New Year, New You! How to change your life, starting with your wallet!
I literally hate new year resolutions for several reasons. The number one reason being the “90 percenters” who are relucent to admit they really are not up to the task of meaningful change. I love goals and new beginnings; however the intense marketing, 1/1 goal setters, and those who are just in a fantasy world about committing to change, give goal setting a bad reputation. Of the 45% of Americans who set goals for the new year, only 8% actually accomplish them! Nearly 35% fail to make it one month! It gets worse when u look at the fact that the majority of goal-setters fail their resolutions by the middle of the year. I don’t want to rain on anybody’s parade, but if you were serious about change, growth, and a better tomorrow it wouldn’t take 1/1 to remind you how bad you jacked up last year! People always are quick to view tomorrow as a day that is full of sunshine and flowers. A day that they will begin saving monthly, waking up early and working on self-development, or get off their lazy ass and work out. News flash guys, your tomorrow will most likely resemble today. The people who accomplish those things have had defining moments of clarity; they understand the sacrifice of grind, hustle, and commitment. Goal attainment is the secret to success and the people who attain goals had a prior plan to reach those goals, not a new year’s resolution. The key contributor above all else is action, consistent action.
I understand the symbolic meaning of the New Year and I am not suggesting that a person shouldn’t set goals. I am simply giving an honest assessment of how most of you will fail unless you connect with your desire to change…. emotionally. Mentally we know if you eat fewer calories and workout, than you will lose weight. It is a simple formula that works if the principles are followed. The reason most people don’t successful complete diets is because they don’t care enough for the result! They aren’t up to the challenge and find the process too restrictive on their true desires (the status quo). The people who lose weight, change their finances, and accomplish daunting goals are those who have emotionally invested in the process and changed the principles they live by. There is a huge difference between “I will drink less soda in 2017.” and “I no longer drink soda because I want to live a vibrant life.”
I am not telling you not to set goals or resolutions for the New Year, I really recommend a deep dive into what it is you want from life. Take an inventory of yourself and actions to see how they match up with what you want from life.
Keys to a successful New Year’s resolution
- Set a SMART financial goal such as ” I will save $10,000 by December 31st 2017.”(Specific/Measurable/Achievable/Relevant/Time defined) goal
- Don’t focus on the monetary goal, focus on the “why”. Remind yourself every day why you sacrifice.
- Don’t touch your savings! Living by sound financial principles is the lifeblood of achieving financial success. Saving money is a habit that is practiced monthly. You are paying yourself. Would u ever ask your church for a portion of your tithe back?
- Obsess over financial topics you don’t understand. Read, study, share, join groups. YouTube videos by CFP’s, CPA’s, and financial institutions give excellent content. Kahn Academy offers a free course that covers nearly all topics the average person needs to know.
- Write it all down. Ideas need to be written down to become real. Document your journey! You can’t win in 2017 if you don’t know where the finish line is, create 12 months of budgets. This will help you analyze what is financially possible.
- The goal needs to be a part of who you are not something you do. Remember we don’t attract what we want, we attract who we are. So copy the habits of the financially successful. Bring your lunch, don’t buy luxury items, budget monthly, and save money every month without exception.
- When things get tough or you fail to follow-thru in an instance, start back immediately. Life will surprise you this year, don’t turn a safety net into a hammock.