Tue, 07 January 2020
Every time we open a new calendar at January 1, there is renewed hope for betterment of every aspect of our lives. Financial stability, health and well-being – these are aspects almost every individual aspires to with every turn of the page.
However, these are difficult concepts. They are broadly governed by what we do as individuals and what the economy does. So, this new year, let’s look at both aspects in cohesion and find one small thing that can help make things easier.
Let’s begin with the aspect closest to us – ourselves. I presume here that everyone wants, to some extent, to earn more, save better, have better health, educate our children and perhaps have better quality leisure time.
To improve the health of your finances and your body, the first step is to analyse or review, then to carve out unnecessary expenses (or food) to some extent and perhaps budget or plan better. But this can all be quite constraining and overwhelming, so perhaps begin by simply tracking – track your expenses and your health better, and in detail, and let rationality and necessity guide what you do with the information.
For the other aspects of aspirational improvement, we need the support of the system at large. And again, 2020 seems to be a fantastic place to begin.
The economy of Bahrain is diversifying. New school partners, like the Inspired Group, are now here; established brands like EtonHouse from Singapore are available; and a lot of local preschools have opened recently. Even new special needs centres, such as Athena, ensure a more inclusive form of education. High calibre hospitals and medical facilities are expanding as is the ecosystem that supports these facilities through health technology.
Hospitality is clearly an area of focus with several brands entering and expanding in the country. The focus on Bahrain as an island destination for weddings or events is likely to expand the leisure activities. We now have Dive Bahrain, we have trampoline parks, we have an international theatre. New facilities for our children to use, new music centres, gymnastics centres, play areas – look around you, they are everywhere. And when entrepreneurship is on the rise like this, it’s because at an individual level, people are hopeful. And this aggregation creates the reality of success.
Every individual and every economy goes through points of crises and points of inflexion for betterment. Bahrain has been through change over recent years with exits and rising prices and a cleaning up of sorts. It is now poised for a clear strategic direction forward and when the economy grows, so do the individuals.
So, at the start of 2020, let’s take a deep breath and keep some perspective. Realise that, while it sometimes seems much is falling apart, you need to look around and see what is right. Your finances may not be as bad as you fear. Track and check. Your health may be fixable. Your time could be better managed with small tweaks and, overall, you may be able to have a better quality of life by simply shifting your focus. I am not talking about being naïve to the problems – in fact I’m saying increase awareness of the bad… and the good. You could find the silver linings to give you the hopeful strength for an amazing 2020.
Pria is an Advisor with JEO Management Consultants (http://www.jeomanagement.com). You can follow Pria at her Instagram handle money_cues or know more about her professional experience at