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This Year’s Resolution: More Realistic New Year’s Resolutions

by Jeremy Holcombe

It is that time again: the year is ending, and there are precious few days left. Many of us are putting together lists of things we want to change, or things we want to achieve, for the upcoming year. This list is fondly known as your “New Year’s Resolutions,” and it contains all sorts of great stuff you want to do in the upcoming year.

There is nothing wrong with making New Year’s resolutions. Whether it is for your health, wellness, financial situation, or personal goals, starting things fresh is something that we often strive for when a new year comes around.

The problem with New Year’s resolutions is that they can be impossible to achieve, especially if you aim too high. Many of us make New Year’s resolutions, follow them for three weeks, then give up. This can be particularly true with resolutions that involve eating differently or exercising more often.

Some of the most common New Year’s resolutions include:

  • Exercise More
  • Eat Better
  • Quit Smoking
  • Quit Drinking
  • Lose Weight
  • Change Jobs
  • Change Attitude
  • Be Financially Responsible

Many of these are very achievable, and several of them run into one another — ie “exercising more and quitting smoking” go hand-in-hand. However, the mistake we make is devising New Year’s resolutions that are unrealistic.

When you are making your list for the upcoming new year, take your time to go over and see what things you really have a chance at achieving and what things you may not. For example, if you want to make a run at quitting smoking, this can be done with some heart and dedication. However, if #1 on your New Year’s resolution list is paying off all your bills in one year and you are in the hole $50,000, then this is more than likely a very unrealistic goal. It isn’t to say it can’t be done, but in a year’s time… probably not.

Making unrealistic New Year’s resolutions only sets you back further mentally, as it makes you feel you haven’t achieved anything. Start off with something more realistic and make sure you achieve that first. If you want to pay off all your bills go for it. However, if you are in such a big financial hole that you know it will not be possible to pay down all your debt in a year’s time, then set up something more achievable and realistic up (try doing it in three years).

A New Year is upon us, and with it brings the chance for us to have a clean slate and start fresh. Make sure you set realistic goals when writing out your New Year’s resolution list. Once you achieve some things you will start to realize that anything is possible. Here is to a prosperous New Year for all. Happy New Year!

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