How are those New Year’s resolutions going?
Every year, people use the New Year to start fresh. Common areas of focus include our health and finances. Gyms get flooded with new members who will gradually fade as the year progresses. We make pledges to work an extra shift or stay a little later to work on projects and not get overwhelmed at work.
I have no problem with making New Year’s resolutions, although I avoid making them myself, but I think it’s a matter of setting attainable goals. For example, if your resolution is to join the gym and get healthy that is respectable but not always attainable. To truly get the benefits of exercise and going to the gym, one must be consistent and going to the gym has to become part of your normal routine.
Those people that you see in the gym that look like they just stepped out of a fitness magazine didn’t get their bodies to an admirable state by accident; they’re committed. If you never exercise or have never joined a gym, adding this to your routine can be quite difficult and can result in paying for something you won’t use. Maybe your best route would be to try exercising at home and seeing if you can stick to a routine and then take it to the next level by joining a gym and if you can afford it, hiring a personal trainer who will make sure you stick to your goals.
On the side of sticking to financial resolutions, it’s similar to setting attainable physical goals; pick something realistic. Don’t do something like setting a goal to double your savings if you know that isn’t possible with your income and budget. Setting a budget is actually a good start to attaining financial goals. Once you know what you are working with, you can set your goals.
Again, don’t go too big with your goals or you’ll quickly lose focus. Financial goals can be monitored and tracked through our bank statements and pay stubs. One doesn’t have to be an accountant or bookkeeper to make a simple Microsoft Excel spreadsheet to monitor your finances. And just like hiring a personal trainer, if you can afford it, hire a professional bookkeeper to look over your numbers and help guide you along the way to reaching your financial goals.
An easy mnemonic device to use when it comes to goal setting is SMART; specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-oriented. Some people work better with visual aids so if you’re one of those people, make a vision boards or write down your goals and hang them where they’re visible for some additional motivation.
Here’s to a happy and healthy 2018!