For obvious reasons, I’ve been thinking a lot about 2021. My expectation is that 2021 will be my best year on earth, but I generally feel that way about every upcoming year.
On Monday I watched the Beastie Boys documentary on Apple TV+. I was 13 years old when “Fight for Your Right…” was released. MTV literally played that video every hour on the hour for a year. They were everywhere, but I didn’t start following the band until 1994 and their album Ill Communication, with songs like Sabotage and Sure Shot. I regret never seeing them in concert.
The documentary went into great detail about Adam Yauch (MCA), the most creative member of the Beastie Boys, and his death from cancer in 2012 at the age of 47. Adam accomplished so much in his young life, from music to film making to being a key proponent of the Tibetan independence movement.
As I type this, I’m 47.
It’s funny how sometimes you feel like you’ve accomplished so much in your life or positively changed the lives of others, and then you look at someone like Adam Yauch and know you’ve underachieved. Maybe underachieved is the wrong word…I don’t know.
If you’re reading this, don’t you just feel like you could be doing more?
That’s what this newsletter issue is about. Preparing for 2021 so that we can change the world for the better.
Here are a number of things that I’m thinking about to make the world a better place in 2021. Of course, some involve others, but most of this is for YOU getting your life in order so you have the time and the focus to make a difference.
1. Decide On Your Goals
I talked about this 25/5 goal-setting strategy from Warren Buffett last year. It works. It also gets your priorities straight and helps you FOCUS.
2. Review Your Goals Every Morning
Part of my personal success formula is writing down and then reviewing what I want to accomplish every morning of every day. Seriously…just take five minutes out of every day and it will change your stars.
3. Donate Something Every Day
We all have too much stuff. Let’s change that in 2021. Let’s start de-cluttering now and then, every day, donate one thing to charity (some place like Goodwill). We know a couple of senior citizens who are doing that right now. I am amazed how purging old things can free up the mind and the spirit. It’s like a weight has been lifted.
4. Track Your Habits
If you completed your goals, you’ll start to identify habits. Do you have a health goal in 2021? Then you probably have an exercise, running or eating habit you are determined to learn. Use an app like HabitBull to keep track of your habits, and it will remind you when you need a kick in the pants.
5. Set a Book Goal
The most curious and interesting people I know read A LOT of books. I have a prejudice against people that do not read on a regular basis (sorry). Goodreads is a fantastic place to set your reading goal for 2021 (and be sure to mix up a little fiction with nonfiction). If you need a Goodreads friend just follow me here.
6. Recurring Expenses Cut
A few years ago, my wife and I went through our recurring expenses (like Netflix and news subscriptions) and we were shocked by the results. At the end of the process, we ended up cancelling quite a few services we really didn’t need. This ended up saving us well over $200 (so we could buy more beer ).
7. Password Maintenance
I have believed for quite some time that the biggest threat to our personal financial existence is someone hacking our accounts. The threat is real (did you see the U.S. government hacking by Russian Intelligence reported this week?). Protect yourself by using a service such as Dashlane to create super strong passwords (and ones that you don’t have to remember).
8. Update Your Will or Trust
Every two years my wife and I update our will. You’d be surprised how things change in just a short time. Who should get the kids if we pass? If we pass, when do the kids get our money (maybe when they are 60 )?
If you have a will or trust, get it updated. If you don’t, get one pronto. You’ll sleep better at night.
9. Time to Update Your Financials
2020 has been a crazy year for investing. After dropping 34 percent, the stock market soared again this year. Gold was up double digits and bitcoin was up 150 percent.
All this means that your financial allocations are probably out of whack and you need to re-diversify. You may want to do this before the end of the year depending on your tax situation.
Using an application like Personal Capital helps to immediately show your holding and allocation percentages.
When you do this, pick allocations that help you sleep at night. Don’t do anything that will make you want to check your stocks every day.
The following was an excerpt from Joe’s newsletter. Only subscribers receive the full version.