It’s no secret that most of us don’t have the best track record of following through on New Year’s resolutions and goals. We aim high. We vow that this year we will be the best version of ourselves but as months go by the motivation dwindles. The gym gets less crowded, the budget plans are abandoned, and we think to ourselves “there’s always next year.”
If you’re like most Americans, you probably set certain financial goals and resolutions at the beginning of a new year. But, how can you beat the statistics and actually keep them all year long?
Here are a few tips to set yourself up in a position to meet your goals in 2020 and beyond.
Tips for sticking with your financial goals and resolutions
- Set your priorities. When you write down your goals for the year, be specific and make them measurable. Whether it is to pay off credit card debt, increase your savings rate by 5%, or fine-tune some bad spending habits you’ve picked up, concrete goals are easier to start working towards than vague, blanket ideas.
- Break them down into smaller steps. Evaluate where you are now and then create a plan for tackling your goals by breaking them into smaller steps that are easier to attain. As you accomplish each small goal, it will help motivate you to keep going.
- Make them a habit. If you make your resolution part of a routine or daily habit, you are more likely to stick with it over the long run. Maybe this looks like starting or increasing your automated savings or using an expense tracking program to check in on your new budget each week or month. The more you integrate your goal into your daily life, the easier it becomes to continue it throughout the year and beyond. Think of it like brushing your teeth; you’ve been doing it your whole life, so you make sure it gets done every day without even thinking about it. If you integrate your goal into your daily life in the same way, it will eventually become something that you do automatically.
- Don’t do it alone. Include your partner or encourage your friends and family to do it with you. Surrounding yourself with like people who also have good money habits can help you stay the course. You could also look for an accountability partner. A financial advisor is a great place to look for one, as they serve as financial coaches and want to help you meet your goals.
- Track your progress. Keep an eye on how you’re doing throughout the year. Are you on track to surpass your goal or is it time to make an adjustment? Looking back at what you’ve done so far can motivate you to continue making progress.
- Celebrate your accomplishments. Take a moment to celebrate your accomplishments as you reach new milestones. Researchers have found that getting immediate rewards from meeting goals and creating new habits means people are more likely to stick with them. Take time to pat yourself on the back for your hard work and use that as motivation to keep going.
Do you want help sticking to your financial goals and resolutions this year? Contact us to set up a time to speak with a financial advisor.