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5 Steps to Keeping Your Money Resolutions in 2016

by Ashley Feinstein, Contributing Writer

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Article Sponsored by: Spartan College

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I love the start of a new year! It’s a time to reflect on the past 12 months and make plans for the year to come. We get to start from a blank slate; the world is our oyster!


Fast-forward a few weeks, or even days, and unfortunately, despite the best of intentions, our New Year’s resolutions have fallen by the wayside. We might make a mistake and decide it’s never going to happen or experience a slow steady decline in willpower as the year goes on. Not this year! I want 2016 to be the year you transform your financial wellness and achieve exactly what you want by when you want it. Here are five steps to making New Year’s resolutions that stick.

1. Dream big.

At first, dreaming about what you actually want might sound silly. You might be thinking, “of course I know what I want,” but you may be surprised to find that you actually aren’t 100 percent sure what you want to achieve in 2016. Maybe you have some ideas of what you should want for your money life, but let’s forget about the “shoulds.” We want to figure out what you truly want. Not only is this extremely important because we want you to get what you want, but also because having the motivation to achieve your goals will determine your success. Without the motivation, you aren’t going to take the time and make the changes necessary to accomplish your mission.


So how do you figure out what you truly want? Set aside some time to let yourself dream. We often don’t let ourselves dream big because we’re afraid of what we’re going to want. How will we ever achieve such lofty goals? Put aside this fear and set a timer for 30 minutes. Get comfortable, relax and free write or speak into a recorder and dream big for the entire half hour.

2. Start small.

After dreaming big you probably have some pretty lofty goals for yourself. Awesome! The key to getting started is to take a small step. You don’t have to take action toward every one of your goals or even take big actions toward any one specificgoal. That actually will hurt you more than help you. When we bite off more than we can chew, even with the best of intentions and high motivation, we set ourselves up for failure. New habits don’t happen overnight. If you want to save up to buy a home, the first step might be to open a savings account. If you aren’t sure what comes next, that’s OK. Sometimes the first action is what helpsus see the logical next step in the plan.

The key here is starting. We often wait to get started until we have everything laid out or know everything about our given goal. The thing is, we often never feel prepared enough to get started, so year after year goes by and we remain where we are. That can get really frustrating! Commit to taking one small step in the direction to achieve your goals. Put it in your calendar and do it. If that step seems too overwhelming, break it down even further until you are able to take action.

 

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