Once you get past the hangover (of good feelings, course), it's time to focus on your "next". Facing transitions in your job, your family or your financial stability? Then now is the time to take stock. What changes, challenges and opportunities are at hand? The best place to start is, as the King says to Alice's White Rabbit, "Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end; then stop."
The beginning is simple: Assess (Step 1). Where are you right now? Maybe you practiced financial debauchery over the holidays and are expecting credit card statements that fill you with dread. Well, if it’s reality, it must be faced, dealt with and—ideally—learned from.
Then you need an Action Plan (Step 2). If you've been flying solo and the challenges outnumber the successes, it's time to create a team to help. Look for a Fee-Only Financial Planner (the NAPFA.org website is a great place to start). What you're looking for here is someone you can really talk to and who is really listening (you'll know it when you find it). With the help of your Advisor, you can begin to get strategic about your money—defining your "musts" and your "next". You’ll want to understand your money mindset (and whatever has financially battered and bruised you) so that you can avoid the mistakes of the past.