Align New Year Resolutions With Your Financial Values
THE dawn of a new year psychologically represents a fresh slate to set and pursue our goals anew. We often feel pressured by well-wishing family, friends and co-workers to make new year’s resolutions to which we reply with traditional picks like Achieving better health, pursuing continued learning and personal development or improving time management. However, various studies and anecdotal observations reveal that these resolutions typically fizzle out before the end of the year. According to data published by Forbes, 75 per cent of resolutions last less than six months, suggesting that we are three times more likely to give up on our resolutions than follow through. Often we see these resolutions merely as agents of personal growth and overlook their importance in aligning with our values, including our financial values. However, experts agree that resolutions often fail because instead of aligning our resolutions to our values we focus on a specific outcome. So what if instead of just shedding a few pounds, we also see it as shedding a few thousand dollars off our future medical bills? Or instead of just enriching our minds, we also see the opportunity to enrich our earnings potential? With such low success rates on new year’s resolutions, perhaps seeing the additional financial benefits of staying on track will be just the extra motivation needed to hit our 2024 personal goals. With that in mind, let’s explore some of the traditional new year’s resolutions and their potential financial benefits.
Resolution 1: Health and Fitness
We are familiar with the typical health and fitness resolutions that kick into high gear in January but become non-existent by February. Although these fitness resolutions envision a better version of ourselves, why not shift our perspective to align with our financial values? By committing to a healthier lifestyle, not only do we enhance our well-being, but we also align with our financial values. Consider this: Each step taken and each nutritious meal consumed will bring us closer to our financial goals. By prioritising health and fitness, we can significantly secure personal financial targets. A commitment to regular exercise and a nutritious diet promotes physical health and impacts your financial bottom line. This is because a focus on health and fitness often translates into reduced healthcare costs and potentially lower insurance premiums. Engaging in preventive health measures through regular exercise and a balanced diet lowers the risk of chronic illnesses, thereby minimising medical expenses. The money saved on health care can be redirected toward savings or investments, accelerating the growth of one’s financial portfolio. Additionally, improved physical well-being can lead to increased productivity and performance in the professional realm, opening doors to career advancements, salary raises, or new or more successful entrepreneurial opportunities. Thus, the symbiotic relationship between health and wealth allows us to cultivate a robust foundation for financial success, while simultaneously fostering a healthier, more fulfilling life.
Resolution 2: Continued Learning and Personal Development:
Continued learning is one resolution I renew every year as it remains one of my all-time personal commitments – anything learnt is yours forever to use as you see fit. Continuous learning is a dynamic strategy that enriches personal knowledge and has the potential to contribute to wealth-building significantly. By acquiring new skills and staying abreast of industry trends, we can position ourselves as valuable assets in the job market. Furthermore, continuous learning fosters adaptability in a rapidly evolving world. For example, in industries dominated by technological advancements or other rapid developments, staying current with the latest developments ensures that we remain competitive and can identify opportunities as they emerge. Whether it is mastering a new programming language, understanding financial markets, or acquiring digital marketing skills, the ability to adapt and apply newfound knowledge positions us to capitalise on evolving trends and navigate changes in the economic landscape. Continuous learning, therefore, serves as a strategic investment in personal growth and professional development, creating a pathway for us to seize wealth-building opportunities in an ever-changing global economy.
Resolution 3: Time Management
Effective time management is crucial for productivity and success, but several common factors can hinder this process. Procrastination, doomscrolling, and lack of prioritisation are some common time and productivity killers. If one should take stock daily of how our time is spent, it would become more apparent that a significant portion is used on unplanned and unoptimised activities that could be otherwise channelled more productively. Effective time management can lead to increased productivity, freeing up time for wealth-building activities. One such activity is spending time to assess, plan and execute our financial roadmap. By allocating time intentionally to financial planning, we can create a structured approach to budgeting, investing, and monitoring our financial progress. Setting aside dedicated periods for activities such as reviewing expenses, researching investment opportunities, or updating financial goals enables a more strategic and proactive stance toward wealth-building. Efficient time management ensures that crucial financial tasks are not relegated to the background. It instead fosters a disciplined and consistent approach that is essential for achieving long-term financial objectives. As the adage goes, time is money; therefore, as we maximise our time during the year, let’s recognise that disciplined time management isn’t just about productivity but also about channelling our efforts into wealth-building activities.
As we usher in 2024, let us not merely articulate our resolutions, but also integrate them into our financial values.