The new year means that one-fifth of this century is already history!  For me (and I suspect some of you as well), it seems like just yesterday that we were ringing in the new century and waiting for the lights to go out because of Y2K.  Now we are on the threshold of a new decade. 
2020 has a pretty cool and futuristic sound to it.  A new decade begs the consideration of new questions: not only looking ahead to next year but also to the next 10 years.  Where will we be?  What will we be doing?  What impact will we have on those we love – as well as those we come into contact personally and professionally – in 10 years?
I can have a difficult time planning next week, so I certainly understand any reluctance to think about 3,652 days from now.  However, setting a course for the next ten years, particularly a course based upon your unique values and core beliefs, can be beneficial to your long-term joy in this journey.  Navigators use the sun and the stars because they provide a fixed frame of reference for staying on course to a distant destination.  Your values can serve as those stars for charting the course of your life.  We all have “wants.” However, basing our goals on our values, rather than what we think we “want,” allows us to naturally focus on the important needs in life.
Maybe you’re unsure of what those values and needs are.  Here’s a free financial planning website that provides an exercise to determine your most important values.  I encourage you to try this exercise.  If you have a spouse or significant other, please work through it together.  The exercise takes about 15 minutes to complete.  It’s private, and there’s no login or registration.  I personally found the process and results both clarifying and helpful.  Having done this, I feel more confident in setting my course for the future.
In summary, take some time to reflect on and define your core values.  Then take the next step and set your long-term goals to align with what’s truly important to you.  Having a deeper understanding of your unique value set can help you establish meaningful goals for the coming decade – and beyond.
Happy New Year,