💸 Crush Your 2021 Goals

Dear Rich Lifer,

2021 is finally here, and after a year filled with incredible hardship, many are eager to begin the new year with a fresh start.

January is the month when people usually set their intentions or resolutions for the new year. It’s the time to establish goals, identify bad habits from the year prior and create new routines.

Of course, it’s easy to make lofty goals, but much harder to actually follow through on them. In fact, a study conducted by researchers at the University of Scranton found that 23% of people quit working on their resolution just two weeks into the new year. Additionally, only 19% of resolution setters stuck to their goals in the long-term.

This might lead you to wonder if it’s even worth it to set goals in the first place. If you’re thinking this, don’t be discouraged! Setting goals actually does make a difference.

According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, those who set New Year’s resolutions are 10 times more likely to actually change their behavior than people who don’t make these yearly goals.

Some common goals revolve around diet, weight loss, exercise, finances, drinking, smoking and relationships.

So we’ve established that setting the goal is the first step in achieving the goal. Now, we will focus on things you can do to actually stick to your goal and become part of the 19% of folks who were able to successfully follow their resolutions.

Ready to build wealth in the new year?

Be Specific

Saying you “want to be wealthier” or “want to be happier” may seem like good goals, but they are actually too vague to be smart resolutions.

Instead what you want to do is pick a more tangible and concrete goal that you can work toward. For example if you “want to get healthier” you need attainable goals that allow you to actually track your progress. Focus on a goal of “going to the gym three times a week” or “only having dessert twice a week.”

These are more specific and realistic goals that you can track, and they will ultimately help you attain a more overarching goal of “being healthy.”

Limit Your Resolutions

Richard Wiseman, a professor of psychology at Hertfordshire University, suggests picking one resolution and focusing your energy on it rather than spreading yourself too thin among a number of different objectives.

It can be easy to make a laundry list, so to speak, of resolutions or goals, but taking on too much at once can be daunting and discouraging.

Additionally, The American Psychological Association (APA) suggests focusing on just one behavior at a time is more likely to lead to long-term success. Achieving small goals also helps to boost your self esteem and will ultimately make tackling larger goals easier.

Make a Plan

Once you have settled on one, specific goal you need to make a detailed plan to achieve that goal.

Experts suggest brainstorming how you will tackle a major behavior change, including the steps you will take, why you want to do it, and ways you can keep yourself on track.

Planning is critical to success because it will allow you to consider tactics to deal with challenges that may arise. For example if your goal is to go to the gym three times a week, what will you do if you’ve missed four days in a row? Or how will you account for time off related to illness or injury?

Start by writing down your goals and potential obstacles so you will have a “guideline” to help you stick to your resolutions and overcome anything that could sidetrack you.

Baby Steps

This also ties into being specific and realistic with your goals, but it really is crucially important to focus on small steps toward a larger goal. Taking on too much too quickly is one of the main reasons resolutions fail before the spring.

Starting an unsustainably restrictive diet, overdoing it at the gym, or radically altering your normal behavior are easy ways to derail your plans.

Remember small, incremental changes make it so much easier to stick to your habits and achieve long-term success.

Don’t Make the Same Mistakes

Another strategy for keeping your New Year’s resolution is to not make the exact same resolution year after year.

When you continue to pick a goal you have been unsuccessful in attaining, your self-belief will be low right off the bat.

If you are adamant in repeating a goal, make sure you spend the time evaluating why you were unable to reach the goal in the past. Review your past strategies and determine what was the most and least effective.

Is there a way you can slightly alter your resolution to make it more feasible? Can you be more specific with your resolution? Have you written out your plan of action to keep yourself accountable?

Change Takes Time

The habit you are trying to change likely took years to develop, so it’s important to remember that it will likely take just as long to reverse bad habits.

Being patient with yourself is key to sticking with your goals for the months and years to come. Understand that working toward your goals is a process, and if you make mistakes it’s okay.

It will probably take longer than you want to achieve your goals — remember no one loses 10 pounds in one week — but remember it’s not a race to a finish, it’s a commitment to changing behavior in the long-term.

Find Support

It’s so much easier to stay committed to your goals when you have a solid support system cheering you on. Having someone to help keep you accountable and motivated makes a world of difference when it comes to sticking to your goals.

If you can, find a like-minded friend or family member that shares your goal. You can hold each other responsible for following through on your plans. This will also add a sense of camaraderie and fun to harder goals.

Setting goals is a great way to achieve more this year and hopefully these tips will allow you to thrive in 2021 and follow through on your resolutions until 2022 and beyond!

To a Richer Life,

The Rich Life Roadmap Team

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