A man walks into a gym on January 1st, bursting with enthusiasm. He tells the trainer, “I’m here to fulfill my New Year’s resolution: Go to the gym daily, lose some pounds, and add a drop of muscle!” He adds, “If I quit, I’ll pay you $100.” Impressed by his determination, the trainer gets him started on a rigorous routine. Two weeks later, the man appears, looking a lot less enthusiastic. The trainer asks, “How’s it going?” The man replies, “Well, I’ve decided to adjust my resolution. Now, my commitment is to come to the gym every day and just wave to you. I figure I’m losing pounds of guilt and gaining muscle in my waving arm. It’s much more sustainable, and I won’t have to pay you a hundred bucks. So I am actually making money, which was also one of my financial resolutions!”
If you didn’t know, National Quitters Day was celebrated this past week. Quitters Day typically falls in mid-January and marks the point where the passion for New Year’s resolutions starts to wane. It is the metaphorical wall we hit when the initial enthusiasm for goals, such as saving more money, paying off debt, or investing, clashes with the reality of our daily lives. Here are some tips I have shared with clients to keep their financial resolutions alive…
Set Realistic and Specific Goals: Instead of aiming to “save a lot of money,” define what that means for you. Maybe it’s saving $100 more each month or cutting down on specific unnecessary expenses. By setting achievable and clear targets, you can measure your progress and stay motivated.
Create a Budget and Stick to It: A budget is a roadmap for your financial journey. By knowing where your money is going, you can make informed decisions about where to cut back and how to allocate your savings more effectively.
Track Your Progress: Whether it’s through a spreadsheet, an app, or a journal, keeping track of your financial journey can provide a sense of accomplishment. Celebrate small milestones, like paying off a percentage of your debt or reaching a savings goal.
Automate Your Finances: Automation can be a powerful tool. Setting up automatic transfers to your savings account or automatic bill payments can help you stay on track without having to think about it every day.
Educate Yourself: The more you know about personal finance, the better equipped you’ll be to make smart decisions. Read books, follow financial blogs, or even consider talking to a financial advisor.
Find a Support System: Share your goals with friends or family members who can offer support and accountability. Sometimes, just knowing someone else is aware of your goals can increase your commitment to them.
Adjust as Necessary: Life is unpredictable, and your financial situation can change. Be flexible and willing to adjust your goals as needed. There’s no shame in modifying your objectives to better fit your current circumstances.
Remember the ‘Why’: Remind yourself why you set these resolutions in the first place. Whether it’s to be debt-free, save for a house, or just have a financial cushion, keeping the end goal in mind can be a powerful motivator.
Quitters Day is not just a day; it’s a reminder of the challenges we face in maintaining long-term goals. Understanding why resolutions fail and implementing strategies to overcome these obstacles can turn your financial aspirations into achievements. Remember, the journey to financial stability is a marathon, not a sprint. With perseverance, a well-thought-out plan, and some grit, you can stay on track for a financially healthy year.
Shoutout to Meir Sabo and birthday wishes to Shimon Betesh, Allan Cooper, Jessica Kahane, Dena Kaye, Dr. Adena Goldman, Tamir Goodman, Duvi Honig, Shaina Joyandeh,, Josh Krug, Ariella Lasky, Adina Lederer, Eli Lipner, Dr. Shulamis Pollak Matthew Racer, Nikki Sausen, Yael Schulhof, Rivka Silverman, Dr. Steve Seidel, Sara Walzman, and Kobi Zaken
Shmuel Shayowitz (NMLS#19871) is a highly regarded Real Estate & Finance Executive, Writer, Speaker, Coach, and Advisor. He is President and Chief Lending Officer of Approved Funding, a privately held national mortgage banker and direct lender. Shmuel has over twenty years of industry experience, holding numerous licenses and accreditations, including certified mortgage underwriter, licensed real estate agent, residential review appraiser, and accredited investor, to name a few. Shmuel has successfully navigated through many changing markets and business landscapes, making his market insights and experience well-coveted within the real estate industry. He can be reached via email at [email protected].