How was your year? They say only 17 percent of New Year’s resolutions are kept. Did you keep yours?

Recently, I have seen several magazine and newspaper articles about “makeovers.”

The makeover is usually done to improve the appearance of the person being made over. The person submits to having professional hair stylists, makeup, and even clothing specialists “make them over.” There is always a before-and-after picture.

Some of the results are astonishing. It is hard to believe that the person we see in the “after” picture is the same we see in the “before.”

Although in some cases, it is not uncommon for me to think that the change was only slight.

Many New Year’s resolutions revolve around money and financial issues. For many, there are numerous business-related areas that need a makeover.

Some families are out of control with their budgets. The holiday season often contributes to this chaos. The desire to be generous can overwhelm common sense.

A closely related area is that of saving or investing. The media bombards us with the wisdom of putting money aside for education, retirement or other long-term goals.

Statistically, we are poor savers in the United States. It may be time for a “makeover” in this area.

Estate planning is another neglected segment of our financial lives. It is another of those “important but not urgent” parts of our life.

Few understand the importance of having proper wills, powers of attorney, life insurance and living trust until it is too late.

As I reflect on this year, I think of all families who lost loved ones. Some died suddenly, without warning and without time to get their house in order. They needed an “estate planning makeover.”

The most obvious “makeover” arena is physical. It is not just about outward appearance. It is the deeper part.

How is your blood pressure? Your weight? Muscle tone? Health club memberships spike in January only to fall off by late spring

So how about you? In what areas should you be doing a “makeover”?

Should you call your attorney to get that estate plan done? The answer is ‘yes’.

Should you sit down with your financial planner and set goals for improving your investment commitments and budget changes? The answer is ‘yes’.

Should you call your doctor and schedule the exam to get an honest assessment of your physical condition? The answer is ‘yes.’

Cosmetic “makeovers” are fun. All of us could look a little better with a nip and a tuck, but the lasting change must come from within not from surface changes. It must come from the discipline to stick with the difficult steps of change. The rewards are always worth it.

Have a great 2017 and have enjoyable personal “makeover.”

Tom and John Mills are registered investment advisers and certified financial planners. Reach them at 254-0155, MillsWealth.com. Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Strategic Wealth Advisors Group (SWAG), a registered investment adviser.

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