As we approach another year, we gather new hopes and dreams and start to think about new goals. Apart from life resolutions, such as eating healthy or exercising regularly, many of us need to set ourselves clear financial resolutions such as eliminating credit card debt or adding extra money into your retirement or savings accounts. Learn how to make a good New Year’s resolution to have the most impact in the new year.
Characteristics of a Good New Year’s Resolution
Some people believe that New Year’s resolutions are a waste of time, and that committing to any number of resolutions, let alone one, is a difficult task. Here are a few steps to help you make a good New Year’s resolution.
Steps to a Good New Year’s Resolution
The most important thing about your financial New Year’s resolution is your commitment. Write it down, and make sure there is a way to periodically review it.
The second step is evaluating how achievable your financial resolution really is. Is it something that you can commit to getting done within a year? Do you need to break the resolution down to smaller more manageable goals? This way you can keep your commitment to your resolution intact and won’t look for any excuses to quit. It’s important to track your progress.
Your resolution must also be tangible. Rather than “spend your money more wisely”, your resolution should be “I will put $100 monthly into my savings account”. Having a specific resolution helps you keep focused and makes it easier for you to measure the progress.
Prepare your plan of action. If you are committing to save $100 a month, you should have a clear idea of where the money is going to come from. Have you considered where you will get this extra money? Can your budget from last year be whittled a little bit here and there? Is it as simple as bringing your lunch to work? A budget is absolutely necessary to track how you are planning to spend for the year. You can download a budgeting worksheet in Excel, so you can juggle the figures around a bit until you have a workable budget and get started on your New Year’s resolution.
Finally, you can find some more resources to help you along the way to achieving your New Year resolution in our previous posts on sticking to your resolution.