The start of a New Year means new beginnings and goals for most of us. It’s an opportunity to take a look at our life and focus on personal improvement – whether it’s our health, our skills, our spare time or the way we spend money.

But as you might have noticed, once the rush of enthusiasm has faded, New Year’s resolutions tend to fall to the wayside. Looking for ways to make your financial resolutions stick? Check out these handy tips.

Be realistic

Promising to be better isn’t always enough. If you want to change the way your finances perform, setting some realistic resolutions might help. The first step towards change is to define what you’re going to do differently.

Take small steps

If you’re planning to save more money this year, it can be a good idea to take it one month at a time. Start by structuring your goals in small steps – and try not to let obstacles distract you from your goal for any longer than necessary.

Create some new habits, give them time

As the old saying goes, “good things come to those who wait.” Also, research found  that (on average) it takes 66 days to break a habit. While making a change is unlikely to happen overnight, staying focused on your goal and giving yourself time to form a habit can be a good way to make your  resolutions stick.

Keep track of your progress

As you move towards your target, it will become important to remember how far you’ve come – especially if you still have a long way to go. Keep track of your ‘wins’ and check in regularly: it’s amazing how much you can achieve over time when you focus.

Reward yourself

Keep yourself on task by creating milestones based on reaching your targets or how long you’ve stuck to your plan. Small rewards needn’t break the bank, but they will give you something to work towards and an opportunity to celebrate how well you’re doing.

Make it easy

As we mentioned, the easiest resolutions to stick to are the ones that are the most realistic. If you’ve never saved before, for example, remember that every dollar counts, and keep aiming at the target.

Be flexible

A set-back doesn’t mean you should throw in the towel; as a matter of fact, you can learn important lessons from it. Plus, being flexible in your resolutions can help you soften the blow: you’ll be able to adapt and carry on.

Recruit a support team

Sometimes, getting the support of our peers can add that extra bit of motivation to your routine. So why not get a trusted friend or family member onboard and tell them what you’re planning to do? They may make it easier to stick to your plans and motivate you along the way.

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