Setting a Resolution? Read This First

By Sallie Krawcheck

If today is like years past, many of us are spending at least part of the day setting New Year’s resolutions.

And if next week is like years past, many of us will fall off the resolution bandwagon. Or if not next week, then in the weeks after. We start out strong with regular trips to the gym, but then life gets hectic, and maybe we continue to pay for the membership but never go again out of forgetfulness, or embarrassment. Or we miss a step with our new resolution to stick to a strict budget or drink eight glasses of water daily or read a book a month — and welp, that’s over. Put it on the list to try again next year.

It’s weird, isn’t it, that we’re supposed to pick up these big, life-changing habits right off the bat and master them for the rest of our lives? So we set ourselves up to fail pretty quickly in the new year. Yay. (Not yay.)

At Ellevest, we’ve been talking about the concept of “intentions” a lot. And what if we set intentions — instead of resolutions — for 2020?

They can be like the intentions we might set in yoga or meditation, where we recognize that everything we do, no matter how long we’ve been doing it, is practice, never perfection. Because setting an intention really means bringing your awareness to a quality that you want to cultivate more of in your life — such as greater gratitude, more kindness, more optimism. You don’t force it, you don’t fail if you don’t achieve it, it’s not “you did it” or “ you didn’t do it.”

So we’re all for setting intentions for 2020, rather than pass-or-fail resolutions.

But there’s another layer to the concept of intentions as we move into 2020.

It’s recognizing that everything we do has an impact, and being intentional about the impact we’re making. Impact comes from every action, every inaction: every dollar we spend or don’t spend, every dollar we invest. Maybe it’s a tiny impact (“I didn’t vote and my candidate lost in a landslide”) or a bigger one (“I canvassed for my candidate and she won in a squeaker”). Combined, our actions shape our world, and being intentional about them can make the world a better place.

At Ellevest, we describe what we do today as “intentional investing.”

There are three parts to investing intentionally: why, what, and who.

1. Why you’re investing

We practice goals-based investing, which means you’re investing toward a specific goal, like retirement or buying a home … or just building wealth. If you’re not clear on where you’re going, you might not get there.

2. What you’re investing in

You have the option to invest to make a positive impact. At Ellevest, that means that more of your dollars can be invested in companies with more women in senior roles, or companies with practices that do less harm to the environment, or companies with a positive social impact.

3. Who you’re investing with

Are you doing business with companies that align with your values? Is your money being managed at a company that you’re proud to support?

Finally, we hope that, among your intentions for 2020, you include being good to yourself. That can include setting your intentions around physical self-care, emotional self-care, spiritual self-care, and — you know it — financial self-care.

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© 2019 Ellevest, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

All opinions and views expressed by Ellevest are current as of the date of this writing, for informational purposes only, and do not constitute or imply an endorsement of any third party’s products or services.

The information provided should not be relied upon as investment advice or recommendations, does not constitute a solicitation to buy or sell securities and should not be considered specific legal, investment or tax advice.

The information provided does not take into account the specific objectives, financial situation or particular needs of any specific person.

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Sallie Krawcheck

Sallie Krawcheck is the Founder & CEO of Ellevest.