How to stick to your financial new year resolutions
It's time again to set resolutions for the new financial year, but why do these so often fail?
As humans we tend to work well with milestones - Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries - but the one that tends to be spoken of most is New Years. However more than 80% of people fail to achieve their new year's resolution.
With a less celebrated milestone of the new financial year, there is no better time to address why people aren't sticking to their resolutions and ways they can break the cycle.
Why do people fail more often than not? As humans, most of us are terrible at deferring gratification.
In the modern age of technology, smartphones, Uber and Deliveroo, we hardly ever have to wait for anything.
So when it comes to committing to a medium or long-term objective, we lack the experience to know how to stick the course.
So what can we do to defend ourselves from ourselves? Here are five simple and actionable tips you can start implementing to have more success with your goals.
1. Define the destination
You need to be crystal clear on what you want in life and spend the time to paint the picture around the goal.
What will it cost, where is it, who with, when will you get there?
These are all important questions to help you visualise what you are deferring gratification for.
2. Align with your purpose
Given we are all so busy, we never spend enough time asking ourselves "why".
Unless we can rationalise or self-assess the reasons why we want something, how are we supposed to prioritise it?
Spend the time asking yourself why you want something and how significant it is in the greater context of your life. If something is important enough to you, you will do what it takes to get there.
3. Understand the language of money
As Bill Gates once said, "People overestimate what they can do in a year and underestimate what they can do in 10."
This leads most people to have unrealistic expectations around their goals and, may lead them to make misguided decisions which can do more harm than good.
Learn about what it will take to achieve your goals, set realistic expectations and ensure you seek external input to validate your plans.
4. Build a road map to support and guide you
We tend to be driven by big ambitious goals like owning a waterfront home or building a billion-dollar enterprise.
However we fail to plan out the milestone and regular steps to keep us on track. Once you are clear on your goals, validate your "why" and understand how you will get there.
Look to reverse engineer your goals into step-by-step actions you can use as a way of tracking your progress and celebrating your wins.
Be willing to come to terms with things not always going to plan and adjust your road map to cater for what life throws at you.
5. Be accountable to sticking the path
Nothing good in life comes easy and we need to be committed to do things to achieve our goals.
Make sure you assess your progress, revisit your goals, refresh your road map and look for others such as your partner, family or friends who can follow the same process to help keep you motivated to stick to the path.
Life will always get in the way but what will make the difference between being able to stick to the course and you falling short of your ambitions is your ability to work to break the cycle.
Make the time to plan and form new behaviours which will support you on your wealth journey.
Remember, you don't need to do all of this alone and if you want support, mentorship and guidance there are experienced professionals who can help.