How to set New Year’s Goals That Will Last

A tiny house next to a check list.

Let me start off this post by asking you to think about your New Year’s resolution from last year. Go ahead, I’ll wait… I won’t ask you what it was, but what I would like to know is: did you keep that resolution? If not, try doing things a bit differently this New Year.

Set Realistic Goals

“I want to be the next man on the moon” may be achievable if you’re already an astronaut NASA is actively recruiting, though if you’re an average Joe that goal may be a bit unrealistic.  What I’m trying to say is don’t work against yourself. Setting the bar completely out of reach will only crush your ambition.

One of the biggest reasons New Year’s resolutions are short lived is because we don’t take the time to address, “what will it take to finish this task?” For example, if you like buying nice things more than saving money, your goal of getting out of debt could be challenging without a plan and budget.

What you need to do is lay out your plan step-by-step. First, I will need to achieve this (i.e. put together a budget of my income and expenses); then, the next step is this (list the the ways I can cut back my spending, such as only eating out once a week instead of four days a week). All the way until you reach your final objective (i.e. reduce my spending by $200 a month so that I have an extra $2,400 in my savings account by December 31, 2017). The step-by-step process gives you smaller, more attainable goals to achieve in order to keep you motivated.

If your New Year’s resolution is to make the most of your savings, you can talk with a Financial Advisor about things like accounts for funding college costs, retirement, and more.

Get a “P.I.C”

The hardest part of keeping a resolution and working towards a goal is to work toward it consistently. How many times have we hit the gym hard early January, and by February we’re back to our old habits? What you need is a P.I.C.  or “partner in crime”. In other words, a co-worker, friend, or family member that has a similar goal to yours.

On those days that you just don’t feel motivated, call your Partner In Crime, who can provide encouragement to get you to the gym, eat healthier, or just let you vent. Remember, your P.I.C. can relate and by working toward a common goal you will both be more successful.

Make the Change for Yourself

Don’t get caught up in what others think you “should” do. Telling ourselves that we should do something to please everyone else isn’t enough motivation to actually make a change. If you truly want to do something for the betterment of yourself or the ones you love, then set a goal that feels right and doable, and then take it step by step every day.

How have you motivated yourself to keep going and achieve your New Year’s resolution? Share with us on our social media pages!