Incremental Change

Douglas L. Nelson, CPA, PFS

Nov 21, 2022

As I’ve gotten older, the days feel long but the years seem to go by quicker and quicker. As we find ourselves in November with Thanksgiving a few weeks away, the end of the year will go by in what feels like the blink of an eye. Before you know it, many conversations will center around the year that was and we’ll shift our sights to a new year filled with new beginnings.

A clean slate is a powerful symbol, but is a new year truly a clean slate? Any positivity or negativity that you’re experiencing in 2022 will likely be carried over to 2023. I am not trying to be negative, but we Advisors try to stay as objective and realistic as possible. For example, when it comes to setting New Year’s resolutions, I have some reservations. These are noble endeavors, but for a multitude of reasons they can lead to disappointing results. These are unfortunate feelings no matter what you’re trying to accomplish. We tend to put so much emphasis on completing a new task that we forget to look at what it’s going to take to get there. So, if there is anyone out there who is looking to make changes, I want to challenge you a little bit.

Time is the Greatest Gift

If there’s something you want to change, start now. We know that time is one of the greatest gifts, so why not take advantage of it? The trick is to start and not focus on the end results at the beginning. Instead, focus on incremental changes. Little baby steps to get on the path to accomplishment. Don’t sign up for running a marathon before trying a mile jog. Once you’re on that path, keep taking tiny steps and don’t stop until you accomplish what your sights are set on. Remember to build in some empathy and compassion for yourself while you’re on that path. We’re not looking for perfection by any means.

At TCI everything we do is focused on long-term results because we know the results we’re seeking often come with incremental changes. Sure, instant gratification sounds nice, but we know those feelings aren’t sustainable. We believe in a slow and steady approach. If you could learn a language overnight, would it be as fulfilling as spending the time practicing and honing it? Unlikely. Today is as good of a day as any to start accomplishing what you want. Don’t wait for the end of the year because before you know it another one will be here.

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