Money is one of the most important elements in our lives. How can you become a better financial handler this year?

Keeping your financial resolutions
Too often, people who make financial resolutions assume they have to go it alone, but there are thousands of resources for help.

( — January 18, 2017) — Every year, one of the top five resolutions involves building wealth in some way. Many people focus on getting better control of their budget by spending less and saving more.

Others are concerned about starting or expanding an entrepreneurial effort and building real wealth. Whatever your goal, you’ll need some help keeping that resolution, especially since only about eight percent of people who make one keep it, according to Statistics Brain.

The Facts

Financial resolutions constitute about 42 percent of all resolutions. People promise themselves they’ll save more and spend less, finally start their multi-million dollar business, find a better-paying job, pay off debts, invest in a profitable stock market, and other resolutions that will improve their financial situation.

Most people do fairly well at first. Statistic Brain research shows that about 73 percent of resolutions are kept during the first week, but it drops to 69 percent in the second week. After six months, only 44 percent of resolutions are maintained, and by the end of the year, 92 percent have been entirely abandoned.

Keeping Your Financial Resolutions

Just because the stats are against you doesn’t mean you can’t defy the odds. Start by understanding what’s holding you back and make a plan to improve.

Many challenges prevent people from keeping their New Year’s resolution, and that’s especially true for financial goals. There’s something about the way money touches every facet of life that makes it very hard to control.

If you’re looking to stay resolved all year long, try the following tips.

  • Be Specific

One of the biggest errors people make with their resolutions is failing to set specific goals. It’s much more difficult to track and measure progress if you voice an ambiguous goal, such as “I want to spend less and save more.”

People achieve greater success when they choose a specific problem and resolve to tackle it in a measureable way. For example, you might say, “Each month, I plan to limit my restaurant spending to $100 and put $500 in my savings account.”

Suddenly, you’ve defined a goal that you could keep because you can track and measure it. You’ll note your progress regularly and feel the gratification that comes from that.

  • Set One Goal at a Time

People also struggle with financial goals because they try to tackle too many at once. They want to budget, pay down debt, save more, and invest in a mutual fund.

These are all great goals, but planning for too many things at once can overwhelm you and make it easier to abandon one or more in the long run. The eight percent who keep their goals tend to stick to just one resolution at a time.

They promise themselves that this year, they’ll pay down their debt, and that’s what they focus on. Often, other goals will sneak in during the year as they experience success keeping the main one. It’s a great way to make the most of your goals without overwhelming yourself.

  • Make Attainable Goals

At the beginning of the year, we’re often dazzled by grandiose resolutions and big gestures for change. It’s noble and good to want to make many adjustments, but it’s harder to change than we often realize.

We make a huge plan, but we’re creatures of habit, and our habits get the best of us. Focusing on smaller, more attainable goals means making resolutions you can realistically keep.

Rather than say, “I’ll pay off all of my debt this year,” you might decide: “I’ll pay down my debt by 50 percent.” That might be a more doable goal for you, which will keep you from getting discouraged.

  •  Use Your Resources

Too often, people who make financial resolutions assume they have to go it alone, but there are thousands of resources for help. Apps, for example, can help you budget and invest, and software can make investments simple to monitor.

You could also benefit from the help of people, such financial consultants who devote their time to helping people like you succeed in their financial goals. If your goal this year is to start a successful business, courses from Sam Ovens might be of benefit.

Sam Ovens is a consultant who built a multi-million dollar company from his online courses that help people succeed in their financial goals. With the right tools at your disposal, keeping your resolutions will still take work, but it will be much simpler than trying to go it alone.