Making New Year’s resolutions is not for everyone. In fact, research has shown that just less than half us make them. Having said that, research has also shown that we are 10 times more likely to achieve our goals if we actually set explicit New Year’s resolutions than if we set none at all. While I’m not necessarily a fan of New Year’s resolutions, I am most certainly a fan of goal-setting, regardless of the time of year. Why? Well, I believe that the only way to achieve those things that matter most to us in life is by setting and working towards meaningful goals.
Now setting meaningful goals is one thing, but making steady and consistent progress towards those goals is not always easy. In fact, in can be downright hard. It takes effort and perseverance. All too often we throw in the towel before our victory hour. But we’ve got to remember that effort and perseverance are always rewarded in the long-term.
These principles of goal-setting apply to every area of our lives including our personal finances. If you want financial freedom, it’s going to take effort and perseverance. There is no such thing as a ‘get rich quick’ scheme. It’s the steady and consistent progress towards a meaningful financial goal that will pay off in the long-term.
Don’t take a que sera sera approach to your finances or any other area of your life for that matter. No, you can fundamentally change the direction of your life by taking personal responsibility for your current reality and taking purposeful steps to changing it.
And don’t let the distance between your goal and your current reality paralyse you into a state of inaction. No-one ever goes straight from A -> Z in one step. Rather, they take one step from A -> B, then another step from B -> C, and then the next step from C -> D, and so it continues. And it’s rare that anyone has the whole route all figured out from the start. All you need is the next step to keep you going and pretty soon you’ll be able to look back and celebrate just how far you’ve come.
So at the start of this New Year, I want to encourage you to set yourself one to three stretch goals when it comes to your finances. Whether it’s learning to work to a budget, getting the best deal for your savings, getting out of debt, or starting a long-term investment strategy, set yourself some personal finance goals that will move you one, two or three steps towards financial freedom. And if you need some help setting financial goals, check out my blog post on goal-setting here .
Whatever your next step looks like, now is the time to make a start. Nothing changes if nothing changes. Let 2018 be the year you make significant progress towards financial freedom.