You’re excited for the New Year, the fresh start, and for conquering your goals.
But in previous years, you didn’t live up to your resolutions.
Last year, you worked hard for a month, maybe two. You made some progress, sure, but ultimately, you ended up losing interest or dropping your goal before you reached it.
You can shrug it off as the New Year’s resolution game that everybody plays. Nobody ever reaches their goals, right?
One Reason You Never Reach Your New Year’s Resolutions
There’s a funny force at play that prevents you from reaching your resolutions.
Sure, part of it’s laziness and lack of follow through on your part, if we’re being completely honest.
But that’s not the entire picture.
There is one big, fat reason that you never reach your resolutions and get to that final goal..
You’re thinking too big.
Yes, I know, BHAGs (big, hairy, audacious goals) are the new big thing and you should be reaching for the moon, blah blah blah.
It’s great to think long term, to think big and to have crazy goals. Challenging yourself is awesome, and everybody should do it.
But when you plan for an entire year – when you resolve to do something for 365 days, or stick to one thing for 12 months, you are setting yourself up for failure.
By setting New Year’s resolutions, you’re essentially saying that you’ll stick to these goals through thick and thin – hot and cold, vacations, down time, holidays, birthdays, and unexpected turns and events.
Is that realistic? No, not really.
So, how can you reach your financial goals without resolutions?
How to Set Goals You’ll Actually Reach
Just because you probably won’t stick to your New Year’s resolutions doesn’t mean you won’t ever be able to set goals you will reach.
There is a two-pronged approach to actually reaching your resolutions or goals:
1) Create a habit
Here’s how to do set these into place to ensure success in 2015 with your money goals:
1) So you want to actually reach your goals?
Hands-down, the best and only way to do it is to build habits around your goals.
If you don’t build habits, even if you reach your goal, you’ll slip down the slope of relapse again:
- If you reach your goal of losing 10 pounds without creating better habits for good, you’ll gain it all back.
- If you reach your goal of paying down $10,000 of debt without creating better habits for good, you’ll slip into debt again
- If you reach your goal of saving $4,000 without creating better habits for good, you’re savings will remain at $4,000 forever.
With that in mind, the next step of generating small-wins and creating monthly goals has to be for the purpose of creating habits. For good.
2) You already know all about generating small wins, because you’ve read my article on Add Vodka about them.
If you haven’t, click on this link and have a read.
One great way to generate small wins and rock your money this year is by setting monthly goals. Something new to impelemnt as a goal each month that you can work toward over the course of the four weeks.
One month is short enough to be realistic but long enough to achieve something, generating a small win for yourself and keeping the momentum going. Plus, a month goes by and a habit begins.
Download the Suburban Finance 2015 Financial Resolution Worksheet by clicking here to get a list of goals I’d suggest for each month.
Don’t Forget to Reflect and Review
Too often, we get excited for the New Year and abandon the past year completely.
Instead of doing that, too, stop and reflect on the past year. Consider:
- What did you accomplish?
- What could you have done better with?
- What key events impacted your finances the most throughout the year?
- What does your financial snapshot look like now?
Doing these things will set your whole year up for improvement on the last, and you’ll know more about what you need to do to make the year the best yet.
I help you through these questions and more with this free workbook to make 2015 the best year ever!