2022 is off to a good start. You created strong financial resolutions to guide you for the next 12 months, and now it’s time to see how you’re doing so far.
It’s easy to stick to your resolutions in January when you have the momentum and excitement of your new goals, but it’s important not to let up as time goes on.
Every year people make financial resolutions for the new year and forget all about them after a few months. Don’t be one of those people this year. This article will help you check in on your progress towards your financial goals and give you tips for crushing them.
Rate Your Performance So Far
Now that it’s been a month since you initially set your 2022 financial resolutions, it’s time to take an honest look at your performance so far. Did you stick to the plan? Were you consistent? Were there things you wish you had done differently?
The goal of this exercise is not to make yourself feel bad if you wish you had started the year off stronger. Instead, the goal is to see how you have been doing so far and identify opportunities to make improvements.
Give yourself a rating for January. Grade yourself with letters like you’re grading a test or project for school. An “A” rating means that you did everything you could, and you feel good about the level of effort you put towards your goal. An “F” rating would mean that you completely dropped the ball on your resolutions.
Rate yourself on that scale and figure out areas where you could do better. Then, let the motivation from your performance so far, whether it’s good or bad, drive you for the rest of the year.
Plan for Success
Financial resolutions are all well and good, but resolutions aren’t worth much without a plan to complete them. Having a solid plan will make all the difference in whether you keep your 2022 financial resolutions or not.
You’ve done the hard work, and you know what is important to you this year. Whether it’s to save more money, invest more money, spend less, or any number of other financial resolutions, you need to create a plan to get there.
Break your resolutions down into tangible steps to reach the end goal. If you want to save $5,000 before the end of this year, break that amount up over the months you have left and commit to saving that amount or more each month.
Having a plan to follow is such a helpful thing to do when you are trying to stick to a resolution. It will help you stay on track if you lose focus along the way.
You will inevitably go through phases where you take a step back in your progress, but a plan will bring you back to what’s essential.
Sometimes your financial resolutions can feel daunting, especially in the beginning. For example, if you have made a resolution to spend less, you may be wondering where to start.
An excellent way to gain some direction towards your big financial resolutions for 2022 is to set micro-goals. These small goals are meant to be stepping stones towards completing the major resolution.
If the goal is to spend less money, you could choose an area like online shopping and start by limiting or cutting out your spending in that category by the end of a particular month.
Then, once you have completed that, choose another area, like groceries or coffee orders, and repeat the process.
Seeing your consistent progress towards the bigger goal by checking off these smaller goals is a great way to stay on track. In addition, it makes your resolution feel much more doable if you try to focus on one area at a time.
Share with a Friend or Family Member
As with any goal you set, having an accountability partner is a great way to stay on track towards your 2022 financial resolutions. Share your resolutions with your significant other or someone close to you who you know will support you.
Accountability partners can either be someone in your life who will check in on you periodically on your goals or someone who is working towards similar goals that will be your pace partner. Either option works, but make sure you choose wisely.
Set up check-ins with your accountability partner in advance and make sure you set clear expectations of what you are looking for them to do. Let them know how tough you want them to be on you if you slip up, and make sure they can commit to the level of communication you feel you need to succeed.
If you are pace partners with someone working towards the same or similar financial resolutions, choose someone with whom you can have a bit of healthy competition. Hopefully, your pursuit of similar goals will bring your relationship closer.
Create a Visual Representation of Your Progress
A great way to make sure you stay committed to your financial resolutions this year is to create a visual way of tracking your progress. The phrase “out of sight, out of mind” can be true when you have big goals that are intangible like most financial goals are.
Create a graph or brag board in an area in your home to keep track of your progress towards your financial goals. Whether it’s a vision board of what you are envisioning your financial life will be like or an actual tracking board, use it to stay motivated and focused when you get off course.
You can even do something as simple as a sticker chart, as you might do for your children. Give yourself a gold star for every micro and macro goal you hit throughout the year. It will give you a little dopamine hit every time you mark something as achieved.
When you feel like you’re a long way away from achieving your financial goals or haven’t been keeping your resolutions, a physical representation of everything you have accomplished can help you stay motivated. In addition, it can help you prove to yourself that you can succeed.
If you are motivated by prizes, plan to reward yourself in some way when you hit the major milestones on your way to your big financial goals. If you save a certain amount or successfully cut out spending in a category with a problem, treat yourself to something meaningful as a reward.
Image by Nokuro via Shutterstock.com.