sound familiar?

“Which of the 2022 goals you set in January remain open?”

“What is still on your to-do list?”

“You only have 31 days. Get going! Finish Strong! No time to waste”

“Here’s a 31 day challenge to wrap up your year!”

If you know me, you know I’m all for motivation and positive encouragement. I love this messaging and even plan to take part in a few “finish strong” activities. But even I have to admit this December “finish strong” messaging is missing part of the picture. Why? Because it is largely focusing on what remains undone or what can still be done – not what has already been done. No matter what is still on the “2022 list,” we have all lived 11 months of 2022 and undoubtedly have lots to be proud of – regardless of what the last 31 days bring. So why not focus on that and give ourselves a little boost heading into this busy time?

This past weekend when I started to feel ever so slightly overwhelmed (after finding my 2022 goals list and thinking of all I have to do this month – yikes!), I took 15 minutes to reflect on the past 11 months. For each month, I wrote down 2-3 things that I was proud of accomplishing or really enjoyed during that month.

Some were bigger things, other were more mundane. But after completing that list, I felt less anxious about what I will still need to/want to get done in December. Sure, I still have lots to do in the next 31 days (both personally and professionally). And there are a few things I would like to still accomplish that I set out as goals at the start of the year. But either way, 2022 will be a year I can be proud of!

So if you find yourself feeling anxious about the year coming to a close – or feel like you just need a healthy break from the hustle and bustle – take a minute and write out your own list. My guess is you’ll have a lot to be proud of and it will put a smile on your face!

Here’s to finishing the year in whatever way brings you peace,

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