New Year Resolution

Many of us make New Year resolutions with every intention of keeping them.  We are diligent in the first few days almost militant in our quest to keep these resolutions.  Time and life start to happen and our fortitude lessens and the resolutions we made get weaker and weaker.  Don’t feel alone, this happens to a great many people.

We would challenge you to make this year different.  How can we do this?  Make SMART goals.  Successful businesses do this all the time.   What is a S.M.A.R.T. goal?  Well let’s look at each letter individually.  S is for Specific.  Don’t make vague goals, for example; I am going to be better at money management this year.  This is a result not a goal.  A specific goal would be, “I will create a budget and commit to follow it.”  This doesn’t mean that the budget can’t be tweaked as time goes on but it does mean that you will track your money and continue to try to meet your budget goal.  M is for measureable.  You can’t tell if you are successful at meeting your goal if you can’t measure the results.  So in this example of creating a budget part of the goal may be to build savings to $1000.00 in the next year.  As the year goes on you can measure whether or not you are on track to meet this goal.  A is for achievable.  When you set your goals make sure they are attainable.  I would like to go to the moon but it is never going to happen so it is not a S.M.A.R.T. goal.  The same goes with budgeting; you cannot create a budget that is so strict there is no room for fun or emergencies.  We all need recreation and stuff happens.  It is good to make goals you need to work hard to obtain but not ones you can’t reach.  R is for result oriented.  Remember goals need to be measured so look for results not activity. In our budget example you should be able to look at your savings and see the results.  If you are living within your budget it will show in the numbers. Lastly the T. stands for timely.  It is wise to set a time table for the goal to be completed or else it is easy to keep pushing it out farther and farther.  This is a major factor for those goals that are never reached.

Keep in mind it is never too late to start getting your finances in order.  You can start now as a New Year resolution.  Make your plan, create your goals, include all members of your family (it’s more fun and easier to do as a team) and make it a prosperous year!

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