3 Reasons You Should Reflect on Your Year in November, Not December

November 4, 2022

I am currently in the peak of training for a marathon. This means I’m running—a lot—and my weeks are planned around the long weekend runs. Anyone who has trained for a marathon knows the importance of the weekly long runs; they are essential in building endurance and preventing injury.  

An added benefit? Hours of time to think. 

Last weekend I pulled myself out of bed before the sun was up and headed to the track to begin my 14 miles. As I waited for daylight, I looped around the track, cold and a little cranky. Why was I doing this? I don’t need to run a marathon. What was I thinking?   

Somewhere around lap four or five, my mind and body a bit more relaxed, I was reminded of the real answer to these questions. 

About a year ago, I decided I wanted to create a regular running routine for my life. Without any sort of plan, I started logging the miles—and soon found myself in physical therapy for lower back pain. I could barely walk, sitting was painful, and I was scared. I had never had my body tell me “no” so dramatically. My body was in control instead of my brain, and that scared me more than I realized.  

What I learned during my months in physical therapy was how my body and mind need to work together to obtain any goals I set out to accomplish. I need to create a plan for my workouts and runs.  

Again that is what professionals are for right? The physical therapist worked with me over time to create a training schedule that wasn’t just about running. I needed to stretch, develop a strong core, and gradually increase miles. I had to let some of the bending and twisting yard work go, so there are more weeds than I would like. On the mental side, I also needed to make some adjustments. Sleep is vital, eating well and appropriately while watching out for major stresses.  

Back to last weekend: By the time the sun blazed over the horizon, I’d finished reflecting on my reasons for running and felt re-inspired to finish the run strong. I left the track to run on the more vastly open trail, ready to put in the miles gratefully remembering how far I had come from last year. 

The girls make great running buddies.

With some preparation and help from a professional, I was able to create a plan that is now properly preparing me for long miles and my upcoming marathon. 

Reflecting on your finances is just as important as it is when you need the motivation to crank out a long run.  

Here are three reasons I recommend you choose November to reflect on the past year.  

1. It gives you time to process and plan before January 1st comes sneaking up.

Our family had a major transition this year with Ryan retiring from the Air Force and starting to work for the private sector. Our finances—and our taxes–changed dramatically, and we’ve been navigating those throughout the year.  

Take some time to reflect back on the year. Did you retire? Change jobs, get married or have a baby? Have the changes in the last year affected your finances or taxes (maybe you don’t even know?)  I know the stock market has been a rollercoaster this year and that has been so hard for all of us.  

2. It’s a good time to plan your charitable giving before the December 31st deadline.

You may have noticed some initials after my name and didn’t know what they meant. CSPG means I’m a Certified Specialist in Planned Giving. In a nutshell, this means I help people/donors give non-cash gifts to charity. We look at the assets they have, their tax situation, their estate plan, to create a plan for which of their assets to give to the charities they are passionate about.  

For tax considerations donations to charities need to be given by December 31st. You don’t want to save things for the last minute. The end of the year is already busy enough so having your giving done in November is really ideal. 

Planned giving has been a passion of mine since I started in the financial industry. It is a true honor to work with donors and clients as they leave a legacy for their families while providing financial support to charities.  

3. There are opportunities to speak with extended family about your estate plan.  

I’ve talked about it before, but you could plan to start the conversations with your family about your estate plan. I know this may sound a bit stressful, but it’s so important—and you’re not alone. There are amazing resources on freewill.com and through the new Savology program. Give me a call and we’ll figure out what’s best for you and your family.  

As the holidays begin, I encourage you to carve out some time in your schedule to do some intentional planning. Doing it now relieves that mad dash at the end of the year and gives you some time to process how you want to approach 2023.  

Please know you can reply to this email with any questions, whether you want to talk through your unique situation, are wondering about year-end giving, or have been thinking about giving Savology a try to get a better understanding of your current financial picture. I’m just a couple of clicks or a phone call away!  


The opinions expressed herein are those of Anna Nelson and are subject to change without notice. This material is not financial advice or an offer to sell any product. Forward-looking statements cannot be guaranteed. This document may contain certain information that constitutes “forward-looking statements” which can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “may,” “expect,” “will,” “hope,” “forecast,” “intend,” “target,” “believe,” and/or comparable terminology. No assurance, representation, or warranty is made by any person that any of Anna Nelson’s assumptions, expectations, objectives, and/or goals will be achieved. Nothing contained in this document may be relied upon as a guarantee, promise, assurance, or representation as to the future. Anna Nelson is an investment adviser registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training.