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Making your 2018 financial dreams come true

Maya Hayakawa

New year, New me is probably the most common catch phrase in the turn of a calendar. Turning a new leaf with a new year is powerful, as it signifies to many a reset button, and a chance to set some goals that will improve ones financial standing. It is a chance to create new life for oneself.

A chance to become a better version of oneself. A chance to put into action the dreams one has always had. There is just one catch. How do we actually execute these and make our financial goals come true? We start off the year, pumped up, energised, motivated and determined.

One month, two months and even three months down the lane, reality starts to set in, with challenges and road blocks along the way, chipping off the high motivation we started in January. According to some reports, up to 80 per cent of people who make New Year’s resolutions fail to keep them. You can instead change the pattern and make all your financial dreams come true with these simple steps.

Bite-size goals

What are your financial goals? Is it to save more or spend less? Perhaps your financial goal is to get rid of debt? Or maybe you want to own a home, or buy the car of your dreams. Yes, it is important to dream big, but be careful that these goals do not feel too big and seem too overwhelming for you to accomplish.

Set the bigger picture in your mind, and break down this dream into small sizeable bits that you feel you are able to accomplish. You want to make sure that you apply SMART goals here. These are goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound.

When you break down these large goals into smaller sizeable steps, you are more likely to follow it through to the end and eventually achieve whatever you are setting out to do so. This is because with each smaller milestone achieved, you gain a bit more confidence and motivation to move on to the next step. Be flexible Remember that nothing is cast in stone. Circumstances, situations and priorities even change throughout the year.

Be sure to be flexible enough to adjust and see if you need to either re-evaluate your goals, or re-strategise on how you set out to achieve them. If you fail at some point, or are not getting the results as fast as you want, avoid beating yourself up.

Allow room for mistakes to be made because you learn through these mistakes. Pick yourself back up, take note of what you have learned, and get back on track.

What is most important is that you are every day, taking little changes which eventually when you look back will lead to big results. Remember progress is still progress no matter how slow, and so celebrate every step made as you go along.

Be accountable

Find a way that you can hold yourself accountable through friends, family and even a financial advisor if need be. Getting this external support might be exactly what you need to stay on track, and remind you of the path you are on to financial freedom.

Find some individuals who you trust enough to share your goals with, and share your progress every time you take a step closer towards your goal. If you are wondering how such a small step can make such a big difference, it is worth noting that psychologists have shown that a professional for hire, a friend or religious leader can help people reinforce their committments.

Lasting change comes from within

It is important to remind yourself every now and then of what motivated you in the first place to make the changes you want in your life. When you are caught in all the challenges that are sure to creep up, it is easy to give up, and it is easy to forget why you wanted to make all of these changes.

The conversations you have with yourself are most important, because the thoughts that you have will determine your feelings and therefore will influence largely the actions that you will take. Ultimately, it is you who has the power to make the changes, and any external motivations will eventually fade way.

Be strong in reminding yourself of how capable you are, and what positive qualities you have that will help you accomplish your goal. The words you feed your mind will either feed your self-confidence or self-doubt so choose your thoughts wisely.

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