Quote of the Week: "No one's ever achieved financial fitness with a January resolution that's abandoned by February."~ Suze Orman
As January draws to a close, you have probably made your resolutions for 2018. If you have not already you are probably not going to do it anyway, probably because you do not believe in resolutions, or have made them before and failed. With this in mind, should you bother with making more resolutions this time?
While it is true that we rarely stick to all our resolutions, it is not true that making resolutions is an entirely futile exercise. If done properly, it can lead to new habits and behaviours that transform our lives for the better. The question should not be whether or not to make resolutions, but how to make better resolutions.
Make your resolutions based 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 only done in January and if we derail along the way we have to wait for the next new year to start over 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 and Measurable
Your goal-based resolutions have to be specific and measurable. Instead of just planning to save more, go ahead and define what “more” is. How much more will you save? And why are you saving? Specificity will help you not only plan better but also measure your progress.
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 weeks 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 is because we put too much pressure on ourselves to achieve them. However, goals are not overrated. Having goals, whether financial, fitness or wellness goals help improve our lives. Instead of the annual resolutions, try bite-sized goals this year.
One more thing, you will probably fail to meet your goals every now and then, this is human and you should learn to forgive yourself and start over again. Do not give up and wait for another calendar year to start over.