How can a resolution for financial wellbeing improve your life this New Year?
Posted on January 02 2018
How many times have your New Year’s resolutions been made only to be given up on one month down the track? If you’ve never actually reached your goal for the year, don’t worry – you’re not alone. Statistics from 2016 show that only 8% of people end up achieving their resolution. In fact, a study of Australian New Year goals reveals that 57% of us break our resolutions within the first six months!
Where are our resolutions going wrong?
I believe that the answer lies in our goal setting. Instead of taking the time to think of a resolution that we need to achieve, we’re pressured into making on the spot decisions (usually brought on by peer pressure to come up with something before the stroke of midnight!).
This leaves us with goals that are too large to accomplish and, as a result, we become disillusioned and give up on our resolution entirely.
The most popular resolution among Australians each year is to improve our health. Usually, our promises for becoming healthier revolve around eating better foods and going to the gym. But what if I told you that resolutions like these are just band-aid solutions, likely to fail before the end of the year?
Think of it this way – you’ve been dealing with chronic back pain for the last six months, so you take painkillers each day to relieve the discomfort. Whilst this alleviates your pain for a while, it doesn’t fix the cause of the problem.
The solution to the above is of course to consult a doctor or specialist and have your back assessed, where you will likely require treatment or have to complete set exercises to fix it. Continuing with this treatment might be a much lengthier process than the quick-fix above, however in time, your back will recover and be pain-free without the need for painkillers.
Setting a New Year’s resolution is a lot like this scenario. By making a spur of the moment resolution that only considers our end goal (i.e. being pain-free), we don't consider the smaller, milestone goals along the way that are essential in getting us there. Without taking these into account, we’ll eventually end up right back to where we started.
It's these milestone goals that we should be aiming to achieve in 2018. After all, taking a small step each day is much easier than trying to take on an overwhelmingly large goal and having no idea where to begin.
So how do we recognise these milestone goals?
Luckily, these are easy to identify as they almost always revolve around a concept that applies to all of us – financial wellbeing.
While it might not seem like it, financial wellbeing affects every aspect of our lives. From paying the everyday bills to being unable to afford that dream holiday, money is part of our lives whether we like it or not. Because of this, taking steps to improve our financial wellbeing will ultimately help us reach our larger goals.
As mentioned earlier, becoming healthier is by far the most popular resolution that is made each year. And when it comes to promoting a healthy lifestyle, we can’t look past stress. A study by WayAhead and comparethemarket.com.au found that 72% of Australians admit that stress affects their physical health, and 64% claim it affects their mental health.
From insomnia to anxiety and depression, there’s no denying the impact that stress can have on our lives. And with financial issues reported as the leading cause of stress in Australians, the best way to improve your health is to work on your financial wellbeing.
If you'd like to better your financial wellbeing, the first step is to improve your relationship with your finances. This means understanding your financial situation so that you're able to make informed decisions when it comes to your money.
Making a New Year's resolution to take time out each week to reflect and map out how and where you spend your money will go a long way towards this. Your goal for 2018 could even be something as small as to place $20 into a separate account every week. It might not seem like much, but by the end of the year you’ll have over $1000 saved up to use in case of emergency, increasing your financial wellbeing and giving you a sense of security in the event that something unexpected happens and leaves you in need of funds.
Think of why your previous New Year’s resolutions have failed and you’ll see that in almost all cases, it was because you were focusing on the broader end result, rather than the little milestone goals that will help you get there.
This January, ditch your typical New Year's resolutions and see how much more you can achieve by improving your financial wellbeing.
If you’d like to know more about how to improve your financial wellbeing or are an employer interested in our Financial Wellness Program, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us today.