(Edited in 2020: This is a little walk down memory lane from back in 2019, but also, read to the end. There’s a list of important financial steps to take that you always meant to do at the end of the year…but probably didn’t. There’s no better time than now to protect your financial health and your own health.)
It’s an end of an era. No really, it just occurred to me recently that it’s the end of a decade. Wow. That went quick. Here’s what you forgot was happening back in 2010, according to the US Census Bureau:
- On January 12, 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake devastates Haiti, killing more than 230,000 and destroying the nation’s infrastructure.
- On January 27, 2010, Apple Computer unveils the iPad tablet computer.
- In February 2010, a series of winter storms labeled “Snowmageddon” by President Obama blankets the east coast of the United States with up to 40 inches of snow in less than 1 week.
- British Petroleum’s “Deepwater Horizon” offshore oil platform explodes on April 20, 2010, killing 11 workers. The ensuing oil leak would not be capped until July 15.
- Time Magazine announces Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is its 2010 Person of the Year.
Blogging, Google, Facebook and Twitter were already a thing. Pinterest and Instagram would both launch that year, but of course they weren’t a hit until I joined. LOL. (Click the links if you aren’t following me already.)
I have always wrapped up loose ends at the end of a class, end of a job, end of a year. But I don’t take the time to look back and celebrate often enough, as my SORT and Succeed system recommends. I’m built for progress, momentum, the next big thing, but looking back over the last year and the last decade can be a fun and meaningful way to mark the big events in our lives.
Early in 2010 I had a three-year-old and a brand new baby, and Snowmageddon just about killed me. (Edited in 2020: Looking back, snowmageddon was a very real tragedy, but nothing compared to the Coronavirus pandemic a decade later.) My business turned six years old. By the end of 2010 I was putting the finishing touches on my first book, The Pregnant Entrepreneur.
I made myself look through a decade of pictures just now. There were some real highlights in the last ten years. For a while, I had really great hair, but then the pregnancy hormones wore off. I wrote over 900 blog articles, published two more books and am currently in the process of launching my fourth book The Upbeat, Organized Home Office, finally had my foot surgery I’ve needed for decades, realized my dream of traveling more and making wonderful friends all over the world, learned to take decent pictures, stayed married, adopted a Siamese cat, and kept two kids alive. Some of that was luck, some was persistence, and some was just plain stubbornness.
I hope you take your own walk down memory lane by enjoying your photos, preferably with someone you love. If you can’t find your photos or figure out how to enjoy them, then it’s time to give your friendly photo organizer a shout.
Here are the other things to do before the clock runs out on 2019:
Make contributions to your 529 for your kids’ college fund.
Make charitable contributions. Even if they are no longer tax deductible for your tax situation (they still count for some people), the charities you support could use the funds to close out their year.
Drop off clothing donations and start out the year with a more organized closet.
Discard unused Christmas/holiday decorations. Don’t keep and store them if you didn’t use them this year.
Set aside time for business planning. If you run a business, look at your financials, settle your accounts, celebrate your wins, and plan what will be different for next year.
Purchase large expense items now for your business. If you are considering new equipment, computers, software, or service contracts, spend the money now to lower your taxable profit.
Record your business vehicle end-of-year mileage.
Take advantage of the last big sales. There are still “Black Friday” deals floating around.
Start/set up a new physical calendar. If you still use a paper calendar, grab yours now. In another couple of weeks, there won’t be any left in the stores. I found one in Target this week, but I also love this colorful wall calendar to keep the family organized.
Schedule your vacations. Actually put it on the calendar, ask for the time off, tell your people, and make it happen before the flights become crazy expensive.
Use up vacation and personal days. I can’t even believe this has to be said, but apparently a great many of you (55% of Americans) are still rolling over vacation days or, worse, forfeiting them. Your company could change its policy tomorrow, so enjoy the time off today.
Change passwords, even if you don’t have to.
Use all your insurance benefits, especially all the money is your FSA or HSA. Call your employer’s plan and make sure you aren’t leaving money on the table.
Schedule your checkups. If you don’t already do this as one of your birthday routines, then now is the second-best time to schedule appointments with your physician, eye doctor, gyn and dentist.
Flip or rotate your mattress. I’ve recently added this to my first of the month organizing routines (click here for the whole list), but I suspect most people only do it once a year.
These things all have to be done before the end of the year, or the window of opportunity closes forever. I know I’m sending this in the run up to Christmas, and you’re doing all you can to keep your head on straight. Pin this or print it out for next week, when things are calmer at work and home.
You’ll still have plenty of time to ponder your save money/get fit/sleep more/get organized goals on New Year’s Eve. And if getting organized is on your list, I hope you’ll email to schedule your organizing appointment for sometime in January, February or March…2020! See you on the other side.
(Pin for later)