Do You Make New Year’s Resolutions?

I’m kind of jealous of people who can make a New Year’s resolution and stick with it. Resolutions don’t work for me. In the past, my resolutions have typically been about starting an exercise program or losing weight. By the end of January, little progress was made and little thought was being given to whatever resolution I had set. So now I don’t bother to make resolutions.

Want to know the best resolution ever made?  Mr. Ms. Liz walked into his office one January 2nd over 30 years ago and his colleague and good friend asked if he had made any resolutions. He replied that he was going to “find himself a woman” that year. I walked in that office 24 days later.  Resolution achieved!

So I love a good “resolution” though I no longer make them myself. I do use the excuse of the New Year to set my financial goals. I guess I could call that a resolution right? As you learned last week, I finalize my full year budget on New Year’s Day.

My budget includes the typical earnings and expense targets. But that budget also shows what is going to happen to my net worth through the year. If I keep my expenses in check and the investment markets cooperate, my net worth will reach that target by year end.

Setting and striving for that net worth target over the last 20 years gave me this great life.

So even if “resolutions” don’t work for you, would setting a financial target or two work?

How about:

You are going to save $X each month
You are going to reduce your debt by $X this year
You are going to automate a deposit to an investment account each pay period
You are going to calculate your net worth each month
Or you are going to get your net worth to $X this year–even getting to $0 may be a great target!

One or two of these wouldn’t be difficult to track and don’t require a complicated budget or a bunch of spreadsheets.

Feeling meh about this whole idea? Maybe you need to figure out your WHY.

Then set some financial targets that help you reach your target. Lay out a plan to get you there–little steps, repeated frequently, allow you to reach your goals.

Oh, and get ready to have a kick a$$ 2018!

Photo credit – Ms. Liz more elk porn from our back deck–where’s Waldo???

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Author: Ms. Liz

A CPA, I retired at 51 and I am helping people create their fantastic futures!

9 thoughts on “Do You Make New Year’s Resolutions?”

  1. If I’m honest, I kind of hate the idea of setting up things like net worth goals. There’s too much that is out of our control – too many external forces – that impact net worth. Market decides to tank 38%? Yep, probably no going to hit my net worth goal, even if I do everything right.

    For that reason I am a BIG fan of just setting up and following proper systems. Instead of a net worth goal, I focus on things like maxing out tax-advantaged accounts. That I can do with no regard to what the market decides to do. It won’t make me feel crappy about not hitting some semi-made-up number.

    Of course I do track net worth and think it’s important, but judging my success when such a large component is out of my control seems misguided. 🙂

    1. You raise a really good point Dave–control what can be controlled and just monitor what can’t be controlled.

      Even though it is largely out of my control, having that increase in net worth as a target does help me stay on track with my spending. It’s always in the back of my mind as I make financial decisions. When the market doesn’t cooperate, I don’t beat myself up but rather figure I’ll “get them next year” and hope for a recovery.

      Great comment–thanks for posting it and thanks for stopping by!

  2. I like your idea of setting some targeted goals. I’m not a resolution person. Think about what resolution means — it’s final, right? To my work-in-progress soul it’s just too rigid a concept. I can be very goal-oriented. But if I miss the mark on one or two goals — oh well, there’s always tomorrow. But on the other hand, if I don’t follow through on a proclaimed New Year’s resolution, then I’m a screw-up. Does that make sense?

    1. I’m glad it’s not just me!

      A resolution carries more weight and responsibility somehow and I’d be setting myself up for failure. But a couple targets, that I can handle!

      So happy the Groovy’s are stopping by today–thanks for your comment and your share 🙂

  3. I set some financial targets for myself as well as some personal goals and then track against them in my blog. One of the reasons I’ve been successful with these recently versus the past is that they’re out there publicly and that kind of drives me to complete at least some of them.

    I’ve also been thinking of setting some more short term goals in a similar fashion. I think resolutions are good but a lot of them are so vague and long term that it’s hard to keep track of the results. I figure it’d be a lot easier to track and see successes if the goals were more short term in nature.

    1. Maybe that’s my problem with resolutions? I don’t detail out the steps and progress points that will get me there–the SMART steps and tracking.

      Yep, tracking progress on your blog is super smart and monthly or quarterly goals feel more achievable.

      Thanks for your comment and for stopping by TITM!

  4. I’m with Dave, a net worth goal is not a good idea because if the market takes a major downturn most of us will see out net worth’s do the same. I think a good resolution is simply a savings goal. Either a percentage of take home pay or a targeted amount each month. That’s something that is mostly in your control.

    1. Yep, back when I had an income 🙂 I set savings goals as well–total $ and %. And you’re right, those are within my control.

      The NW goal was just an additional layer on top of those. Toward the end of my career, my budgeted NW growth was over $100k per year. That was an exciting target to be moving toward–even if some of it was outside of my control.

      Thanks for the comment AF!

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