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How To Keep Your 2019 Financial Resolutions
The last champagne cork was popped and verses of ‘Auld Lang Syne’ sung (if anyone does that anymore). And you may have watched the ball drop in Times Square on TV and promised to drop a few pounds this year – but the last thing you’ll want to drop is your New Year’s financial resolutions. So while many of us will turn that treadmill into a good place to hang clothes by Valentine’s Day, dropping your 2019 financial resolutions can truly cost you.
According to a recent survey, 48% of American’s New Year’s financial resolutions goals are to pay-down debt and save money. 42% say they succeeded in those goals and their financial situations improved in 2018 over 2017. So how did they do it?
One of the most common things they did was to actually write-down their goals, not simply say they were going to do them. Many cited it was simply a list they made and referred to each time they faced a challenging financial decision or impulse to purchase something they really didn’t need.
Another, even with the long-term goal in-mind, was to stay in the moment – especially when mistakes are made. In fact, 58% of those who say they were successful in 2018 also said they made mistake along the way. It’s easy to get frustrated and abandon goals when challenges are encountered. By staying in the moment, you can keep your goals in mind, better learn from and move past mistakes while also keeping your financial resolutions intact.
Staying in the moment also did something else – it caused many in the study to practice gratitude. Although it sounds strange, financial experts believe gratitude to be an essential part of successful financial resolutions. By expressing gratitude for where you are in the moment and how far you’ve come up to that moment creates a powerful mind-shift. You realize just how in control of your finances you really are despite the challenges most of us face.
Looking to this year, set your goals so you have smaller ones you truly feel you can achieve that will lead to bigger ones and remember to write them down. Say you want to make a $5,000 purchase in 2020 without charging it as your larger goal. Break that goal down into smaller ones – such as saving $416 a month or even $96 dollars a week. Then put the things in place to make it happen – like setting up a separate savings account with auto direct deposits to help reach your goal painlessly. Resolution is defined as the firm decision to do or not do something. You can choose to ‘do’ versus drop and we can help.