Using a WOTY (Word of the Year) in Your Financial Plan

Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher, is quoted as saying, “Change is the only constant in life.” This has been true since 500 B.C. when he wrote it and will always be so.



The human conscious experience is indeed ever-expansive as our entire universe constantly expands. Expansion cannot be avoided. Growth drives our tendency toward goals, resolutions, and plans for ourselves, our careers, our families, and our finances. Once we have achieved a goal, a new finish line is born. Our vision has been extended, and we now see the next right step. The next goal. If we find ourselves at a plateau, we cannot help but continue our climb.

I particularly enjoy new beginnings, a new year, an opportunity to evaluate and ask ourselves if we are on track to where we want to go, how we want to feel, and what virtues we hope to embody. Staying curious about how things have expanded and changed is part of my nature as a financial planner. I encourage you to explore a WOTY as an essential piece of your financial plan.


Compare where you are now to where you were a year ago and ask yourself:

How have your vision and goals evolved?

What feels like the next right step toward the life you want?

What do you know now that you didn’t know then?

If there were no barriers, what would you do?

How do you want to feel?

What do you want to embody and reflect on to others?

What is one word for THAT?


You may have stumbled on your Word of the Year.  


Your WOTY (Word of the Year) can be a gentle reminder and inform your objectives: What do you need to DO to embody the WOTY? 


I offer the perspective that mapping out goals and objectives in an evolving financial plan, with the willingness to re-visit and recalibrate the plan every year or so, is a really practical way to accomplish goals. We have time, money, energy, and opportunity as resources to achieve our objectives. An actual plan can help you live your WOTY more intentionally.

I consider the spiritual nature of this topic and, by contrast, the resource, money, as a concrete place to start. These are action steps toward your WOTY. We create a plan to evolve the way we’ve envisioned.


If CONFIDENCE is your word, we create a plan to establish emergency savings and fund the kids’ college.


If LISTEN is your word, ask your partner about their experiences with money and who taught them their first financial lessons.


If PROVIDE is your WOTY, one step to take is to review your employer-sponsored life insurance and see where the gaps are.


If EXPAND is your WOTY, it may be time to invest beyond your retirement account.


You get the idea. Try even thinking of a WOTY that wouldn’t have a financial implication of some kind to measure and track. This gentle form of resolution allows room to add objectives, strategies, and steps to check off so that we know when we get “there” so we can push our boundaries again next year.

Identifying what you wish to embody in a WOTY can have practical implications if you consider both the head and heart of your money and your financial plan. I guarantee your financial plan will gather dust if it doesn’t expand WITH you into this new year, new day, and new experience of who you are.

Post by Amy Duncan

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