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New Year Resolutions

by Nikki Willhite

Well, it's that time of year again. Time to take stock of our lives, set some new goals, and make those often abandoned New Year Resolutions.
 

If you don't set goals, you probably won't reach them.  Goals are important.  So, why is it that New Year resolutions are so often abandoned?

 

Perhaps some goals are just too lofty. Others are not realistic. Sometimes we just don't want it bad enough. However most of the time it is because the goal does not have an action plan attached to it.

 

For instance, if one of your goals is to lose weight next year- just saying you want to do it will probably not work. You need to have an action plan. In this case, you could resolve that for the first 3 months of the new year you will not eat anything after 8:00 in the evening.

 

If you do just this one thing, you will lose weight. If you are able to keep this resolve for 3 months, it will probably become a habit. Therefore, there is no need to commit yourself to a whole year, which would seem overwhelming and probably cause you to get discouraged and quit.

 

Most of us are going to have some kind of a financial goal for next year, whether it is to pay off bills or save money. When you set your goals, get as specific as possible.

 

HERE ARE IDEAS FOR GOALS IN DIFFERENT AREAS:

 

Food

 

- Plan on eating beans once a week
- Plan to eat vegetarian twice a week.
- Have a leftover meal once a week
- Experiment with a new recipe once a week.
- Have a soup meal once a week, using your leftover vegetables.
- Have breakfast once a week for dinner and make your own syrup.

 

Money Management

 

- Put out the piggy bank.
- Call your bank and set up an automatic transfer from your checking account to a savings account each week.
- Buy a savings bond once a month.
- Call your employer and ask them to decrease your exemptions so that your paycheck will be smaller, forcing you to live on less money (and receive a big tax refund). Normally, this  isn't a good idea, but since you can't make any interest in savings accounts right now, it is a good strategy.
 

Shopping

 

- Set up a thrift store or garage sale schedule.
- Set up a coupon and rebate system.
- Set an amount with your spouse and agree that you will never exceed it when purchasing anything without discussing it.
 
 

Leisure

 

- Decide on a money saving hobby you will take up, and set the time aside to pursue it.
- Set your schedule to visit the library weekly and check out books and videos.
- Ask a friend to share babysitting a couple nights each month.
 
 
 
Organization
 
- Choose one hour a week to organize your home and "stuff."
- Choose one day a month to donate to charity.
- Pick a day to put items up for sale on ebay or Amazon.
 
 
 
Finally, Don't think "resolution" when you think about your New Year's Resolution.  Think "idea."  The word resolution is too negative.  You want your idea for next year to improve your life and make it better.  It is fun to take up a new hobby, and you can really getting out once a week with your spouse.
 
 
The end of the year is a good time to review the year and decide if you need to make some changes.  Pick what is most important to you...and just do it.
 
 
 
About the Author: Nikki Willhite, mother of 3 and an interior design graduate, has been writing and publishing articles on the topic of frugal living for over a decade. Visit her at www.frugalhappyfamilies.com - where you will find hundreds of frugal living tips and articles. Frugal Happy Families- more than just money.
 

 

 

 

 

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