Don’t Do It! Don’t Make a New Year’s Resolution!

To make a resolution is to make a firm decision to do or not do something. Year after year we are faced with the decision if we should make a New Year’s resolution or not, and many of us make some attempt to proclaim to do something that will make us better people.

In the end, the excitement and motivation fizzle, and we often let the attempt go to waste.  Don’t feel bad, we all do it.  How about we do not make any resolutions at all this year? Then, we can avoid feeling like a failure when we do not accomplish the short-term goal. I am not suggesting we never make goals for ourselves, just maybe make them more meaningful and throughout the year. I love the idea of jumpstarting change in ourselves, and we CAN cause change for the long-term with a few things in mind. The first step to any change is a psychological one and for many an emotional one as well. One of the keys to long-term change is feeling understood and having a relationship with someone that can hold you accountable. Psychologists suggest that change is most likely to occur after a traumatic event, which tends to create incredible growth and learning. They also suggest that well-told stories can create strong emotions for you as well to inspire lasting growth and change. 1

When it comes to changes revolving around money, many of us need a mindset adjustment before change can occur. We have learned our money habits from others; parents, friends, or teachers for example. We pick up habits without knowing their true impact on us. We do what we think we are supposed to do and we move on. For example, we use debt because we learned that was the quickest way out of a jam when you did not have enough money in the bank.

Just think about the fact that many of us started our adulthood with student loans. We never really had a time in life where we were not using debt. We are used to it, and debt does not scare us. The result is our finances suffer, and we must decide to get off the hamster wheel of creating and paying off debt. To correct this behavior, we must change our mindset. We must make a new habit of paying for things, especially things we cannot afford. The new habit must solve a deep enough dilemma within ourselves for it to stick; a reason that will continue to motivate us overtime.

I encourage you today to think about what is it about money that moves you to create new habits. What is it you want money to do for you? I do not want surface solutions to your problem of paying off a credit card, for example, but deeper than that. What will it do for you to pay off the credit card and what positive ripple effect occurs? Change your LIFE! Make the change personal and meaningful. Change does not often happen all at once so think of the steps you have to take to get there. Make it realistic. Review our infographic on setting goals and how to make them achievable.

New money habit will take some planning. Here is a simple 12-month plan that helps clean up your financial situation so that you can start to experience less stress around money. Don’t turn away from money discussions, personal or on the news. Instead, expose yourself to more and educate yourself about things you don’t understand. You can be financially free, but MAN UP (reread this post) and do it!

1   Jeffrey A Kottler, Ph.D., “What REALLY leads to Change in People’s Lives” July 24, 2013. 

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