Now that December is halfway done, the new year is quickly approaching. Have you thought about your New Year’s resolutions? Do you tend to keep your resolutions or do you tend to struggle with them? If you’re one to struggle, you’re not alone. Almost half of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, but only 8% are successful.
One of our goals for 2018 was to re-start this blog, and as you can see, we have made it a reality. We prefer to make goals instead of New Year’s resolutions because in the past resolutions have never worked for us.
New Year’s resolutions don’t work when you are very vague about them or if you try to make them too simple, i.e.
- Exercise more.
- Eat healthily.
- Save more money.
- Spend more time with family.
- Travel more.
- Do a budget.
Sound familiar? This is what we were guilty of as well. We figured if we did it that way we would surely succeed at least because they were easy. However, it’s easy to fall off and not hold yourself accountable. We would even forget what our resolutions were sometimes because we wouldn’t even write them down.
Out With The Old & In With The New
We got tired of not achieving our resolutions and instead started making goals for the new year.
If you’re feeling the same way, continue on reading to get tips on how to make goals for the new year.
Choose what areas of your life you want to work on. Some common areas that people tend to want to improve are:
- Relationships (significant other/family/friends)
- Personal growth
Keep in mind not to make too many goals. You will set yourself up for failure by not being able to focus on and fully commit to the goals that you are trying to achieve. Take into consideration why you are setting each specific goal and it’s importance to you. This can help to actually make you work harder to achieve your goals so that you can feel challenged to beat yourself.
In order to achieve a goal, you must plan to do so. You must break your goals down so that they are SMART.
- SPECIFIC: target an area for improvement
- MEASURABLE: choose an indicator of progress
- ACTION ORIENTED: break down goals into smaller steps to help achieve and not overwhelm
- REALISTIC: avoid setting unrealistic expectations
- TIMELY: specify when the goal should start and end; enough time to meet the goal, but not so much that the goal could take an unnecessary amount of time
Periodically reassess your progress with your goals. Make changes as needed. And if you come across another goal that you would like to achieve within the year, add it to your list as well. This is the beauty of doing goals instead of resolutions. Why put it off until next year when you can do it now?
Besides budgeting, making goals for the year is what set us on the track to help us pay off our debt. Sometimes we would break those goals down quarterly. It just depended on when the debt was expected to be paid off or when the amount of debt was expected to decrease.
This kept us motivated because we could easily see the progress that we were making, especially when we were able to cross off yet another goal met.
Although we’re out of debt, we still make financial goals (i.e. investing, 529s) and goals that involve money (i.e. house updates, vacation, etc.). Sometimes we don’t always meet our goals since things come up or plans change and goals need to readjust. Any goals that we don’t meet we carry over into the next year if it’s something we still want to pursue.
Something else that can help you stay motivated with your yearly goals other than just writing them on a piece of paper is to create a vision board. We’ve done this in the past. You can keep it somewhere in plain sight (like your home office or kitchen) so that you can remind yourself often of your goals for the year and stay on track.