Here are my tips for a more pos­i­tive, joy­ful and pros­per­ous 2013.

  1. Reflect on your suc­cess in 2012.   Suc­cess begets suc­cess.  When you focus on the pos­i­tive, you nat­u­ral­ly cre­ate more.  Small wins keep you going, par­tic­u­lar­ly in times of stress.  Find the good!
  2. Use the My Mon­ey Check­list tool to dis­cov­er 1 or 2 new habits to incor­po­rate into your mon­ey life.    Bring your choice to life my choos­ing when and where you will do it.  For exam­ple, if you choose to hold a week­ly mon­ey meet­ing with your part­ner, set a date and time on the cal­en­dar.
  3. Update your finan­cial plan.  Plan­ning is an impor­tant tool to set a course for pros­per­i­ty.  Putting a plan in place and nev­er look­ing at it is a com­plete waste of time and ener­gy.  A plan has to be alive to be use­ful.   Make your plan a liv­ing part of your life by check­ing-in with it peri­od­i­cal­ly. 
  4. Use The Pros­per­i­ty Index to inven­to­ry your strengths and weak­ness­es.  Choose no more than 3 areas you would like to improve upon in 2013.   Set aside time to devel­op your course of action for each area.   Do you need time to do research?  A book from the library?  Find a com­mu­ni­ty col­lege course? Or a pro­fes­sion­al resource?  Look at the areas you want to improve and choose your next step.
  5. Review your elec­tions before your first pay­check of the year.  Take the max­i­mum ben­e­fit of your 401k, Health Sav­ings Plan or Cafe­te­ria plan.  Your best tax sav­ings strate­gies always include the legal ways to report less income.  Take advan­tage of those oppor­tu­ni­ties.
  6. Find 3 sim­ple ways to make your spend­ing more pur­pose­ful.  If you are like most of us, you have some goals you haven’t achieved.  How can you reduce spend­ing on things that aren’t crit­i­cal and redi­rect those funds to what is impor­tant?  By mak­ing dif­fer­ent choic­es every day.   Read this quick post on how to reduce your spend­ing effort­less­ly:  http://mackey.wpengine.com/2012/how-to-save-1000/
  7. Increase or start sav­ing.  Sav­ing for retire­ment is impor­tant AND sav­ing to expand the joy in our lives is impor­tant too!   Cre­at­ing a sav­ings habit gives you life choic­es and keeps you out of cri­sis.  Here are a few ideas:  Save your change at the end of the day.  Have a few dol­lars sent direct­ly to sav­ings from each pay­check.  Set up an auto draft from your check­ing to sav­ings account.   
  8. Make giv­ing a pur­pose­ful habit.  My favorite way to give is to set up a rou­tine with each pay­check to reflect on this ques­tion “What was the source of my spir­i­tu­al food this last peri­od and how do I choose to share my abun­dance?”  Find a rou­tine of giv­ing that works for you and make note of the impact it has on your heart and capac­i­ty for joy.