So why is it that we just cannot stick to our money resolutions? Why can we not keep that promise we make to ourselves?
The answer is – we do not make a strong enough commitment. Making an agreement with yourself is just so easy to break because you only have yourself to answer to and we are all good at cutting ourselves a little slack. A good agreement is made up of a worthwhile outcome and a penalty clause if you break it midway. The strong commitment comes from the level of importance of the outcome to your life and what holds you to it is the penalty clause or pain if you let yourself down.
Here are 5 steps to make sure you make a big difference to your pocket in 2016.
1) Be Specific
You have to know what you want. Just wanting to save more is not enough to keep you in line. You have to know exactly what you are saving for and most importantly WHY. Really get to the bottom of it. Knowing your Big Why, and what difference it will make to you and your family’s life is crucial in building this commitment to self.
2) Get Leverage
Know what’s the price if you don’t achieve your goal. And remember keep the goal focused on what you want or where you need to be by the end of the year. Getting leverage on yourself is so, so important. Ask yourself “how would life be if I didn’t save enough money for…….?” Really go there. The stronger your leverage, the stronger your commitment.
3) Allocate & Automate
Separate what you are saving for in different accounts. This will help you see clearly and helps you avoid using the funds for something else. Once you have opened the different accounts, automate the monthly amount so it ‘automatically’ transfers across on the same day every month. You can do this by setting up a reoccurring transfer either online or through your bank directly.
4) Track progress and check in often
Create yourself an excel sheet of what you have going to what account and what it is for showing your accumulated balance. Update this monthly. By frequently looking at this it will keep you constantly aligned to your goals. I suggest you add to this planner your Big Why’s, this will constantly remind you of your ultimate purpose.
5) Accountability Partner
Get yourself a buddy to do this with. When we have only ourselves to answer to we can often fall behind and the next thing we know “its January again.” It’s like going to the gym, “I’ll go to tomorrow”, but as soon as you know you’re meeting your personal trainer there or your friend, then the likelihood is that you’ll turn up. The fact is when there is someone else to hold us accountable, we are less likely to let them down.
So, a good New Year resolution is not only ‘save more, payoff debt and spend less’ rather ‘save more, spend less and commit to this all year.’
It’s time to commit and make your New Year Money resolution stick.