Another new year is upon us! And with it, a slew of New Year’s resolutions — which most of us will abandon by next month.
While it’s essential to set goals, the problem with doing it at the beginning of the year is that we often aim too high. We think we’re capable of much more than we actually are, at least in the short term. If you, for example, make it a goal to lose 100 pounds in a year, you’re very likely to fail.
But what if you kept your aims the same, but took a different approach to measure your progress? An easy way to do that is to simply make more manageable, attainable goals — goals that you can knock out punch by punch, rather than going for the K.O. blow. This applies as much to your health as it does to your finances, too.
If you took a look at our end-of-year financial checklist, there may be an item or two on there that you can use to start building your goals for the coming year. Perhaps you really need to sit down and crank out a budget? Or take a good, hard look at your spending habits? Or maybe just review your credit report?
These are all relatively simple and easy things to do, on their own. But if you set a goal for yourself to do a “complete financial overhaul” that includes all of these and more? You’re going to feel overwhelmed, and probably give up.
So, again, rework your goals into more bite-sized, attainable steps. You’ll be much more likely to look back at the past year, one year from now, and feel a sense of accomplishment.
Finally, here’s yet another thing you can try: Set a one-year goal. What can you accomplish in one year? As you get older, you know that a year isn’t all that much time — and yet, if you were to count the days down until next January, it may feel like an eternity. It’s paradoxical, but it is a good amount of time with which you can set your sights on a specific outcome, and work toward it.
What are some good, attainable, one-year goals? How about getting a new, better-paying job? Or finding a new bank with higher interest rates for your savings? Or maybe just paying down (or paying off) your debt? If you were to do just one of these things, you’ll be thanking yourself in a year. But if you tried to do them all at once? You’d probably struggle.
So, think about what a one-year goal could look like for you. It could be financial, or otherwise — although we at Money Vehicle, naturally, would love to hear from you if you do manage to accomplish something money-related! Just remember that it all starts with baby steps. Manageable, attainable mini-goals. Those will help you build confidence and momentum, much like how a snowball bouncing from the top of a peak can turn into an avalanche.
What will you accomplish this year?
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