Make a resolution and actually stick with it

22 Dec 2021

It’s hard to believe that soon, 2021 will be a thing of the past and we will find ourselves in 2022. If you are like so many people, you may consider preparing a New Year’s Resolution for yourself. It’s a wonderful tradition of putting one’s best foot forward, and creating a goal for oneself that can serve as a guide into the new year. Making better financial choices, eating healthier, losing weight, enjoying more sleep, quitting smoking — the list of possibilities goes on and on.

But for some of you, the idea of choosing a resolution fills you with dread before the merry-makers can finish the first verse of Auld Lang Syne. Maybe you have tried a resolution in the past. Perhaps you have always avoided them because you have watched others fail. That’s not hard to imagine. Studies have shown that less than 10% of the people making resolutions keep them, and most — close to 80% — have failed at keeping their resolution by the beginning of February.

Setting goals for yourself can be daunting, with the unnecessary fear of failure looming, but it can also be extraordinarily fulfilling if you set yourself up at the outset for success. Here are some simple strategy ideas to help you with the successful resolution..

Specific- Rather than saying to yourself that you want to cut back on your coffee consumption, have a specific number in mind. Maybe that is only one or two cups a day, which extremely specific. This also allows your goal to be…

Measurable- A fitness goal is an excellent example of a measurable resolution. Make your number specific, and make the goal over a specific period of time. Know how far you want to run or how much weight you want to lift and by when. Similarly, if you are resolving to start saving money for a financial goal — the down payment on a new house, a child’s education fund, a retirement account — the amount you save on a regular basis is measurable as your account grow over time.

Achievable- Don’t expect that you will lose all the weight or save all the money in the first month: if that was the case, no one would find this challenging. Change takes some time. So, break down the overall goal into smaller amounts — how many pounds will you lose in a week? How much money will you save this month? Perhaps the amount is a small percentage of your paycheck each week — something that you know that you can afford and that you can put away regularly. Do the math so that you can see small but apparent changes in the short-run. If you are losing weight, expect that your goal might not be achieved for a few months or perhaps a year. Take pleasure in the smaller victories.

Commit- Make the decision that you are going to follow through on this. Make the commitment to yourself. You don’t have to tell anyone about your resolution at the beginning of the year. You might prefer not to put that sort of pressure on yourself. Save the announcement until later, as you are deep within your commitment and closing in on success. Nothing is better than that first person who asks you if you’ve lost weight.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help- This is the most important point for many: there is no shame in asking for help. No one expects you to have all the answers. If you are eager to be more fit, yet you are uncertain how to proceed, seek out the advice of the experts: meet a nutritionist or a trainer who can help educate you and set you on the right path.

If your goal is financial — achieving your financial goals or simply improving your financial literacy — we can help. On our web site, we simplify financial planning. We can help you with all sorts of New Year’s Resolution goals, whether it’s contributing toward a specific investment, or more extensive, long-term goals like funding retirement accounts or saving for your child’s education (or investing in a few sessions with a trainer to help with your weight loss). Let us help you get the financial jump on the New Year.