Karen Tang, CFP®: Certified Financial Planner in Singapore

Make 2024 Your Best Year Ever!

Happy New Year, my dear friends! Wishing you a great beginning to a year brimming with endless possibilities and positive experiences!

Starting the year on the right note involves reflection and taking stock of various aspects of your life. This can help you set intentions and goals for personal growth in the upcoming year. Here are some guiding questions and steps to help set yourself up for a positive start to the year.

Reflections of the past year:

  • What were my major achievements or milestones in 2023?
  • What were the significant challenges or setbacks I faced, and what did I learn from them?
  • What aspects of my life brought me the most joy, fulfilment, or satisfaction?
  • What habits or behaviours do I want to leave behind from the past year?
  • Who was my role model? What aspects of this person resonate with or inspire me?
  • How can I cultivate a practice of gratitude and mindfulness in my daily routine?

Priorities and values:

  • What matters most to me in life right now?
  • Are my actions aligned with my core values?
  • How can I prioritise the things that bring me fulfilment and happiness?
  • How have my priorities or values evolved over the last year?

Set intentions and goals for the New Year:

  • What are my overarching goals for this year? (Personal, professional, health, relationships, etc.)
  • Are my goals specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART goals)?
  • Are there specific habits or routines I want to implement or change to support my goals?
  • How can I break down these goals into smaller, actionable steps or milestones?

Review & validate your financial plan:

  • How was my financial health in 2023, and what financial goals do I want to set for 2024? 
  • Have there been any significant changes in my income or expenses since my last review with my financial advisor?
  • What insurance coverage do I have, and does it align with my current needs and future goals? Is my portfolio optimised (i.e. not overpaying, adequately covered)? 
  • How is my retirement plan progressing, and are there any changes needed to stay on track?
  • Can we optimise my budget or spending habits to better align with my financial objectives?
  • How well am I investing my money (idle cash, savings, SRS)?
  • How has my investment portfolio performed, and what adjustments or rebalancing might be necessary?
  • Are there areas where I can save more or reduce unnecessary expenses?
  • Are there any new financial products or strategies available that could benefit my situation?
  • What steps can I take to minimise debt or manage it more effectively?
  • Are there any opportunities to take advantage of current market conditions or economic trends?
  • Have there been any changes in tax laws or regulations that might affect my financial planning?

Assess personal growth:

  • In what ways did I grow personally, emotionally, or intellectually in the past year?
  • Did I achieve the personal development goals I set for myself? If not, what hindered my progress?
  • What new skills or knowledge do I want to acquire or improve upon?
  • How can I foster a mindset of continuous learning and personal development?

Time Management and Productivity:

  • How effectively am I managing my time?
  • Are there time-wasting activities that I can reduce or eliminate?
  • How can I improve my productivity and focus on important tasks?

Self-care and well-being check:

  • How was my physical health throughout the past year, and what changes do I want to make?
  • How was my mental health, and what self-care practices do I want to prioritise?
  • What new activities or hobbies do I want to explore for overall well-being?
  • How can I improve my physical health, mental health, and emotional balance?
  • What changes can I make to better manage stress?
  • How can I become more adaptable to change and uncertainty?
  • What strategies can I implement to enhance my resilience in the face of challenges?

Relationships and social connections:

  • How were my relationships with family, friends, or colleagues last year?
  • Are there any relationships I want to nurture or improve this year?
  • How can I contribute positively to my community or social circles?
  • What steps can I take to improve communication and strengthen connections?

Professional and career evaluation:

  • What were my professional achievements or areas of growth in the past year? 
  • Where do I see my career heading, and what steps can I take to move in that direction?
  • Are there new skills or knowledge I want to acquire this year to enhance my career?

Create an Action Plan:

  • Based on the reflections and goals, what is my action plan for the first few weeks or months of the year? 
  • How can I maintain accountability for myself in pursuing these goals?

To summarise:

By taking the time to contemplate these questions and jotting down your thoughts, you can gain clarity on areas you wish to improve and create a plan to achieve personal growth throughout the year.

The past year has been enriching for me. I’ve learned much from my clients as they’ve learned from me. In addition to being their trusted advisor, I became a confidant and coach to them and that gave me tremendous professional satisfaction. 

We all know that many things in our life hinge upon the resources we have. A downside change in this equilibrium can upset the smooth flow of plans. If you’re not entirely certain where you’re heading with your financial or retirement plan, let’s have a chat over coffee. 

Make 2024 be your best year ever! To your success!

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