As the year ends, you may be thinking about what you’d like to accomplish after the calendar turns to January. While it can be tempting to wait until the new year to start working toward your goals, there are things you can do now to get a head start and increase your likelihood of staying on track. We’ve put together a few of our favorite tricks below.
1. Take Inventory of Your Finances
Financial resolutions are very common, and for good reason. Building a stronger financial foundation can positively impact all areas of your life. Before you set a financial resolution, however, you should take a financial inventory to determine what makes the most sense for you.
Set time aside before the new year to get a grasp on what ways your finances could best improve. Review your debt, savings, income, and expenses, and pull your credit report from www.AnnualCreditReport.com.
Even if your resolution isn’t explicitly financial, it’s helpful to know where you stand financially before getting started on any goal that will have a financial impact – whether it’s a gym membership, meal prepping supplies, or materials for a DIY project.
2. Set Calendar Reminders
Once the new year starts, it can be easy to get lost in the rush of day-to-day life and lose track of how much time has gone by and where you should be in progressing toward your goal. That’s why it can be beneficial to schedule check-ins with yourself throughout the year.
Setting calendar reminders or blocking out time now to check in on your progress can help, because it gets it on your schedule before you find yourself fully booked and serves as an ongoing reminder even when life gets busy.
3. Write It Down and Share with Others
Research has shown that writing your goal down makes you more likely to achieve it. Put your resolution in a visible place to serve as a daily reminder of what you’re focusing on and why.
For added accountability, share your resolution with others. Choose someone you trust to check in with you on your progress and encourage you, even when you face a setback.
4. Get Started Now
Good habits don’t happen overnight – they develop over time. So, getting started on your resolution now can help you stick to it in the new year. It also gives you the opportunity to ease in and determine what adjustments you may need to be successful.
For instance, if you’re focusing on building an emergency fund, start setting aside cash with every paycheck you receive now. That’ll help you get a sense for how committing to savings will impact other areas of your budget and help you adjust your spending in other areas, if needed.
Use Our Free Resources to Start the Year Out Strong
Whether your resolutions are financial or not, it’s never a bad time to give your finances a checkup. Check out all our free financial wellness resources and get on track to a successful new year.