A New Year, a new start and resolutions to get fit, lose weight and spend less. Every year it is the same story. The trouble is, most people fail to understand how to turn resolutions into reality, so nothing changes. There are some very simple ways of making sure you achieve your goals.
Avoid making high level, non-specific goals. If you want to save money, think about how much you want to save and by when. Being specific helps to focus your efforts and gives you something to measure yourself against. Think about the alternative options or strategies you have to achieve your aims. Are you going to save money by spending less or by increasing your income? Perhaps you have an idea for a business opportunity that could bring additional income.
Once you have your strategy, break it down into specific details. If you want to spend less, where exactly will you cut back? Analysing what your money is spent on now is a good place to start. Break down your long term goal into shorter term intermediate goals that are more easily achievable. For example, set goals for how much you can save in the next week, the next month, the next three months and so on. Put any other detailed actions into a time line so you can measure your progress. Once you have a plan, share it with your friends and family. They can help check on your progress and encourage you to stick to your plan.
Finally, the most important step is to take action within the next 24 hours. Think of something you can do, even if it is as simple as making a phonecall or checking your account balances online. This will be your first step towards turning your resolutions into reality.
Liz Koh is an Authorised Financial Adviser. The advice given here is general and does not constitute specific advice to any person. A disclosure statement can be obtained free of charge by calling 0800 273 847. For free eBooks, go to www.moneymax.co.nz and www.moneymaxcoach.com