Did you know that 92 percent of people who make New Year’s Resolutions don’t stick with them past January? Wouldn’t you like to be in that top eight percent and achieve your goals this year? Here’s how to do it in five simple steps!
1. Set realistic, achievable goals that you can incorporate into your lifestyle without major disruption to your regular routine. Setting the goal of saving an extra $1,000 per month when you can barely put $50 in your savings account isn’t going to cut it. You’ve got to start small in order to succeed. Tell yourself you’ll save $3 per day and you’ll wind up $100 richer at the end of each month. Yes, it’s a far cry from the $1,000 you wanted, but it is more than you started with! And most importantly, it is an attainable goal.
2. Make an action plan. Goals are great, but without action, they will remain an enigma. If you’re saving money, put that cash in a specific location, like a jar in your closet that you’ll see each night when you put your pajamas on. Add $3 to that jar while you’re brushing your teeth before bed. Make that your routine.
3. Have someone hold you accountable. Kids are great at this. So are spouses. Tell your “accountability checker” your goal and what their role is in helping you keep it. Maybe your child helps you count the money in that jar. Involving others gives you a sense of responsibility beyond yourself.
4. Document your achievements. Keep a journal (or note in your phone) of what you do each day towards your goal. Go back and read from the beginning each time you add a line item to see how far you’ve come.
5. Don’t stress if you slip up. Just because you eat that extra piece of cake one time doesn’t mean your entire diet is shot. Or if you don’t have that $3 cash in your wallet one day to add to your savings jar, just put in $6 the next day. Don’t let one or two mistakes serve as excuses to give up on your overall goal.