Block Women is posed slightly above the ground with white inverted curves behind her, indicating jumping. There are also exclamation marks above Block Woman's head, symbolizing excitement.

In my business, the whole team (the whole three of us) gather in December for an annual offsite, a full day dedicated to looking back on the year that’s about to end and forward to the year that is about to begin. A full day also dedicated to lattés, laminated bakery goods, and a delicious lunch with a view of Bellingham Bay. ‘Tis VERY IMPORTANT that such matters be attended to.

It’s an opportunity for each of us to think about what goals we want to set for ourselves and for the business for the upcoming year. So I have started thinking about 2024. This is probably a good personal practice to have, but in truth, I’ve never done this formally for anything but my business.

I’ve had a rough fall (thank you, stupid boob…stage zero breast cancer…it seems to be mostly resolved by now, thank you), and so I intentionally pushed off most work that wasn’t essential. “Thinking ahead” fell into that category. Now that I’m recovering (physically but mostly psychologically) from the health scare, I am turning my thoughts again to such matters.

During a recent conversation with my business coach, I observed that the notion of “setting goals” left me cold. It didn’t inspire me at all. “Increase revenue to $x. Acquire y new clients. Hire a process efficiency consultant.” (All goals that I’ve thought about.) Snooooore.

I wanted to be excited by this work. So, my business coach suggested I instead ask myself “What would excite me for 2024?” 

And it is with said question that I now wrestle.

Conveniently, the very act of asking myself that question—and thinking about various answers—is exciting. Which means I’m actually dedicating quite a lot of time and headspace to it. 

For what it’s worth, the ideas that I’ve come up with so far (not guaranteed to survive the process):

  • Improving my personal health (I could go on about a variety of things, but I’ll sum it up with, “WTAF, middle age?! What did I ever do to you?”)
  • More time for personal stuff. Volunteering at schools?  More activities with kids? Reading certain books? Cooking more? More local traveling? 
  • Getting better as a financial planner. A couple ideas: getting training on interviewing or asking good questions, focusing on how we can help clients connect as deeply as possible with their why and how it is supported by their finances.

I’m very much in the musing/brainstorming part of the process. For inspiration, I’ve asked several colleagues what excites them as they look forward to 2024 in their business. And judging from their reactions, this is not the way most people think about setting goals, at least not if you’re the owner of a small-but-mighty financial planning firm. One friend and colleague had a giant list of goals (i.e., things she thinks she should do) but, by her admission, none of them excite her.

As I spent the last few weeks letting the question “What excites me?” bang about my head, it occurred to me that this is a good question for everyone to contemplate, and regularly. It could be a really powerful lens through which to see your financial plan, in fact!

And I imagine it is especially good for those of you who are financially independent.

Of course, even if have a lot of money, you can’t be dumb about your financial choices. Even if you have $10M in your 30s or 40s, you can’t do everything; you still have to make trade-offs. But you’re out of the grind! Your first concern doesn’t have to be “what makes the most money?”

To be clear, for most of the people I know in tech, “what makes the most money?” shouldn’t be their guiding principle, even if they’re not financially independent yet. That way lies soul-deadness. I just think that if you’re financially independent—or anywhere close—it becomes even more obvious that you can and should now make decisions supported by money, not driven by money.

So, if you’re the type to look forward to next year as the year end approaches, or if you’re wishing you had more clarity about what direction you’re going to move in next (what are you going to spend your time, energy, and talents on?), I invite you, too, to not think about “What do I want to accomplish? What are my goals?” but instead:

“What would excite me in 2024?”

If you get excited by the prospect of managing your finances in support of what excites you (how meta!), reach out and schedule a free consultation or send us an email.

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