The arrival of the New Year brings with it many things. Sure, you have to remember to start using “12” instead of “11” when writing the date and that calendar needs replacing. But one of the things that many people include with the New Year is setting goals… also called “resolutions”.
It doesn’t matter what you resolve to accomplish in the next 12 months, if you don’t have some sort of a plan to ensure you carry out your plan, you’ll most likely fall short and come May or June look back and wonder what happened. Here are some tips on ways to ensure that you keep on track and accomplish all that you want in the year ahead.
- Be Specific – Make sure that you are clear in what you want to accomplish, otherwise it will be difficult for you to determine if you’re being successful.
- Write it Down – There’s something about the power of putting a thought into writing that helps to increase the chances of making it become reality. Even if you think this is silly, write down your resolution(s) and come back to them often.
- Share It – Tell your friends what you’re trying to accomplish. This will help to create a support network to help you along the way, and create little bit of “peer pressure” to stay on track.
- Measure It – Depending on what you’re trying to accomplish, check your progress on a regular basis. That may be daily, weekly, monthly or some other interval. Consider creating a chart that can help you keep track of your progress so you can see when you are making improvements (or when you may need to “pick it up a bit”).
- Have Fun – Life’s too short not to have fun along the way, so try and enjoy yourself. Look for positive ways to reward yourself for meeting milestones and don’t be afraid to treat yourself to keep motivated.
- Think Big Picture – While the temptation to come start quickly and get the biggest impact early on may be great, keep in mind that you’re looking at the entire year (or maybe even a lifetime), so it’s alright to gradually ease into it. For example, if you’ve resolved to “get fit” (#5 below), don’t feel that you need to go to the gym every day if you’ve not worked out much before. That will only risk burning you out and then you’ll stop. Getting fit is a life-long goal and think about where you’ll be 6 months, 12 months or longer if you do a little each week.
- Adjust – Sometimes life gets in the way, and that’s fine. If you get sidetracked for whatever reason, don’t let that discourage you. Simply adjust your routine and get back on track as quickly as you can. Just because you slipped for one day (or even a week), doesn’t mean that you should quit and consider your efforts a failure.
- Drink less alcohol
- Eat healthy food
- Get a better education
- Get a better job
- Get fit
- Lose weight
- Manage debt
- Manage stress
- Quit smoking
- Reduce, reuse and recycle
- Save Money
- Take a trip
- Volunteer to help others
Astra Bank would love to help with some of the financial-related resolutions above. Items like #7 (manage debt), #8 (manage stress) and #11 (save money) are all ones that can come with having a sound financial partner. With our helpful staff, convenient electronic banking access and great product lineup, if these are on your list for 2012 stop in and see us. We’ll be happy to help. Feel free to let us know what your resolutions are for the coming year in the comments of this post (#3 - Share It!).
Welcome to 2102!
Kyle A. Campbell, President & CFO