Now that we're nearly a week into February, how are your resolutions holding up? Still making time for the gym? Still on that diet? Any luck losing weight? A study by Strava suggests that most give up on their resolutions by January 12. Seeing as how we are a few weeks past that date, if you are still going strong with your resolutions, kudos to you! It’s funny how, in a few short weeks, motivation can waver. Now what happens when you start talking months? A study by the University of Scranton stated that merely 8% of people actually achieve their New Year’s goals.
“So you’re saying there’s a chance?”
Any blog post that quotes the famous Jim Carey movie ‘Dumb and Dumber’ has to be great right?
Well regardless, the reality is that this isn’t a movie, it’s your life and you have more than a chance to succeed at achieving your goals, whether it be financial or otherwise.
In an article by Mark Murphy for Forbes, he stated that by simply writing down your goals you are 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to achieve them than if you don’t write them down, so let’s start there. Writing down your goals can clearly define a benchmark and narrow your focus on a specific goal, thus helping to keep you motivated.
Personally, I like to use is to keep my written goals visible. Writing goals helps, but if you write them in a binder and toss into a junk drawer that doesn’t see the light of day until the following year, it’s unlikely that you’ve taken any action towards those goals. I keep post-it notes of my professional goals on my monitors at the office, that way I’m always facing my goals head on each and every day.
I also believe that goals should be stated as actions, not results. The goal of, “I’d like to lose weight” is broad and doesn’t hold you accountable. There are many different ways one could lose weight so this just leads to more questions and an opportunity to procrastinate. A better goal might be, “I’m going to exercise for one hour, four days a week” and losing weight could be your byproduct.
The top three resolutions people tend to make are health related, but the number four resolution cited by Business Insider is to “save more and spend less.” Depending on what stage of life you’re in this may be true for you, or you may have a different financial goal for the year. Maybe it’s to evaluate, update or make an initial will or estate plan. Maybe it’s to review your life, health or disability insurance. Maybe your goal is to pay down debt, make a big purchase or create a financial plan. Whatever your financial goals may be, write them down. Then setup an appointment to review them with your fiduciary investment advisor.
A fiduciary investment advisor is a great resource to help turn your static plans into strategic planning for your future. When plans change, and we know they do, your advisor can help make sure your investments are working towards helping you achieve your goal. So whether you are part of the 8% that make their New Year’s resolutions a reality or you’ve shifted your focus towards another goal, we’re happy to be your financial ‘accountability buddy’ on the journey to achieving your goals.