“No one’s ever achieved financial fitness with a January resolution that’s abandoned by February.” – Suze Orman.
We know the year already feels old and you have probably made your resolutions. If you haven’t already you are probably not going to do it. Maybe you don’t believe in resolutions. Or you have made them a couple of times and failed to implement them. So why bother this time? Should you?
While it’s true that we rarely stick to our new year resolutions it’s not entirely true that making resolutions is an entirely futile exercise. If done properly, it can lead to new habits and behaviors that transform our lives for the better. The question should not be whether or not to make resolutions. The question is how you make better resolutions.
While you are making resolutions, base them on goals rather than time. This should start with the name. Call them Financial goals or fitness goals instead of just “New Year Resolutions”. Calling them New Year Resolutions implies that this is something that is done in January and if we derail along the way we have to wait for the next new year to start again. On the other hand, seeing your resolutions as goals will give you the motivation to carry on or get back on track after derailing.
Specific & Measurable Goals
Your goal based resolutions have to be specific & measurable. Instead of just planning to save more, go ahead and define “more”. How much more will you save? And why are you saving? Having a specific goal in mind will help you not only plan better but also measure your progress along the way.
It is pointless to have measurable goals if you do not actually measure them. Tracking your progress periodically will help you stay on course. Have an accountability system or an accountability partner. Want to save more? Consider the 52 week’s savings challenge and track your progress weekly. Want to get fit? Follow a training regime and measure results monthly. Whatever your goal is, figure out a system that allows you to track results.
Conclusion: New Year Resolutions might be overrated but that’s because we put too much pressure on ourselves. Goals are not overrated though. Having goals, whether financial, fitness or wellness goals, helps improve our lives. Instead of the annual resolutions try bite-size goals this year.
One more thing, you will probably fail to meet your goals every now and then. Learn to forgive yourself and start all over again. Do not give up and wait for another calendar to start over.
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