When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, only 8 percent of Americans actually end up achieving their goals. Usually, this isn’t because they lack willpower. Instead, it’s because they weren’t realistic, didn’t choose something measurable, or selected a target based on what people expect, not what they actually wanted. Luckily, it is possible to create lasting resolutions. You just have to use the right approach. If you want a great year, here’s how to choose resolutions for 2020 that will give you great goals and spur meaningful change.
Make Your Resolutions For 2020 Doable and Meaningful
Sticking with resolutions is always challenging. But, if you choose an unattainable target or opt for a goal that doesn’t have anything to do with what you want in life, your chance of failure is incredibly high.
When you select a goal that isn’t realistic, you’re setting yourself up for frustration. Your resolution will feel unattainable, and, when that happens, your odds of giving up (understandably) skyrocket. The same can occur when your objective isn’t well defined or doesn’t have a clear end.
Similarly, if you opt for a resolution that isn’t meaningful to you, staying motivated is almost impossible. The end result has to benefit your life in a way that matters in your eyes.
If you want to create a lasting resolution, make it both doable and meaningful. Consider where your priorities lie and select goals that align with your focus. Then, make it challenging but reasonable.
For example, if you want to save more money in 2020, don’t use that concept as your resolution. Instead, identify an exact dollar amount, like $500 in a year. That makes your progress measurable and gives you a clear point where success was achieved. Plus, you can repeat it indefinitely – allowing your $500 a year savings goal to continue in perpetuity – and you can adjust it based on your circumstances, such as raising the target when your income goes up.
Create a Pattern That Supports Your Resolution
People are creatures of habit. Once a new activity makes its way into your normal life, repeating it feels natural. As a result, establishing a pattern that incorporates your goal can increase your odds of success.
For example, with the above-mentioned savings goal, you’d need to set aside just under $42 a month to make it happen. By setting up a monthly automatic transfer from your checking to your savings account in that amount, you are creating a pattern. It becomes like paying a bill, a predictable action. Within a few months, it will feel normal, increasing the odds that you’ll stick to your goal.
The same approach can be used to support any resolution. For example, if you are trying to lose 20 pounds in 2020, consider how you can incorporate supportive actions into your routine. Maybe you could start getting up 30 minutes early to go for a walk before work every weekday. Signing up for an exercise class that happens three times a week could similarly work.
By creating a routine that aligns with your goal, you are normalizing the idea. Once that happens, the idea of breaking the pattern will feel uncomfortable, increasing the odds that you’ve made a lasting change.
Consider Finding a New Year’s Resolution Partner
If you and a friend, family member, or coworker have the same goal, consider teaming up. When you work toward an objective with someone else, you are creating a natural support system. Plus, you’ll be accountable to someone else, and that can help you stay motivated and focused.
Now, this doesn’t mean you have to do the activity together. Instead, you just have to frequently communicate about your actions and progress, and listen to their updates as well. For example, you can tell each other when your savings account balance rises or send a text every time you finish a workout. Then, you can provide or receive supportive, celebratory messages, reinforcing the positive change and increasing the odds that you’ll stick with your resolution.
Do you have any resolution recommendations for a great 2020? What are your resolutions for 2020 ? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
- How to Play for Retirement in 2020
- Here Are the 401(k) Contribution Limits 2020
- Here’s How to Get Your Credit Score Up to 786
Tamila McDonald has worked as a Financial Advisor for the military for past 13 years. She has taught Personal Financial classes on every subject from credit, to life insurance, as well as all other aspects of financial management. Mrs. McDonald is an AFCPE Accredited Financial Counselor and has helped her clients to meet their short-term and long-term financial goals.