The most valuable email you’ll read for yourself and your kids in a few MOMENTS per week.
Welcome to 2024! It’s time to get intentional. I posted some more Shorts on YouTube.
Are you getting a tax refund this year? Remember you shouldn’t give the government an interest-free loan when you could be getting that money in your paychecks, but sometimes, with tax credits and such, some of us will still end up getting a tax refund. What’s the wisest way to spend it? I suggest following these steps: 1) Pay off debt first (other than your mortgage) 2) Once you’re debt-free, finish your emergency fund, and then 3) Start a fund for your next vehicle. If that’s done, then 4) Make sure you’re contributing to your retirement and consider paying down your mortgage. I wrote an entire article on what to do with lump sums of money like this.
Are you trying to get organized this year? You can only downsize so much, and then you’ll need to find some storage solutions. These are the affordable metal shelves we use to organize all of the tubs in our garage.
I came across a unique video made by a young Russian lady who has an amazing perspective on life, especially at such a young age. She talks about being happy with nothing, and skimming the comments, I saw a lot of people twice her age (and much older than that) saying it’s taken them their entire life to realize they are happier with less… not more. A lot of minimalism is reframing our perspective. I think her 9-minute video will help reframe it.
Andy Andrews is known for writing simple, easy reads. He writes great stories that really do give you a different perspective, and that’s what The Noticer is all about. Sometimes you just need a different perspective. This is a great book to read with and to your kids as well.
This year, teach your kids to value creativity. Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” Most schools have art class. Kids also have the choice to join band. And there are a few good writing teachers out there who truly understand the importance of creativity. But unfortunately, that’s not the standard. And what about creativity in math and science? The school system tends to talk about creativity like it’s a special “extra” thing that kids do occasionally, which has led to a separation of the creative classes (e.g. art, band, etc.) and the academic classes (e.g. math, science, etc.). We would do well to get rid of that distinction. Einstein never held that distinction. Most of our greatest thinkers did so through the lens of creativity, not academia.
Situational awareness is something we’re taught and something we practice in the military. It’s important when you’re traveling to be aware of your surroundings, but also to keep the details private. Make sure your kids know not to discuss things like where you’re staying, your itinerary, and what you’re going to do – when you’re in public. You never know who is listening. It’s the same concept as putting the family stick figures on your car. You could be letting the wrong people know more about you and your kids than you mean to or want to.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
What’s one thing you can create today that will improve tomorrow? That’s a simple question, but if you ask yourself this question every day this year, imagine what you could accomplish in 2024.