Live Your Best Life in 2020 by Closing Out 2019 the Right Way!

2019 is ending and 2020 is right around the corner. Are you ready?

Athletes and other high performers take time after the season ends to evaluate their performance, reflect on successes and failures, and prepare for the next year. Though we might not be training for the Super Bowl or Olympics, we should take the time to reflect on our year as well.


Because reflecting over the past year helps clear the mind and prepare for a strong start to the next.

In fact, studies show that state of mind plays a big role in performance, energy, and behavior.1

Finish the year strong by doing some mental and financial housekeeping and setting yourself up for success and an exceptional year in 2020.

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1 Clear the physical and mental clutter

Clutter is a distraction that can make you less productive and more irritable.2 That's true for both mental and physical clutter. Reduce the clutter and make space for what matters:

  • • Toss or give away items you don't need anymore
  • • Unsubscribe from junk emails you aren't reading anyway
  • • Get lingering tasks out of your head by writing them down and assigning them a start date

2 Make your year-end financial moves

It's not too late to end the year financially strong—and it isn't as hard as you may think. Here are some smart financial moves to make before the year ends:

  • • Use the funds in your flexible spending account (FSA) if it has a use-it-or-lose-it deadline
  • • Max out your retirement contributions
  • • Make your final tax moves before Dec 31

3 Reflect on past lessons without overthinking them

Think about what you've learned from 2019, but don't dwell on any negatives. Focus on progress instead of perfection.

As you do this, try to sum up the lessons of the past year and how you'll use them as a guide for the New Year by completing this sentence for yourself: "2019 was the year of ___________, and 2020 will be the year of ___________."

4 Do something good

Kindness and generosity generate positive energy. Even small acts of kindness have big impacts when it comes to a positive state of mind—both for you and those around you.

  • You can:
  • • Donate money to a beloved cause
  • • Volunteer time to help a local organization, like a school, food bank, or church
  • • Do a favor or plan something special for a loved one, especially if they're stressed out from the holidays or the end of the year

5 Take a time-out

Investing in yourself and your well-being can keep you sharp and ready to take on whatever the New Year brings.

  • So, take some time to take care of yourself:
  • • Carve out time for a relaxing break just for yourself
  • • Focus on getting enough quality sleep
  • • Eat healthy to stay energized (especially when the holiday treats call your name!)

6 Review your financial highlight reel

Understanding the trends in your finances from 2019 can help you make better, more strategic financial choices in 2020.

  • Here are some key things to consider:
  • • Your biggest expenses in 2019: What was or wasn't necessary?
  • • Your credit report and credit score: What changed on your credit report over the past year? Is it accurate?
  • • Your savings: How much did you save for future goals?

7 Schedule an annual review

An annual review is a good time to take stock and look at the big picture. An end-of-year financial review can empower you to make better choices—and potentially achieve better outcomes—in 2020.

  • During your review, we'll:
  • • Revisit your goals and see if you're on track to achieve them
  • • Make adjustments and consider new strategies
  • • Get essential answers and advice for the New Year
With clarity on your achievements and setbacks in 2019, you'll have the foresight to start 2020 on the right foot.

Financial Lesson:

Use 20/20 Hindsight to Get 2020 Foresight

Thinking about the highlights and lessons learned over the past year is a fantastic way to invest in ourselves. It can also be a good opportunity to learn more about our choices—and for starting 2020 with a clean slate and the power to make the New Year better.

So, as you reflect on 2019, take a lesson from high-powered performers: Take some time out to close the year out right. Consider the successes as well as the challenges. Celebrate the wins, think through the losses, and build on the progress you've made.

With clarity on your achievements and setbacks in 2019, you'll have the foresight to start 2020 on the right foot. And that can help you increase your "financial fitness" in the New Year and beyond.

As your advisory team, we are here to support your journey and help you focus on the big picture. We are working through our own checklists on your behalf to help make sure you're finishing the year strong.

If you have questions about your game plan for 2020, please give our office a call at (513) 779-3030. We'd be happy to answer your questions and continue the conversation.

Until then, Happy 2020!

Your Team Harvest Financial Advisors

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