Every day is a new day.
A chance to start anew.
I’m sure you hear that all the time.
But, do you ever stop to think what it means?
The calendar pages are get torn off quickly.
The remaining days in the year are few.
Many people start planning to turn the page to the new year.
With that comes lots of excitement:
- Family vacations during winter break
- Planning holiday/new year’s parties
- The prospects of starting with a “clean slate”
And then there’s the dreaded new year’s resolutions.
It is the last item that deserves more careful consideration.
The Definition of Insanity
You know…doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.
Yet each and every year, people make the same resolutions to begin on January 1st.
Doesn’t anyone ever get a strange feeling that the resolution itself isn’t the problem but the approach?
It’s funny because people absolutely love to share quotes exactly like that all over social media…yet no one has put 2 + 2 together how that specific quote may hold all of the resolution failure answers?
A Personal Tale
I’ll be honest with you.
It took me forever to quit smoking.
I tried countless times and failed.
The biggest reason for that?
I’m 99% sure it was doing it as a resolution.
Every time I would pick a date to “start quitting”.
Once it was my birthday.
Once it was Thanksgiving.
Once it was even on my mother’s birthday.
The rest were January 1st.
And I failed every time.
Most of the time it was because I didn’t finish the pack and couldn’t bring myself to throw “money” away.
One time work got so crazy I just couldn’t see myself quitting in the middle of it.
A few times I just wasn’t in the “frame of mind” I thought I would be.
The one time when I was actually successful came when I decided midday on a Wednesday in October.
There was no planning.
There was no significance to that day.
The date itself wasn’t significant either.
I ran out of smokes and just decided that it was time to not buy another pack.
Was it hard?
Hard as hell.
Harder than anything I can remember attempting in my life.
But because it was fresh in my mind, and my desire was at it peak the process was easier to stick with.
Everyone Isn’t Me
I may very well be an outlier in this scenario.
I’d like to think I’m not.
Honestly, I would love to think that everyone can find success in changing their ways simply by changing the approach.
Unfortunately, I may just be being overly optimistic.
BUT I will never say anything negative toward anyone who at least makes an effort to change what they don’t like.
Back To New Years Resolutions
Lots of people look for personal training programs to get in shape.
A large amount also go the quitting smoking route.
Some people want to improve their education or job situations.
A few even want to start a business and leave the 9-to-5 altogether.
With money and finances being such an important aspect of everyday life, maybe it is time to think about your money in just that way: every day.
Every day the state of the economy changes.
Every day the state of people’s individual financial health changes.
If you follow that line of thinking, then every day you should be making efforts to either maintain your financial position or to take steps to fix your financial position.
Making a resolution one time at the beginning of the year is great because you are at least making some concerted effort, but too often the luster of such ideas wears off and people fall back into their poor habits, forgetting about their “resolutions”.
Financial well-being is a step by step, one day at a time process.
It takes determination and persistence, especially in the beginning when attitudes and routines need to be reinforced.
But as time passes it gets easier until you get to the point where some tasks become second nature (transferring unspent cash into a high-yield savings account, clipping coupons from the Sunday paper, funding a retirement account, etc.)
Don’t get caught up in setting a “target date” on which to start implementing a new plan of action, as you will only open yourself to self-sabotage and failure.
By tackling changes and challenges immediately, you have a better chance at overcoming your biggest hurdle to achieving your goals: yourself.
Get out of your own way and allow yourself the chance to succeed at reaching those goals you set.
What that means is simply not allowing life to get in the way before even starting to make the changes you need.
Wasting time and putting those resolutions off only allows for other issues to arise and push those resolutions to the back of your mind, or for you to simply forget about them altogether.
Let’s be honest here, no one’s life is so simple that they don’t have to worry about work, family, health or anything else getting in the way of plans.
Make it easier on yourself, start today or at the exact moment that you have the realization that something is either working or not working for you.
Write it down, send yourself an email, tell a friend and ask them to remind you about it, whatever you have to do to get the process going.
The saying “Why put off until tomorrow what you can do today” holds true especially when dealing with finances.
Correct a problem today and you greatly reduce the chance that it will get bigger or reappear in the future.
Continue on with a course of action that is working for you today, and it will become more routine and easier to follow going forward.
Don’t put off dealing with a situation, thinking that it will be better to start fresh with the new year or even the next new month that comes along.
Problems don’t go away on their own, and the longer you wait to take corrective measures, the longer it will take and the more difficult it will become.
Even the smallest of issues may snowball into a major headache down the road, and you’ll be kicking yourself for not dealing with it when it was manageable like you had planned on doing.
The best thing you can do is to resolve to take action as soon as the thought pops into your head, otherwise you may lose the idea within seconds.
Quicker actions lead to quicker results!