Did you know that 80 percent of New Years resolutioners fail by February? It’s so much fun to dream up with goals when the new year rolls around, but sticking with them is a different story. Maybe at the start of 2017 you decided to take control of your finances, start saving or pay down your debt. Now that we’re halfway through the year, here are some steps to assess where you are with your goals and reconnect if you need to.
Take a look back at your planner, your Google Docs, your iPhone notes — whatever you used to write out your goals. Refamiliarize yourself with the mindset you had at the beginning of the year. Are they still relevant or do want to change your goals entirely?
Think about why you started. Were you after a specific feeling like peace of mind, feeling less guilty or a general confidence in your money life? Write out these motivations if you haven’t already. These are going to keep us moving towards our goals long after the excitement wanes.
Our lives are always changing, so it’s probably no surprise that you may not be in the same place you were six months ago. Perhaps you changed jobs, moved, or added a new member of the family. If this is the case, your financial goals will probably have changed as well.
It’s okay if priorities shift, but we want to be realistic. If you wanted to get in shape this year but the gym membership cost is impeding on your monthly savings goal, you may decide to let that go or you might decide to get creative. You can do some fabulously frugal home or outdoor workouts and save more each month as you planned. Win-win.
Assess with honesty. If you feel behind on your goals, you’re definitely not alone. But that doesn’t mean you can’t pick back up and start again. The mid-year (a.k.a. now) is the perfect time to pick up where you left off.
Break your goal down into into smaller goals that are easier to achieve month by month or week by week so you know where you stand and which milestones you are looking to hit.
Create calendar reminders to check in along the way. Did you save that $200 towards your savings? Did you put $500 towards your student loans? Breaking up our larger goals into smaller milestones keep us motivated and accountable.
Find a cheerleader to help you along the way. Just like having a gym buddy makes getting in shape easier and more fun, the same goes for our finances. Find a friend, family member or colleague who’s out to achieve something in their money lives as well and provide each other accountability, support and encouragement. It can make all the difference on those days when you’re just not feeling it.
Then, most importantly, reward yourself for all your hard work. Set aside some time and even money in your plan for a fun celebration once you achieve your goal in six months or even to reward yourself for milestones along the way. This can be as little as a pat on the back or as big as a party. Whatever you choose, make sure that it serves as motivation for you to move toward your goals!