Most people's New Year’s resolutions are obvious. Sorry, but it’s true, even if it would take me three guesses.
The 10 most common resolutions are to lose weight, get organized, spend less, get healthier, live life to the fullest, help others, live your dreams, spend time with family, quit smoking and fall in love.
They’re so common because they’re difficult to do for an entire year and every January you have the opportunity to give it another go. Well, 2017 will be different. Your resolutions may not be, but accomplishing them will.
Save more, spend less, pay off debt
There are three financial objectives most everyone has had at some point in their lives: save more, spend less, and pay off debt. You can try to do all three. Mvelopes can help you do all three, but maybe this time pick one to focus on. On average, people resolve to save $200 more per month for some long-term goal, to spend less by keeping to their budget, and to pay off debt, which is mostly on their credit cards.
If those sound too daunting or not where you want to focus your financial energy there are plenty of minor financial targets and plenty more questions you can ask to find out what you actually need to work on.
Once you have your objective, it’s time to make it happen. That is unless you’re part of the 73 percent who either never achieve their resolution or are infrequently successful.
You have set goals before, so hopefully you know what kept you from achieving them. If not, there are certain behaviors that help make New Year's resolutions happen.
Before the New Year begins, focus on believing you can make a difference in the goal you have chosen. Find or learn the skills you’ll need and make sure you’re prepared.
For financial purposes, that may mean having the right bank accounts opened, a history of your previous spending or saving, and a plan for what you’ll be doing come January 1.
If you’re trying to change your habits, there are other behaviors that help when you're actually in the thick of it.
Being able to track or calculate the benefit of your change helped people be successful 77 percent of the time. Seeing progress and providing self-motivation or encouragement helped 75 percent keep up with their plans.
A year-end reward or a punishment for failure also helped the majority of people stick with it. Breaking their objective into smaller short-term items and setting up automatic programs like 401(k) deductions or other automated saving techniques were the other tactics that led to success.
If none of those work, then the last resort could be the first and last thing you do every day. Just get more sleep and you’ll be better able to focus make better decisions every day.
Achieving your financial objectives doesn't have to be solely up to you. Involve other people in your pursuit of better budgeting and financial control. If you're focusing on your finances, enroll in Mvelopes to help you put all your information in one place. Create a budget, track your expenses and adjust as necessary in order to be successful.