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Last Updated November 9, 2020

Are you excited to move into the New Year? Let me guess, you feel like ”new year, new me” right? I don’t blame you! I too would get excited about a “fresh start” and make all sorts of financial New Year’s resolutions…but I’m here to tell you that’s a complete waste of time.

Only about 8% of people actually achieve their New Year’s goals according to research by the University of Scranton. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still try to make a change in your finances. Find out how to make New Year’s goals that you can actually accomplish.

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Why Most New Year’s Resolutions Fail

The reason why most people don’t achieve their New Year’s resolutions is because they make a large list or attempt to make an extreme change overnight. This approach is destined to fail because you’re trying to achieve too much or have an overwhelming goal.

I have been guilty of this myself! My financial New Year’s resolutions list has looked something like this in the past:

  1. Create And Stick To A Budget
  2. Increase My Net Worth
  3. Save At Least 10% Of My Income
  4. Have A Fully Funded Emergency Fund
  5. Buy A House
  6. Develop At Least One Stream Of Passive Income
  7. Make More Money Than I Did Last Year
  8. Pay Off At Least One Of My Credit Cards
  9. Spend Less Money Than I Did Last Year
  10. Get Physically Healthy
  11. Increase My Credit Score
  12. Break Bad Spending Habits
  13. Increase or Start Investing

As you can see, I had 13 things I was trying to achieve all at once! Not to mention all the additional goals I had in other areas of my life. Although this is a nice aspiration, and all of these things are important to improve your finances, it’s just too much to focus on.

By trying to focus on EVERYTHING on your list, you will most certainly feel overwhelmed and then give up.

I’m not trying to tell you not to set any financial New Year’s resolutions because “hey, you’re destined to fail anyway” — but I am trying to show you how to make New Year’s goals that you can actually accomplish.

Setting financial goals is a good thing. You are actually 10 times more likely to have success by setting goals than those who have a desire to change, but don’t make a resolution to do it. I’m here to show you how to actually make goals that stick!

How Do You Stick To Your New Year’s Resolution

Financial New Year’s Resolutions

You can become one of 8% of people who actually achieve their financial New Year’s resolutions if you follow these tips:

1. Keep It Simple

As I stated earlier, I am guilty of trying to achieve too much all at once. So this year, I’m keeping my resolution list short…and you should too. I would limit my list to no more than 3 goals.

You can make a large overall list like I did, but only choose 1-3 thing(s) you WILL achieve this year. The 1-3 thing(s) should be the most important thing(s) you want to accomplish this year.

If you reach those goals on your short list sooner than you thought, then you can add another goal from your long list.

2. Make It A SMART Goal

When setting your goals, you want to use the acronym SMART. SMART stands for: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely.

SMART:

  • You want to make your goals as specific as possible;
  • Measurable so that you can track your progress and know when you’ve achieved your goal;
  • You want to make your goals realistic and achievable;
  • Your goals should be relevant to your overall plans in life; and
  • Finally, you want your goal to have a time limit where you set an end date to achieve your goal

By making your goals SMART, you have a higher chance of actually achieving your financial New Year’s resolutions. It makes your goals very clear and lays out an easy to follow plan to reach them.

If you want more details about how to set SMART goals, you can read my detailed article “How To Set Realistic Financial Goals You Can Actually Accomplish.”

The goal-setting tools and planners I’m using this year are my Financial Goal Planner and Law Of Attraction Planner.

financial goal planner
Financial Goal Planner

I use my Financial Goal Planner in a digital format with a note-taking app on my iPad. This is a great option for you because it will save you money since you never have to buy another planner again. You can keep the files for life and reprint the pages you need or keep it in the digital format and use it with a note-taking app as I do.

Law Of Attraction Planner
Law Of Attraction Planner

The Law Of Attraction Planner is my paper goal planner. I love this planner because it helps me focus on other areas of my life besides my finances (such as family, health, career, etc.)

All of these tools help you set SMART goals and create action plans to achieve your goals.

If you’re just getting started, you can also download my FREE Daily Goal Planner.  This is an easy one page printable where you can write down your goals for the day and create a To-Do List.  Use this free printable to make sure you’re working towards your goals every day.

free daily goal planner

3. Believe In Yourself

Anything is possible if you believe you can do it. Your thoughts are very powerful and they determine if you will fail or succeed. You have to develop a winning mentality and believe in yourself if you want to be successful.

To achieve your financial New Year’s resolutions, you must get rid of negative toxic thoughts and replace them with positive ones. If you wake up every day with a positive attitude, you expect good things to happen, and in turn, good things do happen.

If you need some help with this, I recommend you read “The Power of Your Subconscious Mind” by Joseph Murphy. Right now the price of this book (Kindle version) is extremely affordable and can fit anyone’s budget.

Financial New Year’s Resolutions

Sign up for the FREE Kindle Reading App if you have not done so already. Most books I’ve purchased are cheaper if you buy the Kindle version of it, instead of the paper version.

You don’t need a Kindle E-Reader to access Kindle books. The Kindle app is available for iPhone, iPod Touch, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry, Android Tablet, and iPad.

4. Share Your Goals With Others

Sharing your financial New Year’s resolutions with others is a way to build accountability. When you are accountable to someone, or a group of people, you are more motivated to get things done.

You are more motivated because of the power of expectations. If someone expects you to do something, you normally don’t want to disappoint him or her.

You can share your goals with your friends, family, or even on social media. Sharing your resolutions is a good way to hold yourself to them. In addition, you will find that most people will rally around and support you.

This encouragement will also increase your chances of success.

So with that in mind, I will share my own 2021 Goals with you so I can be held accountable.

My 2021 Goals:

  1. Increase passive income to $7,000 per month (a combination of all passive sources of income) by December 2021.
  2. Eliminate any sickle cell crisis this year.  You can read more about my battle with sickle cell HERE.
  3. Lose 5 pounds by Valentine’s Day, and continue to exercise regularly at least 3x/week.

As you can see, I only have one financial goal, and three goals in total.

What Are Some Good Financial New Year’s Resolutions?

It’s hard to say what a “good” financial New Year’s resolution is because it really depends on your situation. However, here are some examples of financial goals that most people would like to achieve:

  1. Create And Stick To A Budget
  2. Increase My Net Worth
  3. Buy A House
  4. Save At Least 10% Of My Income Every Month
  5. Have A Fully Funded Emergency Fund
  6. Increase My Income
  7. Pay Off My Credit Cards
  8. Develop Other Streams Of Passive Income
  9. Reduce My Expenses
  10. Increase My Credit Score
  11. Break Bad Spending Habits
  12. Increase or Start Investing
  13. Start A Business
  14. Buy A Car
  15. Pay For My (Or My Child’s) Wedding In Cash
  16. Save For A Vacation
  17. Pay Off My Car
  18. Pay For My Child’s Education
  19. Retire Comfortably/Financial Freedom
  20. Pay Off My House

Again, I can’t stress enough that you should limit your list to no more than 3 goals to increase your chances of actually accomplishing your financial goals. Once you’ve achieved your 3 financial goals, you can add more goals to your list.

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Summary

In summary, making a long list of financial New Year’s resolutions is a complete waste of time, and you are setting yourself up for failure.

Instead, focus only on 1-3 things you want to accomplish this year. The key to success is to make your goal simple and S.M.A.R.T. Believe in yourself and keep a positive attitude. Finally, share your goals with others so you are held accountable.

What are some of your 2020 goals? Feel free to share your financial New Year’s resolutions with me in the comments, or you can email me if you want to keep it more private.

Happy New Year!

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