I wrote this before I went to Japan on 9th February but delayed sending it as events overtook me. It’s ironic my only resolution this year was to send an email every 2 weeks

OK, the jury has returned as we are 6 weeks into 2011. What’s the verdict? How have your New Years Resolutions faired? They say it takes 30 days to change a habit; miss just one day and you must start the 30 day clock again. Is it any wonder so many New Years Resolutions fail?

We all need a long term plan. What we don’t need is an unrealistic short term goal that we will undoubtedly break and then feel very bad about. Everyone’s plan is different, but there are some tools I can share with you which can help you to visualise your own plan.

2011 is quite a benchmark year for Lesley and I. At the beginning of January Lucy was 18. In May Lesley & I have been married for 25 years. Charlotte is 16 in June, and in November I reach 50. (You can see I have not mentioned Lesley’s age) This year GCSEs and A levels are being taken and hopefully Lucy goes off to University to study Medicine and Charlotte starts sixth form.

About 5 years ago I created a spreadsheet with our relevant ages on it and so this alignment of dates has not come as a great surprise to me. If ever there was a year to celebrate it is this one. Celebration can only take place after forward planning and structured savings towards a defined goal. Will I be ready? Well as you know nothing goes true to plan but I will be better prepared than if I had got up on New Years Day and said “Guess what?”

How are your plans looking? Why not create a quick spreadsheet. If you need any help with Excel then give us a call and we can get you started. It could help you visualise retirement, mortgage repayment, university fees etc.

The odds of winning the National Lottery are 1: 13,983,816. However if you buy two tickets it reduces the odds to 1:13983815. Thank you to John Rhoades who explained; “Take a sheet of paper 7 metres long by 2 metres wide, divide it into square millimetres and find the right one to win a prize”.

I will defer setting you a question until my next blog.

Conrad James Lewis

21.10.1988 – 09.02.2011
Conrad was killed in action in Afghanistan, bravely preserving our security. He touched and changed the lives of everyone he met. It was a privilege to play my small part in such a big life. He will be missed.