I don’t think any of us have come out of the past year and a half without some significant “aha” moments or a new perspective on life. Pivotal moments and major upheavals tend to have that effect on us! As I have spent some time reflecting, I wanted to share three lessons the COVID-19 pandemic has taught me and how these lessons are changing the way I live.
1. Priority Shift
When life is going smoothly, it’s easy to go on autopilot. Unfortunately, we can become complacent or take things for granted. My priorities have always been God first, family second, then work. But while that’s what it looks like on paper, I’ve been guilty of flipping the second and third ones.
Pre-pandemic, I would get home after working all day in time to grab a quick bite to eat and tuck my then 6-year-old and 4-year-old in bed. That doesn’t leave much room for quality time, for me to impart to them all the things I want to—like reading to them, helping them learn how to ride bikes, teaching them important life lessons. When COVID-19 hit, for the first time I found myself home at 5:00 p.m. every working day, giving our family plenty of time to play outside, go swimming, golf, read, and so much more. Not only has this improved our family connections, but it’s also been a blessing to my wife. As a stay-at-home mother, my wife carries a heavy load of managing the home and caring for the children, often with very few breaks. When I’m home and present at 5:00 p.m., I can free her up to spend some time doing something that isn’t children-focused.
The pandemic’s reminder to readjust priorities extends outside my nuclear family as well. I have spent more time with my now 99-year-old grandmother in this past year than at any other time in my adult years, helping her and building our relationship. I was even able to be the one to take her to the hospital on Thanksgiving Day because she had contracted COVID-19 (thankfully, she recovered).
I’ve heard this time referred to as the “Great Realization,” and for my family, it’s had immeasurable benefits.
2. My Work Matters
I don’t think I’m alone when I say that this year taught me that I’m glad I’m not the president, our governor, my pastor, or any other leadership position where tough decisions with limited information impact hundreds, thousands, or millions of people. I’m glad I’m a financial planner!
My role as a financial planner is a leadership position, yes, but one that allows me to focus on individual families rather than large groups or organizations. I love that I can build relationships with families and help them focus on their goals in the midst of these wild times. Providing them with clarity by utilizing sound financial principles is a pivotal component of overcoming turbulent times. For example, during the pandemic, we were able to remind clients that the severe market drop was an opportunity to buy quality investments rather than sell quality investments.
This year gave me a fresh perspective on the impact I can have on others and the unique position I’m in to support and guide the people in my circle.
3. Health Is an Investment
Another lesson that I learned throughout this pandemic is that your health ought to be a part of your daily and weekly life. Prior to this year, my exercise routine was sporadic, to say the least. I seemed to go in spurts—3 months on, 9 months off. A friend of mine kindly referred to me as the “resoluter” because come January 1st I would resolve to get in shape, but by March 1st I had abandoned my goal.
Since March of 2020, I have exercised regularly every week. I started with just 3 times a week and recently increased from 4 to 5 days a week. I’ve lost 10% body fat in my quest to get rid of my “dad bod” and I’m learning more about my body all the time. I’ve gone from having high cholesterol to levels that make my doctor happy, thanks to a combination of the lifestyle change of not being on the road all of the time and a major dietary adjustment—no meds! Not bad for a guy coming from a family with a history of high cholesterol.
What Lessons Have You Learned?
If you haven’t already, I encourage you to take some time to think about what the COVID-19 pandemic has taught you and implement long-lasting changes in your life. I know that despite the hardships this year brought, I’m thankful for the opportunity to shift priorities and invest in what matters.
And if your reflection reveals some weaknesses in your finances, or it’s an area you want to focus more on, I’d love to help you secure this incredibly important part of your life. Call (248) 220-4321or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get started, or you can also schedule a meeting by visiting www.calendly.com/cwmrob/initial.
Robert Moore is senior partner, financial planner, investment advisor, and co-owner of Center for Wealth Management, an independent, fee-based wealth management company based in Troy, MI. With more than 15 years of experience, Rob provides customized advice and solutions that are in the clients’ best interest. He strives to always go above and beyond his clients’ expectations, helping them retire with more security than they had before, and invest their time and energy in what’s most important to them. Rob specializes in working with DTE Energy employees, helping them maximize their benefits so they can reduce taxes, prepare for retirement, and protect their families through a comprehensive planning process. Rob graduated from Michigan State University and holds the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® (CFP®) and Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®) designations.
Rob is known as a diehard family man who enjoys spending time with his beautiful wife, Jill, his daughter, Brookelyn, and his son, Brayden. When he’s not working, you can find him playing basketball once a week, squeezing in a round of golf, and watching college football and basketball with friends and family. He is passionate about enriching the lives of others through his church involvement and service at a community addiction program. Learn more about Rob by connecting with him on LinkedIn.