Keeping Your New Year’s Resolutions

By Megan Morrow
Published January 3, 2019

New Year’s resolutions tend to be grand ambitions and proclamations – “I will lose 50 pounds!” “I will exercise every day!” “I will double my business revenue!” “I will read two books every week!”

Naturally, it is difficult to change personal and financial habits, to alter routines that have been ingrained for years, or even decades, which is why most resolutions fail by February. If you want to enjoy a greater return on your resolutions this year, consider the following five ideas for making better New Year’s resolutions for 2019:

  1. Have a strong “why” behind your intention. Why do you want to make a change? If the answer is not substantial or meaningful, you are not very likely to follow through. For instance, if your “why” for quitting smoking is to avoid the lung cancer that has plagued your family so you can enjoy quality time with your kids, you have a good reason to maintain your commitment to stop smoking. Make sure your “why” is stronger than your “why not?”
  2. Start small. As the saying goes, Rome was not built in a day, and change rarely happens overnight. Rather than getting overwhelmed by massive change that swoops in on January 1, focus on small steps that will help you reach your larger goal. If you would like to travel more, map out some small trips that you can take earlier in the year while upping your travel budget as the year progresses. While you may not jet off to Hawaii in January, you can still see some great sites and enjoy the planning process as you progress toward your travel goals.
  3. Be accountable. Let your friends and family, maybe even your social media community, know what you intend to do and why. Enlist an exercise partner if that is on your list or check with a friend who is also trying to curb an impulse or habit.
  4. Consider a resolution that benefits others. Doing good feels good and a benevolent resolution can provide great motivation for action and consistency. If you want to donate one day’s salary each month to a non-profit, research options ahead of time and determine what that sum will help that organization accomplish – you will likely be incredibly productive when you realize that day’s work is going to make the world a little better. If you want to say “yes” to your team more, let them know you are hoping to help them reach more of their goals in 2019 and that you are in this together.
  5. Be specific. Avoiding sugar for an entire year is probably not realistic, but cutting out desserts six days a week or eliminating added sugar in coffee or tea is specific enough to stick. General, lofty goals are hard to pin down and hard to follow; be specific and tangible.

Cull your list so it is reasonable – one to three resolutions is typically plenty. Remember that change takes time and that it requires fortitude, patience and effort. If you stumble, that does not mean you have to fall. Pick yourself up and return to your goals, recognizing that you are human, too.

Speak to Your Advisor

Finally, a new year is also a good time to make financial resolutions and check with your advisor regarding any plans or changes for the upcoming years.

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The material presented here is for information purposes only and is not to be considered an offer to buy or sell any security. This report was prepared from sources believed to be reliable but it is not guaranteed as to accuracy and it is not a complete summary of statement of all available data. Information and opinions are current up to the date of publication and are subject to change without notice. The purchase and sale of securities should be conducted on an individual basis considering the risk tolerance and investment objective of each investor and with the advice and counsel of a professional advisor. The opinions expressed by Ms. Morrow are strictly her own and do not necessarily reflect those of Herbert J. Sims & Co., Inc. or their affiliates. This is not a solicitation to buy or an offer to sell any particular investment. All investment involves risk and may result in a loss of principal. Investors should carefully consider their own circumstances before making any investment decision.

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