Too Depressed for New Year’s Resolutions?

If you are a news addict, as I tend to be, you may also tend to get a little depressed these days. This is especially true when it comes to the economy! How can we hope to do anything more this year than just hold on for dear life in the light of all the negative financial forecasts?

Now we may find ourselves several weeks into a new year with few if any new goals for the new year, financial or otherwise. But is the hope to just be able to hold on for another year enough? Or even as reasonable as it seems.

My answer may or may not surprise you. But in my opinion there has never been a better time to become successful with our money than there is today! There are many valid reasons for this view and I hope to discuss some of them in the days ahead. But I will briefly refer to some of them here.

  • First, you can get a lot more optimistic if you keep in mind the nature of this recession. Even if the governments of this world seem oblivious to the obvious, this is not a normal business recession.

    The financial problems we face today are the result of people and governments spending more than they had in income. Families in America reportedly were spending 12% more than they earned. Credit ran out, gas prices shot up, bills went unpaid, and we ended up with a mortgage crisis when foreclosed homes flooded the market.

    We are now experiencing what is best described as an economic correction, not a recession. It looks about the same, but now that people have stopped overspending, there is less business in general and less money available for salaries.

    There is no way out except a long term adjustment. This means that things are not likely to get much worse and that we just need to get on with our lives.

  • Second, because of the nature of this so called recession, jobs and businesses that have not failed probably won’t. If salaries decline at all the amount will be slight unless you are in a field where pay was already too high for its value, and many businesses will not face any difficulty at all. That is why the stock market is doing quite well now.

  • Third, it is a fact that individual success is almost totally unrelated to national or world wide prosperity. While a lot of jobs and services may be in decline right now, there are just as many in greater demand.

    In every time of tight money I can remember, those people selling gardening supplies have flourished! The seed business should be good this year. And as grocery prices are starting to rise, a roadside garden market will also offer a great opportunity next summer, an opportunity many will recognize and profit from.

    A contractor friend of mine says he hasn’t had much work building new houses recently but he has been very busy with repairs and remodeling. You may have to change the emphasis in your work or even fields of work, but there are plenty of ways to make money—or make more money—even during a depression if you discover that it is possible and act on that information.

There are plenty of reasons to be optimistic on a personal if not on a societal basis. The opportunities are there to be recognized and taken advantage of. It is not a matter of if we could but of whether we will see the opportunities and choose to profit from them.

Any day can be a good day to reassess our opportunities and set new goals for the future. But the beginning of a new year is always an especially good time.

I have several new goals for 2011. How about you?