First Week of January Test (2015 Edition)

The other day, in the wee early hours of the Monday of All Mondays, subscribers to my email list received, just like clockwork (just like calendarwork?), their FWoJT email (their First Week of January Test email).

This year the Monday of All Mondays — I speak here, of course, of the first Monday of the New Year, when many of us first go back into our normal day-to-day routine following the holidays — fell (and for many it did indeed fall) on January 5th, but it can fall on pretty much any day in the first week or so of January.

On that Monday of All Mondays, many folks first saw their FWoJT email as they awoke to lift their heads from their pillows to grab their phones to scan their email notifications (that’s the very first thing many of us do now upon waking, yes?) and were reminded that, as happens every year on that very day, Friedman was advising them to just go there —  to just go ahead and, for a brief moment, ask themselves how it felt to be back in their day-to-day routines after the holidays.

Moans and groans (and worse) went up across the land, along with, from the lucky few who have reached their Exquisite Balance, a few wahoos and giddyup-doggies and sweet-[deity or non-deity of their choosing]-a’mighty-I-am-happy-at-lasts.

I hope you found yourself among the lucky few!

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If you haven’t the foggiest what I’m talking about, please take yourself back to that moment — role-play yourself back into the mind you inhabited at that very moment — and please read on, as The First Week of January Test email awaits you below!


Monday January 5, 2015
at 3:30 a.m.


Greetings Human Being Animals!

It’s the first Monday of a new year, and that means that you have a short task before you, which is to very quickly and without editing yourself whatsoever, write down the first thing that pops into your head as you’re reading the following question:

How’s it feel to be
climbing back into your
day-to-day weekday routine?

Go ahead, write down the first thought in your head, and then stick it into the equivalent of a bottle that you toss into the sea and which, a year from now, washes up onto the beach at the feet of your future self, to be read and enjoyed as you and your future self see fit!

Yes, I’m advising you to write the modern equivalent of a little message in a bottle to your one-year-older self — a message spanning time rather than space — telling yourself a year from now what it was like to be you, embarking on a brand new empty-vessel of a year, with something just a bit shy of 365 days waiting for you, to have your way with, and to fill up in in your own inimitable way.

* * *

I’ve been asking folks to answer this question — how does it feel? — on the first Monday of each year for nine years now because the answer to that question on that day says more about a person’s financial health at the non-numeric level than any other single question I know. Because it’s true, isn’t it, that a well-designed financial life is one that helps us live day-to-day lives that we are excited to be living, yes? And because it’s also true that no day in all of 2015 smacks us upside-the-head with the gloriousnesses and/or the ingloriousnesses of our day-to-day lives more than this one which through yonder window breaks, right?

So, please, do write your thoughts down, and return to them at the same time next year, to see what you’ve done, one year later, to improve your overall financial health at the non-numeric level, won’t’ch’ya? Also, some folks in the past have wanted to share with me the thoughts they’ve written down, and, if that’s you, then please do send them my way. [There are plenty of ways to contact me on the — you guessed it — Contact Page.] I’d be honored.

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To read more about this idea — including a discussion of numeric and non-numeric financial health and the interplay between the two, and how this First Week of January Test fits in with the financial health framework I’ve developed over the years, please see this piece:
An Exquisite Balance
From there, if you want to read something far more ambitious in scope (and therefore necessarily far greater in length as well), then for you there is this:

Financial Health Defined
And please do let me hear from you if you’d like further pointers to pieces on the general topic of improving your overall financial health. I have quite a few to share with you!

* * *

Thank you to all who have encouraged me to start sending group emails again. 2015 will likely be the year when I send regular emails out to the list. As always, you can opt out — see the information below — and if you would like to forward this to someone else, please do!

And a wonderful, exquisitely in-balance 2015 to you!



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