With the New Year (and new decade!) approaching, you may be thinking about resolutions for 2020. Beginning a new year can be an exciting and hopeful time and is the perfect moment to reflect and formulate new goals. These goals can range from changing bad habits to learning new skills, from refining existing skills to improving relationships – personal or business, and more. Often these resolutions are vague, such as exercising more, losing weight, or eating healthier. However, non-specific goals are not easy to follow through with, and after a month or two of the daily grind, they are easily forgotten. Being more specific and creating a plan can greatly increase the chances of successfully following through with resolutions.
I would like to share with you the way I approach my New Year’s resolutions.
- Set specific, realistic and attainable goals. Your resolution should be clear. Instead of “I want to pay off my credit card”, why don’t you try “I want to pay off my credit card in the next six months.” To make your resolution attainable, think about what you need to do to get to your goal, for example “I will go for a run twice a week and I will eat homemade meals during the weekdays.”
- Think about ways to help you achieve your resolutions. It is easier to accomplish your resolution if you break them down. For example, “I will pack my lunch, and I will save $100 each week until June.”
- Write goals down. It is easy to forget about your goals if you don’t write them down. I find it very useful to not only write them down, but to hang my little piece of paper somewhere at home so I can review them periodically and make sure I am doing what I can to reach those goals. It is also very powerful to see how you are moving forward.
- Create goals for different areas of your life. You can have goals for different areas of your life. Try to set one or two different professional, finance, health, spiritual, relationships… as many as you want!
- Make goals that are measurable. In order to stick to your goals, you need to be able to see consistently that you’re on the right track. The best way to do that is to set goals that can be measured over short periods of time. For example, “I would like to see my friends more often. I will invite a friend for coffee every other Friday.”
In my experience, setting goals that are too general and or unrealistic usually ends with the person not accomplishing what they set out to do. Avoid being vague and make sure you have a sense of direction in accomplishing your goal. And remember that resolutions don’t have to be a punishment, have fun with them! We at Inspired Financial wish you a great New Year full of accomplished goals (we are planners, after all)!