By Melanie Hasty-Grant

Financial New Year’s Resolutions: A Down To Earth Practical Approach

New Year’s Resolutions…sigh… Lots of folks make New Year’s Resolutions and then wonder why they didn’t work. Newsflash…They don’t work because you don’t follow through.

Most of the time folks don’t follow through because they really didn’t have a true desire to do them in the first place, or maybe they want the outcomes but are not really committed to the sacrifice it takes to accomplish the results. The first step to making a successful goal is to look at what you REALLY want. In our very fast food, in and out, want it now way of life, it is natural to want to achieve some short-term, “feel good” reward for the work that you do. I suggest setting some of these “feel good” goals along with the long-term ones that you want to achieve.

Here are some suggestions for a balanced approach:

  • Create your Life Bucket List. This should include all the things that you would like to do before you “kick the bucket,” so to speak. Write them down. Examples of this would be “things” you want to buy, “experiences” you would like to have, “goals” that you would like to accomplish both now and later in your life. Hopefully this will be a LONG list. After you have created this list, break it down into short, medium, and longterm goals. Then, sort your list by the ones that matter most to you in each category. I usually hear some pretty common themes when I talk to clients about their bucket list. Some of the things on many folks’ shortterm list involve houses, recreational vehicles and vacations. On their long-term lists, I usually see something about retiring comfortably.
  • Once you have prioritized your list by “when” and “importance to you,” make a detailed, measurable goal for this year about how to begin to attain that goal. Sometimes in the beginning, it’s about paying down debt or making a specific goal of saving to achieve your overall goal. Most of the time, the goal is not achievable in a single year. You should keep your list somewhere that you will see it on a weekly basis. Review it for progress at the end of each month when you pay your bills. You are in this for the long haul. Don’t get discouraged. Stay the course.

Your life bucket list is a changing, living document. It is not written in stone and it’s okay to occasionally change some of your ideas. However, be mindful of the changes that you make and why. To help you stay on track, choose a really good financial advisor. Pick someone you can trust, who understands you, and who will help you with the nuts and bolts of your overall financial goals and the day to day decisions about how to get there.

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Melanie Hasty-Grant, Experienced Licensed Professional Counselor and Managing Principal at Waterstone Private Wealth Management. Securities offered through Cetera Advisor Networks LLC. Member FINRA, SIPC.