If you ever made a new year’s resolution, you already know how quickly they fall by the wayside, but you’re not alone. Businessinsider polled 1,000 people and found that 80% of them failed to continue towards their goals by mid-February. That is less than two months of commitment!
As you can see from the infographic below by statista, the majority of Americans are looking to do better with their health and their money in 2020.
What’s the Problem with New Year’s Resolutions?
The problem is that new year’s resolutions encourage people to make short-sighted goals that devalue the purpose of their goals in the first place. This is because they’re often made during the last week of the year between two major holidays. Without proper planning and reflection, it’s no wonder 80% of people fail to achieve their goal within the first two months.
If your goals are something you are serious about, I challenge you to NOT make a new year’s resolution. Instead, make a transformation.
Step 1: Find Your Why
There are plenty of resources out there to teach you how to lose weight, how to save more money, or how to start a business, but only you can decide the reason behind your goals.
Spending time to develop the purpose of your goal will strengthen your resolve. It will push you through the inevitable dips in motivation and will help you bypass the distractions along the way.
Here is my “why” that eventually led me to achieve my goal of paying off my student debt which totaled $115,000 by the time I was done:
- To live more financially free and work towards building a family without crippling financial stress.
If you have more than one “why,” just throw them in. Here were my others that added to the importance of achieving my goal.
- To no longer feel trapped in a toxic non-profit organization for the possibility of public student loan forgiveness.
- To no longer feel compelled to work extra hours to pay my bills at the end of the month
- To stop paying interest and start earning interest.
Step 2: Identify With Your Why
You identified your “why,” now you have to identify with your goal and the reason behind it.
Going off the example above, you have to ask:
Who is the type of person that pays off their debt
& build a family without financial stress?
After some thought, you might determine that this type of person is reliable and financially savvy.
Next time, you think about dropping $200 on a wristwatch, $1,500 on a vacation, or financing a $20,000 car, you might find yourself asking:
Is this something a financially savvy person would do?
Once you repeatedly model your spending, saving, investing strategies around someone who is financially savvy, you may find yourself transforming from a basic budgeter to a personal finance ninja.
Step 3: Create Your Roadmap & Take Action
Of course, you will still need to look into the “how-to’s” of achieving your goal, but that is the easy part. It is maintaining motivation to take consistent action that is most difficult. Finding your “why” and identifying with it will fuel your desire to transform your life.
“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change”Jim Rohn
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By the way, I have nothing against new year’s resolutions. After all, it does make people think about their goals and it certainly gets me to reflect upon my goals each year.
Art is the founder of Flexcents, a blog created in 2018 to help others reach their fitness and financial goals through sharing insights as a physical therapist, personal finance nerd, and self-directed investor.