Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Don’t Set Resolutions- Create Good Habits

It’s Resolution Time- At the start of each year, some people set New Year’s resolutions and there is a lot of media coverage about them. Common resolutions are healthier eating, increased physical activity, saving money, decreased debt, improved personal relationships, quitting smoking, learning a new hobby or skill, and reading more.

Not Everyone Makes Resolutions- Other people avoid making resolutions completely because they never produce the desired results. Statements like “I always break my resolutions” and “I always give up by mid-January” are commonplace.

Resolutions Require Change- One reason that New Year’s resolutions are so difficult to keep is that they require people to change their behavior. Examples of behavior changes include eating less or exercising more to lose weight and decreasing spending or earning more income to reduce debt or save money.

Change is Hard- People tend to resist it because it requires a lot of mental energy, willpower, and motivation to do things differently. It is much easier to stick with the status quo, especially if you do not have a clearly defined action plan with detailed steps for how to go about changing.

Try Changing Habits- Whether you call your personal goals New Year’s resolutions or not, there is a better way to achieve them: create good habits. When an action becomes a habit, you do not have to remember when, where, why, or how to do it. It gets done because it becomes part of your daily routine.

Stack Good Habits- “Habit stacking” incorporates a desired behavior into something that you already do. Health-related examples are going to a gym on the way to work and flossing your teeth after brushing them. Financial examples are dropping loose change into a jar when you walk in the door and depositing the tallied up loose change into a savings account.

Do you want to improve some aspect of your life in 2020? Create good habits. Best wishes for a happy, healthy, and financially secure year in 2020.

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