At the start of the year, a lot of people put together a new year’s resolution which would include financial goals they want to achieve for the next 12 months. There is a chance that you did the same thing and chances of success is questionable. If you did achieve each and every single item in your list then good for you.
However, not a lot of people are able to do that. In fact, You Gov shared that only about 6% of people are able to reach 100% on their list. That is a very low statistic for people who want to make positive changes in their life. It just goes to show that a lot of people do not really follow through with initial plans they make at the start of the year.
Now is a good time to take a look back and why you were not able to reach your target especially your financial goals. As the year is about to close and a new is waiting in the wings, taking a close hard look at your failure to reach your financial targets can be a good wake up call to help you do more. Accepting and understanding the problem are critical steps in making sure you do it right the next time around.
It could become frustrating real quick if you keep on creating a list only to fall short before the year ends. If you keep doing the same thing over and over again, you get desensitized and accept that failure is the norm. You no longer aspire to achieve completion of your new year’s resolutions simply because you got used to failure year after year.
Why you create a list for the year?
Perhaps it is a good time to stop and evaluate why you were unable to realize your financial goals unless you want to fall into the same vicious cycle of failure. It is a good idea to try and understand first why you put together these goals in the first place.
The chance to start fresh
Creating a list of financial goals you want to achieve for the new year gives you a sense of a new beginning. It excites you and gives you hope that the whole year will be great. This is one of the reasons why you keep creating that list year after year – that hope that you get to have a whole year to work on things which will improve your life.
You get to list down things you want
Every time you write down a new year’s resolution, you also write down things you want in life. This makes it exciting and a task that you look forward to. The reason why you want to start a new diet and even pick up a new sport is that you want to look good and healthy. You can even start to save up for things that you want. The new year allows you to reach for things that you want.
Why you fail
With all these reasons and more, there was a good chance that you were not able to reach all your financial goals for the past year. Here are some of the reasons why that happened.
No incentive to do things differently or change
One of the biggest reason why you fail is that you never aim to change. You prefer your own comfort zone and have no plans to venture out. By doing the same thing over and over again, you will get the same results over and over again. This means that if you have been failing in the past years and you still do the same things, it is unwise to expect a different outcome this year.
What people say still matters a lot to you
The opinion of other people should not play a significant role in how you determine your path to success. If you keep trying to make changes and adjustments with your approach based on other people’s opinions, you might not reach your financial goals. Unless these people matter to you and have your best intentions at heart, you need to start believing in yourself and shutting them out.
Setting the bar too high
You need to set doable standards as well to increase your chances of success. If you still three full years of debt payment on your student loans and you aim to cut it down to one year, that is a tall order. This type of practice only sets you up for failure. Once you get into the habit of failing, you start to expect less and less of yourself and soon, you will begin to accept that you are a complete failure.
What to do?
Now that you have an idea why you create these resolutions and the hurdles that you come your way, here are some of the things you can do to help you achieve financial goals.
Be realistic with your goals and write them down
Forbes shares that vividly describing and writing down your goals is associated very strongly with its success. Writing down your money goals will help turn that dream into a goal. It is no longer a wish because when you write it down, you acknowledge that goal and you also give yourself a target to work on for the year.
Surround yourself with people who have the same goals
This is one of the most overlooked tips when it comes to reaching your goals. You have to surround yourself with like-minded people. Those that are hungry and want to succeed the way you want to succeed. If you are trying to pay off your student loans as fast as possible, why not create that environment with your friends?
This way, you get to support each other and learn from each other’s struggles and successes. This will collectively help the group become better not only as a whole unit but for each individual as well. Having this type of support system is crucial in reaching your goals. In challenging times, you have a group of friends who have your back and wants you to come out of each struggle stronger and better.
Divide your goals into smaller objectives
It also works if you divide your goals into smaller targets. This way, you do not get overwhelmed and burn out easily. You have a whole year to plan out manage your goals better. If you are aiming to strengthen your emergency fund by $1,000, you can simply stretch that out over 10 months at $100 each month.
If you are trying to pay down your mortgage loan faster for the year, you can funnel the majority of the extra money you have towards extra payment. You also need to be smart with how you use it and apply it to extra principal payment. This way, your principal amount goes down and so will your interest payment and you pull your payoff date closer.
There are a number of reasons why your financial goals last year did not materialize and this is the best time to turn things around. You just need to evaluate the past year and make the necessary changes to help you walk in the right direction.