Money: The Key to Achieving Your New Year’s Resolutions
As the year comes to a close, we often pause to reflect on the progress we’ve made over the past twelve months. Perhaps we fell short of our 2017 New Year’s resolutions and maybe even our deeply held personal goals. Whether you buy into it or not, the turning from one year to another can offer the opportunity for a motivational restart.
Seizing this opportunity reinforces the power we have to change our lives. The act of setting goals is the manifestation of our hope for a more joy-filled future to come.
If life isn’t quite what you’d like it to be, set your goals, create a plan, and make it happen.
So, what are your New Year’s resolutions this year?
In pondering common New Year’s resolutions and how individuals could stick with them, I had a realization: Successfully handling money and achieving these goals go hand in hand. Let me demonstrate with the following New Year’s resolutions:
Live a Healthier Lifestyle
As I stand on the verge of thirty, my health has reminded me that I am not as young as I used to be. Eating what I want and skipping workouts, unlike before, now come with adverse effects like anxiety, lack of energy, and a couple extra pounds I get to tote around. Needless to say, getting into shape has made my list of resolutions.
Truth be told, I have already started my transition to a healthier lifestyle. I stopped snacking at work, I try to buy healthier groceries, and am looking for easy to invest in exercise. I’ve come to notice, that some of these changes entail a cost. Almond milk is twice as much as regular milk! And while my at-home Pilates work-out was $2.99 at the thrift store, if I wanted to join my mom at yoga, it would come at $12 a class.
If I am going to live up to my resolution from here on out, my methods need to be sustainable. I have to accept there’s a cost and free up room in my budget or increase my income to compensate for it. If I combined this with choosing free exercise when I can and comparison shopping for gym or class passes, I will have built a healthy habit that I can support financially all through the year.
For the New Year, most of us wish we could travel and live a little more. If you are like me though, you hand out money to what you’ve deemed more important things such as your kids wants, friend’s birthday presents, or making extra payments on your student loans and leave nothing for yourself.
If your resolution is to travel this year, start by researching how much your travel will cost and how much time you have to save that amount.
With this in mind, set up a separate online savings account. Next, arrange a monthly automatic transfer to this account. You can begin with small contributions if you have yet to let go of the guilt of self-indulgence, just $5 here and $10 there. You are probably spending it anyways, this way you can ensure it’s going toward something you really want. Be sure if you are trying to hit a deadline that you are contributing enough to meet your goal. With a plan in place, and saving in motion, there will be nothing standing between you and your next adventure.
With nearly three decades behind me, I recognize that my definition of self has changed multiple times. I’ve gone from being a self-conscious teenager to a loud mouth young individual to a conservative content single to a wife to a mother and to a full-time everything. In times when I wasn’t happy with who I was, I’ve found it essential to come to terms with my evolution.
If you are in the same boat and have made self-love a resolution, money can be an important tool to get you there. Learning to take control of your finances by building a budget, securing your future, and being intentional with your income will provide you with independence, confidence, and pride.
The process of budgeting also requires you to identify elements of your life that are important to you and give you the chance to prioritize them. If you love yourself and your life more when you are reading a good book, exploring someplace new, or attending yoga, find the money in your budget to allow yourself these things. Fight for them. No more excuses, start loving your life now.
Whether your New Year’s resolution is to learn something new, read more, donate regularly, or make more time for the people you love, adapting the way you manage your money can help achieve your goals. With this tip in hand, you are set to own your life in the year ahead. Make it the best one yet!
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