4 Steps to a Prosperous New Year
The start of a new year is a popular time for setting new goals, commonly referred to as "new year resolutions".
If you've ever set new year resolutions for yourself, you are probably aware that they have a pretty high rate of
One of the biggest reasons why people don't achieve their new year goals is because they have formed certain
habits that make change difficult. Let's face it; your daily habits play a very large role in forming your
circumstances. To be successful with new year resolutions, or any goals, you need to start forming some NEW
habits that will support the better circumstances you want to create.
The old habits will still try to take control, at least for awhile, but if you are persistent and determined to
form some better habits, the old habits will eventually fade away . . . and before you know it, you've achieved the
goal you set for yourself!
Financial goals work exactly the same way, and since they are one of the most popular types of new year
resolutions, I'd like to share a few simple steps that can help make your new year goals a success.
First, get clear about exactly what you wish to accomplish.
There are several kinds of financial goals you might want to set for the new year: saving more, spending less,
getting a raise or promotion, getting a better-paying new job, or paying off debt are a few popular goals.
What would you like to accomplish in one or more of these areas in the coming year? How much money would you
like to earn each week/month/year? How much money would you like to set aside in savings or investments? How much
debt do you have, and how quickly do you want to pay it off?
Take some time to jot down the details of your goal, and be as clear as possible.
Next, think about the new HABITS you would need to start forming to accomplish this goal.
For example, if you want to build up a large savings account, you would need to create a habit of setting aside
a certain amount of money each week (or bi-weekly, or monthly, depending how often you get paid). If you want to
pay off debt, you would have to get into the habit of sending regular payments and watching your balanced owed drop
lower and lower.
One major key with this step is that the more frequently you focus on it, the more easily you will form a new
habit. So, if you only set aside money once a month, it will take many months before it truly becomes a habit,
because you aren't focusing on it frequently. On the other hand, if you set aside money every day or a few times a
week, your focus is stronger and the habit will be strengthened more quickly.
Likewise if you are applying for new jobs, or taking courses to get a degree so you can be promoted. If you take
steps toward this goal frequently, you will create a habit of forward movement toward your goal.
The third step is to finally start putting the steps into action.
Set aside a certain amount of money for savings each week, send payments to creditors, and so on.
However, don't start too BIG! If you try to take on too much from the start, you'll probably get overwhelmed and
give up before long. Instead, strive for modest, FREQUENT steps as much as possible. Make several
small deposits to your bank each month, instead of one big deposit. Clip a few coupons per day instead of having to
spend one full day on it. Send a few smaller payments to creditors instead of one large payment.
Each of these small steps won't seem that impressive, but that's the point - they're easy to do so it feels
achievable, and by extension your goal will seem achievable too!
The fourth and final step is to be sure you spend time each day thinking about how GREAT it will be when
you reach your goal!
Imagine how it will feel to be earning a bigger income; imagine how happy you will feel to have your debts paid
off completely; think about that nice big savings account and the feelings of security it will inspire in you!
The more you focus on these pleasant thoughts, the more committed and determined you are going to be to see your
goal through to the end.
Stay inspired and take modest, frequent steps toward your goal, and you'll be amazed to find that it's not
nearly as difficult as it first seemed when you set the goal.