It’s easy to make New Year’s resolutions, but it’s not always easy to stick to them. Here are some of the best and most popular New Year’s resolutions and ways you can ensure they come to fruition.
Staying on Top of Your Finances
If your 2016 finances could have been better, now’s the time to get things in order as you roll into a new year. Experts agree the best way to improve your finances is to set a goal with a time limit and measure your progress.
For instance, if you would like to save more for a vacation or retirement, set up an automatic contribution to an account you can only access in-person at the bank. A hard-to-access account makes it less likely you’ll dip into the funds and it’s exciting to see your progress.
The start of a new year is an excellent time to review your insurance coverage, too. Many people renew their policy and never consider their current insurance needs. You may also be paying more than you need to if you haven’t bundled your policies or taken advantage of the numerous discounts available.
Managing Your Time Wisely
Can you find time to relax, hang out with friends and family, or learn a new skill? If you answered, “No!” you need to learn some time management skills.
Time management experts say the first step towards more time for the things you love is to schedule it. This means you must consider your personal time as important as taking your child to a doctor’s appointment or getting to the office on time. That might sound absurd, but the truth is, if you don’t schedule it other duties will gobble up all your time.
Many families use a white board to track everything that they have going on throughout the week. If your son has baseball practice, it goes on the board. If you want to go to the gym twice a week, it goes on the board. That way everyone knows what’s coming up. Of course sometimes things change, but a visual reference makes it much easier to see how all the pieces fit together.
Finishing What You Start
This is a big one for many people. They begin the year with the best intentions, but by mid-January their New Year’s resolutions have already fallen by the wayside. The most common reason this happens? They set an unrealistic goal.
Changing habits takes time and failing to stick to a resolution can be demoralizing. Instead, set a smaller, more reasonable goal. For instance, if you want to lose 20 pounds don’t make that your New Year’s resolution. Instead, try a shorter, smaller goal such as “I want to lose 2 pounds by January 31st.” You’ll be far more likely to succeed and you’ll feel great when you do. Set another small goal and keep up the momentum.
Asking For Help
You cannot do everything yourself, so ask for help.
Many people think it’s not worth showing others how to do things, because they could do it quicker themselves. While it might take time to show your kids how to pick up after themselves, it will eventually free up time for yourself. Your spouse or partner and children can share in the work load.
If you do not know how to create a budget, do taxes, or fold a fitted sheet – ask someone! You do not have to go it alone and many times others can do it faster than you so it actually costs you less than what your time is worth.
The New Year is a great time to start anew, but set realistic, obtainable goals. Take a few minutes to figure out what is most important to you and then chip away at it. You cannot do it all immediately, but you can accomplish your goals with a bit of proper planning.