VP, Director of Financial Planning
Maybe you are starting the New Year having just received devastating news.
Is a loved one ill? Are you faced with altering your life to become a caregiver?
Are you facing a challenging diagnosis about your own health?
Have you received the devastating news of a divorce?
Everything may have seemed ok until life hit the brakes.
What should you do when you receive devastating news? You should first get a handle on your own emotions-you may need a to take a few days to absorb the news before you begin to plan.
- Talk to a spouse or trusted friend.
- Take a walk or a hike. Experience the world with all your senses. Look at nature, smell the air, touch the earth and just be in the moment.
- Pray or meditate and allow your feeling to surface and come out.
- It may help to write down what you are feeling.
When your life has been turned upside down it is important to slow down, take a break and get some perspective.
- What are your priorities?
- What matters most to you?
- How will you move forward?
Dr. Elizabeth Boatwright, CFP® authored a book, “The Last Things We Talk About” where she suggests that when you are facing a life changing situation you begin these important journeys by first deciding what matters most to you. You may want to take a few minutes to answer the questions below. As you answer these questions you will gain understanding of who you are, your hopes, your goals and what brings you joy.
It may take you a little while to answer the 10 questions but your truthful and complete answers will give you clarity on taking your next step forward.
What Matters Most to Me?
- What matters most to me? (What comes to mind first when I read this question? For example, is it my spouse or partner, family such as my children and grandchildren, my faith, my profession, my friends, a cause? When I read this list, which response resonates most for me?)
- What brings me joy? (What wakes me up in the morning? What inspires me to keep going each day? What are the tasks, programs, activities I love? What restores me? What brings me hope?)
- What do I hate/I avoid?
- What has helped me in the past to get through difficult times? (What are my best coping mechanisms? Is it sleep/rest, avoidance, prayer, checking in with family, asking loved ones for help, calling a friend, trying something new such as a new hobby or skill, exercising, cooking, walking, or what?)
- Are there upcoming milestones (anniversaries, birthdays, graduations, vacations, births, celebrations) or dates that are important for me to be present for or important events I want to attend?
- Who depends on me? What kind of things do I provide for those people? Are there other people who can take on these responsibilities if I am no longer here?
- What scares me right now? (What keeps me up at night?)
- What are the things I want people to know about me? (Or in the words of Anne Lamott, what makes me “truly, entirely, wildly, messily, marvelously” who I was “born to be”?)
- What am I on earth for? What is my purpose?
- If I get through this time, what would I like to change about me, my life, my community, my world?
News that changes your life is likely to change your financial situation. This is also a good time to check in with your Sandbox Financial Planner. Update them on your situation and allow them to become thinking partners with you. Together you will discover the financial impact that different scenarios may have on your finances and ensure that your financial picture aligns with what you have decided matters most to you.