Welcome to 2018. It’s that time of year when we get asked about our New Year’s resolutions. These range from realistic goals to those that are low on enjoyment and high in self-loathing. I have one resolution for 2018, but it’s not really about me.

I thought of it after reading an article in Moneywise magazine, which asked a group of people, including yours truly, how much they would need to save in order to retire at 60. After a quick head calculation, I figured I would need about £40,000 per year to quit work early (before 68) and travel the world. I felt that my target was reasonable when compared with others in the same article (one interviewee said they needed over a £1 million in order to retire comfortably). And according to a friend, who is far more savvy on savings matters than I am, I was doing ok. So my resolution was not to embark on a diet of beans on toast for the next 20 years in order to save and retire comfortably at 60.

Ironically, though, the interview inspired me to towards a resolution that is not about money or saving for early retirement. In the same conversation with my friend, we segued into wellbeing. Families everywhere had their share of struggle in 2017 and some of those struggles have crept into 2018. The important thing to remember, said my friend, is to have at least one positive thought when you wake up in the morning and to be helpful towards others. Whether that’s in your professional or personal life, positive helpfulness towards others pays it forward, gets you noticed and comes around, he added, and the rest (future goals) will just fall into place. With that I decided that my New Year’s resolution is to be more positively helpful.

This may not appeal to everyone when getting fit, rich or more sleep rank among the popular ones that I’ve heard. That is because positive helpfulness relies more on helping others rather than being directly related to oneself, but indirectly it could lead to more happiness and a path towards realising one’s goals. It sounds worth a try rather than letting worrying about the future sap today of its joy. Here’s to a happy and positively helpful New Year.


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