How to set meaningful New Year’s Resolutions

Published on: January 3rd, 2023

It’s that time of year again when many of us are thinking about our plans for the year ahead, and that means setting goals. With so many new year’s resolutions falling by the wayside in February, it’s important to think about how you’ll be in it for the long haul.

Here are our top tips for setting yourself up for success in 2023.

#1 Ensure your goals are aligned with what’s actually important to you

To give yourself the best chance to succeed, your goal has to be motivated by what’s really important to you. Often, we set goals, whether they are financial or personal, because of outside influences or the feeling that we ‘should’ be doing something.

If, however, your goal is deeply tied to your values, motivation will come from within. The easiest question to ask yourself is — will this actually make me happy? To learn more about linking your financial goals and your values, check out our roadmap here.

#2 Know the ‘why’ as well as the ‘what’

The first thing to consider is not the ‘what’ but the ‘why’ of your new goals; we often tell our clients to start with the end. Focusing on what success looks like will help you break it down into smaller, bite-sized goals while keeping your eye on the more meaningful prize. It’s important to think about the emotions involved as these are great motivators — how will it make you feel to achieve your goal? What would life be like?

#3 Plan for balance

The next thing to consider is how you will achieve balance because it is critical to keeping you on track. For example, if you are setting a savings goal, it might be tempting to put every cent towards it and achieve it sooner. However, the reality is that you need to enjoy life today as well. Setting a longer timeline that achieves this balance will give you the best chance of success.

#4 Set your goal and write it down

Now that you’ve thought about your values, your ‘why’ and your plan for balance, it’s time to set a clear goal.

Choose an area of your finances that you want to focus on. It could be anything that will improve your financial position, from saving a little extra to building up your super or even starting on your investment journey.

Research shows that only 8% of us achieve our New Year’s Resolutions, and your chances of success may well be determined at the goal-setting stage.

It’s important that your goal is clear, focused, and attainable. For example, saying, “I want to save more money”, is not enough. You need to break it down to a smaller, defined goal that you can achieve sooner, e.g., I want to save $1,000 extra in January.

It is critical that you write this goal down, and put it somewhere prominent, where you will see it all the time. It might sound simple, but a long-term study by Yale University showed that people who wrote their goals down significantly outperformed those who didn’t.

#5 Celebrate what you don’t do

When it comes to achieving our goals, we often praise ourselves for what we do but forget to celebrate what we don’t do. If you decide not to spend on something in service of your goal, that’s worth noting. It’s celebrating every behavioural change that will get you over the line.

#6 Revisit your goals regularly

January isn’t the only time you should be thinking about your goals. Life can often throw curve balls, and it’s essential that you reset your course accordingly whenever required. If you stick rigidly to your goals regardless of changing circumstances, it’s going to be much harder to achieve them, and they may not even be the right goals for you anymore.

#7 Speak to your adviser

If you’re setting goals, it’s important to chat with your adviser so your financial plan stays relevant. Even if they’re life goals and not strictly financial ones, there’s a good chance that there is a money component involved. Remember, your adviser is there to act as a personal finance coach who will help you achieve the lifestyle you want.

Looking to achieve more out of your life and your finances in 2023? Get in touch with the Apt Wealth team. We’re here to help.

General Advice warning

The information provided in this blog does not constitute financial product advice. The information is of a general nature only and does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. It should not be used, relied upon, or treated as a substitute for specific professional advice. Apt Wealth Partners (AFSL and ACL 436121 ABN 49 159 583 847) and Apt Wealth Home Loans (powered by Smartline ACL 385325) recommends that you obtain professional advice before making any decision in relation to your particular requirements or circumstances.