It might surprise you to know that the history of new year’s resolutions is often attributed to the ancient Babylonians who made promises to their gods – often resolving to get out of debt1! Just goes to show that things haven’t changed much financially for over 4,000 years because there are many of us still making that same resolution year after year.
The new year provides the opportunity for a fresh start. But how do we make sure we keep our promises to ourselves? Here's six simple tips:
1. Have a goal and write it down
This can be as simple as taking a holiday, updating your car, paying off your credit card, studying more or losing weight and getting fit. List the things you want to achieve, starting with the ones that are the easiest – think baby steps. And make them realistic.
2. Put the list somewhere you can see it every day
The fridge is probably a good idea or put it in a visible position on your desk at work. You need this daily reminder of what you're hoping to achieve.
3. Work out what needs to change for you to achieve your goal
There's much debate over the origins of the quote ‘the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results’. Regardless, it's a mantra to live by – simple, but so true. If every year we resolve to sort out our lives but don’t change the way we do things, then we are bound to fail. Again, start small.
Don’t procrastinate, just do it! If you need to save $400 a month for six months so you can take that holiday, then make a budget and start a savings plan.
5. Acknowledge your achievements
Pat yourself on the back when you deserve it. If you’ve managed to take a walk every day for a week, or save $100 every week for a month, be proud of yourself and let it motivate you to keep going.
6. Never, ever give up
Don’t get disheartened if you don’t achieve your goal. Take another look – perhaps it was unrealistic in the first place, perhaps you didn’t give yourself enough time, but always have another go!
We hope these tips can help you achieve your goals this year. Remember, start small and it won’t seem so hard. The camping holiday you save for this year may turn into a European vacation in 2020 – and maybe you can have that Aston Martin someday after all.
1 To read more, visit http://www.history.com/news/the-history-of-new-years-resolutions Accessed 5 January 2018.
This article is general information only. Readers should consider getting financial advice before making financial decisions.
The trustee of Tasplan Super (ABN 14 602 032 302) is Tasplan Pty Ltd (ABN 13 009 563 062). AFSL 235391.