How to Adhere to Your Financial New Year’s Resolutions

new year resolution2009 is upon us and with it we ponder some new year resolutions.  Although important goals ought to be a part of your daily life no matter what day it is, new year resolutions do offer an established marker for reminding ourselves of financial goals and ways to actually adhere to them.

Deciding on the resolutions themselves isn’t the difficult part.  When it comes to money matters, we all would like to do better and do not often have to think long and hard to find things that could use improvement.  However, actually implementing the resolutions doesn’t usually last beyond the first few weeks of the new year. Luckily, we can use research in psychology to better understand human motivation behavior and apply it to practicing long lasting financial resolutions:

1. Be Realistic – It’s not realistic to move from middle class to super wealthy within a year, unless you come across a serious windfall or a really great idea. People with reasonable resolutions have been shown to actually adhere to them, instead of just starting and wondering off of the unrealistic goals shortly after.

2. Keep It Simple, Spender – Although the actions that lead to accomplishing each resolution may involve multiple steps, the final goal needs to be simple. Complicated resolutions are more likely to become abandoned and soon follows the balanced budget.

3. Measure It To Manage It – Psychologists have demonstrated that having goals that you can easily track and measure gives you an advantage in accomplishing your financial resolutions. Therefore, keep in mind to always monitor your resolutions so you will know whether you are making progress. As part of this, you can set yourself some milestones to tell you if you are still on track as well as to act as motivators on the way to achieving the goal.

4. Change Your Work – Changing the work surroundings could help you meet your financial resolutions sooner, instead of just making your boss richer. Our work environment has a direct effect on what our bank account looks like currently and its  future growth prospects but sometimes we forget that there could be better career paths, work locations, or second jobs that could help us meet our financial resolutions, and sooner.

5. Spread The Word – Publicly committing to your resolutions has been shown to make it easier in accomplishing them, probably since you then feel more responsible for what you committed to. This is quite easy to accomplish with the help of social networks, by starting your own blog, commenting on your Twitter or Facebook account, sending an email to a trusted friend, etc’.

6. Winning The War – When it comes to financial resolutions, having a few bad days usually should not significantly matter to your overall financial state, as long as such days are interspersed among many good ones. You could say it isn’t the battle, but the war that matters; if you are facing a financial assault, get back and fight!

7. Seek Support – Resolutions are not completed mostly when lack of motivation sets in. That is why it is important to get feedback and support from someone you trust. Research shows that having a social support network can be pivotal for accomplishing your personal goals. So join an investment club or ask anyone you know that has knowledge of money management, to provide you the necessary help for adhering to your resolutions.

Because having money represents such an integral part of our daily lives, financial resolutions may appear to be easier to adhere to than other new year resolutions, such as becoming more physically fit. However, the road to prosperity requires, the sometimes elusive, perseverance and, therefore, it is important to apply the above rules for helping you adhere to and carry through your financial new year resolutions.