It is that time of the year again when we can start all over again. Holidays and their excess are gone. Maybe you indulge yourself too much with food or end up spending more than what you were expecting. But 2020 is here to become a better version of yourself in 2020.
For almost everybody, one of their New Year’s resolutions is saving money - for a trip, to purchase that thing you have always wanted or maybe to get a more comfortable future.
Since these resolutions are notoriously easy to break, let’s take a look at how you can keep them going and turn those goals into accomplishments.
1 - Pay yourself first
Life comes with its costs. You have to pay for housing, food, services, taxes, healthcare, etc. Someone always needs to be paid. But what about you?
You may think that you are paid with your paycheck, but if everything goes towards expenses you left with nothing, and that hardly seems fair.
Use the old and tried mentality of paying yourself first, making sure that you set aside your target savings and/or investment amount before anything else. Not having money just lying around removes the temptation from spending it and, as a bonus, you can enjoy some guilt-free spending, knowing that you have already set aside what you wanted.
If you want to bring this to other areas of life, think of time as your currency and front-load the work: make it so that your first hours of each day are spent on your goal.
2 - Build that chain and keep it going
The biggest problem with resolutions? Motivation fails. The initial drive you get when you dream about all the things you want to get eventually fades out.
It's better to plan with consistency.
This strategy comes from legendary comedian Jerry Seinfeld. Each day he would work in his craft of writing, and each day he did, he would mark it on a calendar. Eventually, those days formed a chain on the calendar.
The one job? Don’t break the chain.
To find the minimal thing you can do every day that will cement your goal. Just €1 a day doesn’t sound much but top it on your Iban account and you’ll see how it adds up over one, five or ten years.
As they say, what is the only way to eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
3 - If you drop the ball, ignore artificial constraints
Not everything goes according to plan. Intentions aren’t met and sometimes life just gets in the way. So what are you going to do about it?
It is easy to declare it a failure. This didn’t work, but there is always next year.
Why limit yourself to a date on the calendar? You know your goals, you know what you want, so eliminate the “next year”, “next month” and “starting Monday”, because they steal precious increments that would get you closer to your wishes.
Look at these bumps on the road just as setbacks and start again.
Remember that the best time to invest was 10 years ago and the second-best time is now. If you delay “now”, you will never know how much you are missing out on.
So ask yourself: what’s next?