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Happy New Year! Forget The Resolutions!

January 03, 2023
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Happy New Year!  Forget the resolutions!

It’s a brand new year full of hope and optimism, as it should be.  For many people, that includes new year’s resolutions which, in most cases, fall by the wayside after a few weeks.  Why is that?

In my opinion, and in my experience, most resolutions fail because they’re not tied to a specific goal with a plan to meet it.  Resolutions are often too broad or too unrealistic and cause us to lose hope of achieving them.  Common resolutions are “I’m going to eat healthier,” “I’m going to lose weight,” or “I’m going to save money.”  But without a specific target to shoot for, how will you know when you’ve succeeded?

Instead, try setting your focus on S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attributable, Realistic, Timebound) goals and determine the daily or weekly activities necessary to meet those goals.  Your daily, weekly, and monthly activities will ultimately determine your success.  Remember, slow and steady wins the race.

For example, let’s change the “I’m going to save money” goal to “I’m going to save $5,000 by the end of 2023.”  That’s specific, measurable ($5,000), attributable (you’re the one responsible for the goal), realistic (depending on your income and expense level) and timebound (by the end of 2023).

Once you’ve established the goal, it becomes easier to put in place a process for achieving it.  Using the goal above, $5,000 for the year breaks down to approximately $417 per month, or $96 per week added to an investment account.  Following that, examine your monthly expenses and see if there are ways you can cut unnecessary expenses to facilitate meeting the investment goal.[1]  If you’ve determined that the goal is not realistic, adjust it accordingly.  Then, once you’ve finalized the goal, put in place the automatic method for achieving it (in this case, monthly EFT transfers to an investment account would be appropriate).

 

“People do not decide their futures, they decide their habits, and their habits decide their futures.”

 – F.M. Alexander

 

Of course, the drawback to this method is that the results aren’t immediate.  But that’s okay.  Meeting your goal sometimes takes time and patience, but if you follow the process the results are inevitable.  Even better, you can use this process for any type of goal, whether it’s a financial goal, health goal, family goal, a work goal, etc.  

So for a happy 2023, let’s focus on simple activities and add them up one by one to achieve our goals.

Happy New Year!

Joe


[1] If you don’t have a monthly budget, your first goal should be to create a monthly budget by January 15th.  Having a handle on your expenses is critical to your financial well-being.


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The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly.  

Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.

Investing includes risks, including fluctuating prices and loss of principal.