It is well-documented compound interest is one of the strongest forces known to man, and not too far behind compound interest is momentum. I think one of the factors that keep momentum from receiving more praise is momentum can fade and it requires work to keep it going. Compound interest just works–it doesn’t take much effort to keep it compounding. But it takes work to get momentum started and even more work to make sure it doesn’t stop.
I’ve been fortunate to experience great momentum over the last couple of years, and in an effort to continue and strengthen the momentum of 2017, I’ve been tailored my New Year’s resolution to help me do just that (shout out to Josh Brown for the inspiration to share them on here):
- Weekdays start with 5:00 CrossFit class. I’ve tried tweaking my schedule over the last year to get more sleep and workout at different times during the day, but my final conclusion is in order to guarantee I get my fitness fix, it needs to be done before the day starts. 5:00 class is ideal for me because I can get about a half hour of work/reading done before class and an extremely productive hour of work done once I get home before the boys get up and I hop into Dad mode until it’s time to head to the office.
- Weekends start at 6:00. I’ve done a lot of reading about the importance of sleep, but if I’m going to continue writing, vlogging and the new podcast, along with continuing to exceed the expectations of my clients, early days are a must. Saturdays will begin with videos and writing. Sundays will be writing and administrative work for the upcoming week.
- Intermittent Fasting. I’ve been sporadic with my intermittent fasting, but I’ve programmed my calendar to send an alert when it’s time to start and end my fast. Fridays and Sundays will be relaxed fasting days in order to continue Friday breakfasts at the local coffee shop with Roman and Leo and morning breakfast as a family on Sundays.
- Kick the sugar addiction. “Hi, I’m Justin and I’m a sugar addict.” I’m not trying to be insensitive to those with drug and alcohol addictions–those are obviously more serious, but there is a ton of evidence that shows sugar is as addicting as cocaine (and other drugs) and terrible for our bodies. I’m ready to get rid of my sweet tooth; I know it’s bad for me, yet I still consume too much. Luckily, we don’t really keep any in the house, but when I’m away from home and it’s around I turn into a fiend. So, I will be very strict with myself in 2018 when it comes to sugar–natural sugar in fruit will be an exception.
- Track Macros. In an effort to help kick the sugar habit, along with making sure I’m properly fueling my body I’m going to go back to tracking my meals in MyFitnessPal and monitor my macronutrients (fats, carbs, and proteins). My macro numbers will be different this time, but tracking is a must.
The first few, although separated out, all go together and are there to make sure I’m feeling my best. I have ambitious goals for the upcoming year, and if I’m not feeling my best, it’s going to slow me down—and I ain’t got no time for that! Now on to the professional resolutions:
- Quit buying books. Some of my FinTwit friends are able to read an insane amount of books; I get caught up in trying to keep up with their learning and end up buying books with intentions of reading…yet I rarely do. With the exception of a few books coming out written by friends from Twitter, my goal for 2018 is to make it through the books I bought in 2017; I’ll share this list in a later post.
- Connect more. In addition to another medium for putting out content, I’m hoping my new podcast will help me develop deeper connections with the amazing people I’ve been interacting with on social media. I’ve written about my appreciation for the people I’ve had the chance to interact with because of Twitter, and I want to take that to the next level. I can learn so much from them, and I want to make sure I don’t miss an opportunity to learn and create deeper relationships with people I respect. The added bonus is I can share these experiences and conversations with you all.
- Only add one new topic to obsess on. This last year I spent a lot of time researching a tactical strategy for client portfolios, ESG investing to implement with clients, and cryptocurrencies (and everything that comes in that space). I plan to continue my education in this area, but for 2018, I’m only taking on one new subject to focus energy on…behavioral finance. I’ve done a little reading in this area, but I really want to dive deeper in why people act the way they do when it comes to money and finances.
- Make my first hire. This pretty much a done deal, but I still need to make sure it happens to free me up to spend more time with clients, prospective clients and create the content I have in mind.
- Travel. I want our family to travel more in the upcoming year, but I want to do more traveling for business purposes. I’ve got my list of conferences that I will be attending–partly for the content, but mainly to interact with people outside my current circle. The information at conferences can be very good, but talking shop with others is priceless. I’ve learned more in these conversations than I have in any breakout session–I just need to have more of these conversations.
- Be more intentional with social media. As impactful as social media has been for my firm and my development as an advisor, I tend to spend too much time checking my Twitter Feed. In order to have the time to run my firm and produce the content I would like, I will need to be more efficient with my social media time. I won’t be absent from social media, but the time I spend on it will be calculated and with purpose. If it’s not to share information or a part of my planned reading, then I’ll be staying off.
- Keep doing what’s right. This is easy, but it’s worth a reminder to make sure I don’t lose focus of what has helped create my momentum.
I’m sure having too many resolutions leads to none getting done, however, I view these as micro-resolutions that are really makeup just a couple of resolutions. If I’m feeling on my game mentally and physically and I make the minor business-related improvements in myself, I see the momentum of the last couple of years only continuing. I started RL Wealth Management in the summer of 2015 with about 30 households, $7 million in AUM, and not a single WealthFusion™subscription client. This year ended with a new firm name, RLS Wealth Management, 102 households, 31 of which are WealthFusion™ clients, and a little over $25 million in AUM. I will be having to register my firm in a couple of states in the early part of the year because I’ll be exceeded the de minimus rule (if an advisor has less 5 clients or less in a state, registration is not necessary). That’s momentum.
If you’ve got momentum rolling in your favor right now, make sure you are setting 2018 up to continue and strengthen the momentum. It’s much easier to keep something that’s moving, moving than let it stop and have to start it back up.
If momentum is not in your favor, then now is your chance to get it going. It’s not going to be easy, but it will be worth it.
I’d love to hear what you’re doing to continue or build momentum for 2018. Hit me up on Twitter at @jus10castelli, or drop me an email at contact at allaboutyourbenjamins dot com. That’s right, the blog has matured enough to have an email address!
Happy New Year!
Disclaimer: Nothing on this blog should be considered advice, or recommendations. If you have questions pertaining your individual situation you should consult your financial advisor. For all of the disclaimers, please see my disclaimer page.