In the busyness of our lives, and most definitely the holiday season, it can be hard to actually stop and think of anything beyond the full calendars, the shopping and wrapping that needs to be done and the meals to prepare. But soon after comes New Years, and for many people with the New Year comes a New Year’s resolution. Many people will make their resolution a financial one, perhaps spending less, paying down debt, or saving and investing more. Some will be successful and keep their resolution, unfortunately too many won’t. This week’s blog is part one of a 3 part series geared to helping make those financial New Year’s Resolutions one that stick.
It begins with articulating your vision for your future. It is amazing how working toward a clear picture can motivate you. So often, people simply save (or spend!) blindly. We get caught up in the day to day and we can lose sight of what is really important. If your New Year’s resolution is linked specifically to being able to achieve either an element of, or your whole, vision, suddenly, you are much more likely to keep that resolution. For instance, part of our family’s vision is a vacation home on the beach. We talk about it as a family, and we even from time to time browse listings together. Recently we were out shopping and my 7-year-old daughter said to me, “Mommy, do you really need those new shoes? If you don’t buy those shoes, we’ll have more money for that condo on the beach.” Maybe she just really wanted to end the shopping, but I like to think I am raising a little girl who will grow into an exceptionally money savvy young lady! Regardless, she has it right. Being reminded of our vision for our future helped me prioritize saving overspending. That is the power of having a vision. Achieving our family’s goal is far more important to me than another pair of black heels, even if it was a great sale.
Over the next few weeks, I hope you can have some time to sit back and really think about those relationships, those interests, and those goals that bring you joy. What, and who, is it that really matters to you? What are those interests and those goals? Maybe like me, you want to be able to buy a vacation home for your family, or perhaps you would like to take a risk and make a career change, take a sabbatical, or maybe achieve a lifetime of financial independence. What is your vision for the future?
As we wrote in the book Bank On Yourself – Why Every Woman Should Plan Financially to be Single, Even if She’s Not, “the things that make a rich, full life don’t necessarily all include money; however, anything that makes your life rich that requires money also requires planning”. It starts with your vision. Once you have your vision for your future, then you can make your New Year’s Resolution one that helps you take a step forward to turning your vision into your reality. Doing so will significantly improve the likelihood of you successfully keeping your New Year’s Resolution this year.