Happy Tuesday! Did you all know that today – January 17 – is annual Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day? I didn’t know this was a thing until last week, and, I have to admit, I found it humorous, considering most people end up ditching their resolutions right around this time of the month. In the spirit of this lighthearted “holiday”, I thought it would be good to discuss something in a similar vein.
In my humble opinion, ditching money resolutions can be the first step to financial success.
Now, before you all think I’ve lost my mind, please let me explain. I, Tia Delano, absolutely adore New Year’s Day, and all of the traditions involved with it, including making resolutions. But I’m also aware that the pressure of starting a new year can make us hard on ourselves, and can cause us to view our previous missteps with a much more critical – and less understanding – eye. We often use the New Year holiday to lean into our tendencies to view ourselves much more harshly than we view others. And, the truth is, looking at our choices without giving ourselves grace is a recipe for frustration. That frustration leads us to overestimating what we can do in one year (credit to Bill Gates for this quote).
The end result of harsh self critiques is astronomically ambitious goals that require supernatural focus, drastically increased resources, incredible luck, extraordinary commitment, and a host of other underdeveloped and uncontrollable attributes. With these sorts of goals, it’s very difficult to accomplish what we set out to do, because we lack some (or most!) of what we need to be successful. That’s why I propose that you ditch the big money resolutions and, instead, commit to incremental actions that can be completed easily and build momentum in service to your big goals.
If you recall, last week, I posted my big, dreamy financial goals. But, you may have noticed that the goals were ambitious, but not dramatic. I didn’t choose goals that would set me up for failure: I don’t overestimate what can happen in 2023, nor do I encourage anyone to set goals that will require exhausting, unsustainable action in order to achieve them. If you set a goal, it should stretch you, not snap you in half.
If you’re unsure if you have an exhausting goal, try breaking down the steps to complete it: break it down by quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily actions. If the daily actions involve more than two or three steps, each day, for 365 days, it’s safe to say that this goal may be larger than what you can manage at this point. I advise anyone to only commit to one small action a day (preferably taking less than 15 minutes) until you have created a habit that can be expanded in small, manageable increments (3-5 minutes per increase). If it takes more than two small daily actions to reach your goal, then maybe your goal can be revised to be more manageable and attainable.
The objective of any of this is to experience success, and if you lay down those big goals, you may find yourself creating success faster than you could have ever imagined!