Are you still on track to keep your New Year’s resolutions?
If you fell off the bandwagon, you’re not alone! In fact, according to a study completed by U.S. News and World Report, 80 percent of people fail their New Year’s resolutions by February. The good news is: You can always start again.
Maybe your goal was to pay off credit card debt, stick to a budget, save more money, or create an emergency fund. Regardless of what your original goal was, imagine what it would be like if you had accomplished it. What additional freedoms would you have? How would your life improve with financial security?
Really take time to envision your future. Once you are motivated to get started again, all you have to do is take one step at a time.
Here are five ways to get a jumpstart on your financial resolutions, no matter what time of year it is.
1. Create a Plan
Now that you have a goal, the first step is to create a plan to achieve it.
Your resolution may be so daunting that you just aren’t sure where to start. All you have to do is split your goal up into small, attainable steps. Your overarching goal is there to inspire you, but the real key to success is sticking your action plan.
So, say your financial resolution is to pay of $5,000 of debt. Take some time to break it down. How much do you have to put towards your debt every month in order to accomplish your goal? Are there things you can cut out of your budget in order to achieve your goal? Be sure to write your smaller goals down as well. This way, you can hold yourself accountable throughout the process.
2. Keep Yourself Motivated
Having a vision and creating an actionable plan is the easy part. The tricky part is finding a way to hold yourself accountable and stick to your plan.
In order to accomplish your goal, you are going to have to push yourself and stick to your plan even when you don’t feel like it.
Everyone has a different way of keeping themselves motivated. You just have to know what works for you.
Many people like a reward system. For instance, if your goal is to save $1,000 a month into an emergency fund, you can find simple ways to reward yourself for staying on track. Once you hit your savings goal for the month, maybe you allow yourself a small reward, like a manicure or that new shirt you’ve been eyeing.
Nowadays, successful people are even turning to a method called gamification. Essentially, gamification is turning your goals into a game and rewarding yourself along the way. Who knew accomplishing your goal could be fun?
If you’re a visual person, you may benefit from posting motivational messages where you can see them. You can even create vision boards and surround yourself with your favorite inspirational quotes. Need some more motivation? Check out this article on creating your perfect vision board.
3. Check-In Often
While you won’t likely achieve your goals overnight, you should check in on your progress often. You may be surprised at just how much you’re accomplishing by simply sticking to your plan. At least once a week, log into your bank account, check your credit score, and see how much debt you have.
Seeing even small improvements is often the motivation you need to keep going.
4. Automate Your Finances
Regardless of your particular financial goals, you can benefit from automating your finances.
When you automate your finances, you don’t have to give it a second thought. You are getting closer to meeting your goal without having to put in any additional effort.
For example, if you have a bank account at Chime, you can easily set up automatic savings. One of the top features allows you to save automatically when you use your Chime Visa Debit Card. Every time you make a purchase on your card, the amount is rounded up and that round up is deposited into your Savings Account.
5. Accept Failure
No goal worth achieving comes without roadblocks. Robert F. Kennedy said it best in his now famous quote: “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”
People tend to fear failure, but it’s important to know that failure is part of the process. Maybe you totally went off your budget, or maybe you are spending your emergency fund cash instead of letting it build up. Whatever the case, there are going to be plenty of points of failure during your journey. But instead of fearing your setbacks, accept them, make changes, and continue on.
Why You Should Keep Your Financial Resolutions
Remember, resolutions aren’t easy, especially financial ones. Keeping them takes commitment and hard work.
So, don’t be hard on yourself if you face setbacks. Keep trucking along, and remind yourself why you set your goals in the first place. As you inch closer to achieving your financial resolution, take note as to what worked for you and what didn’t. This way, you are already one step ahead when it comes time to plan out next year’s financial resolutions.
Are you ready to give it a try and get your money goals back on track?