Most of us have good intentions to stick to our New Year’s Resolutions but many of us lose sight within the first few months of the New Year. Set and keep your Resolutions this year by using the SMART approach.
What does that mean? Your resolution should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound.
Is your resolution clearly defined? Having a resolution that is too vague makes it difficult to know where to start. When creating your resolution, be specific. Rather than saying, “I want to save more money.” Be exact. For example, “I want to save $2,000 by December 1st, 2019.” Being specific allows you to identify a starting point and helps you stay on top of your goal all year.
Having a resolution that is measurable is another way to help you stay on track. Log your progress in a journal or download an app designed to help track your progress. This will keep you motivated along the way.
There are large resolutions and small resolutions. What can you accomplish in 12 months? Trying to take too big of a leap too fast can cause frustration. For example, resolving to save enough money to retire within a year is probably not realistic, but saving an extra $100 a month may be.
After you’ve made a plan, ask yourself if this is a plan that will work. Do some research or learn about how others kept a resolution similar to your own. Is your resolution important enough to stick to all year long? If you are creating a resolution based off of what others think you should change, you are already on the wrong track. Your New Year’s resolution should be something that coincides with what you think is best for yourself.
Give yourself a start and end date. Remember, the timeline you set for reaching your resolution should be realistic. Buy a calendar and write your goals on it each month. Does it look like you will be able to reach your resolution by the end of the year? If not, evaluate how to get back on track. If you think the time frame is no longer realistic, rewrite your resolution as something a bit smaller in scale.
Writing your resolutions the SMART way will make it easier to stick to them all year long. OE Federal wishes you the best of luck in your future goals and resolutions for 2019. Is getting financially on track one of your resolutions? Check out OE Federal’s Money Wise Challenge to learn budgeting tools and tricks to help you make your resolution a reality. Learn more at oefcu.org/moneywise.