If you are like most people, you probably created a daunting list of monumental accomplishments you’d like to achieve over the next year. However, setting resolutions and keeping them are two different matters. This year, instead of falling into the pattern of setting and breaking financial goals (four out of five people who make New Year’s resolutions break them), I’d like to suggest that you ditch that original list (if you haven't already) and start over. This time, resolve to manage your expectations. Here's how:
-Take it one step at a time. Set a series of smaller goals instead of constantly reaching for that one big accomplishment.
-Make sure your goals are both realistic and flexible. If you set your goals too high, frustration will keep you from keeping them.
-Remind yourself of your goals on a regular basis. At the very least, you should write out your goals and share them with your family. It might also help if you post goal reminders where you will see them every day.
-Celebrate your successes. When you accomplish a goal, allow yourself to feel a moment of pride before setting your sights on the next one.
-Don’t give up. When things don’t go quite as planned, it is tempting to throw in the towel. Instead, understand that minor setbacks are inevitable and should not keep you from moving toward your goal.
-Get and give support. Whether you choose to work with a professional or simply join an online community of like-minded people, it helps to remember that you don’t have to go it alone. Likewise, it can be very rewarding to share your experiences with others.
Finally, once you’ve decided what you are going to accomplish, be confident. A little discipline can help you to enjoy a happy and prosperous New Year.