How to Plan Ahead for the New Year

Jan 4, 2022

As New Year comes to an end, many of us are doing some new year planning. There might be projects to tackle or new year’s resolutions to strive for. It’s finally time to work off the holiday pounds or get back into reading.

But keeping to new year’s resolutions or goals isn’t always easy. Eighty percent of people don’t follow through on their new year’s resolutions. Failure is commonly due to poor plans — i.e., it’s unclear what the resolution was, or the expectations were too high.

Let’s stop these failures together. This article discusses methods to set the proper goals for 2022. It also provides a few ideas for new year’s resolutions.

How to set goals for the new year

1. Use SMART goals

SMART goals may be a term you heard in school or at a team-building conference. It stands for a goal that’s Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely. Ensuring that your goals fit these five criteria can improve your chances of success.

For example, a SMART goal may be to go to the gym three times per week starting next week. This goal is specific. It’s measurable because it measures how often you go, it’s achievable at three times per week, it’s relevant if the bigger picture is to lose weight, and it’s timely because you plan to start next week.

In contrast, a goal that doesn’t follow the SMART format is just to lose weight. You could lose weight through exercise, eating healthier, or combining the two. How are you planning to lose weight? There’s also no measurement or timeline to this goal. As a result, the chances of success are not as high.

2. Create habits

A lot of new year’s goals relate to forming or breaking habits. Regularly going to the gym is an example. Other habit formation goals could be reading more, eating healthier, or checking social media less often.

If you want to form a habit, a good first step is decreasing the habit barriers. For example, you can pack your gym clothes and other equipment the night before to make it easier to hit the gym in the morning. This way, you avoid the hassle of packing before you head out.

If you want to break a habit, start by analyzing the cue, routine, and reward. Your bad habit or routine might be checking Instagram all the time. A cue to check Instagram is whenever you feel bored, and by checking Instagram, you feel less bored — the reward.

You can break this habit by finding another routine whenever you’re bored. Instead of checking Instagram at the cue of boredom, you can call a friend instead.

3. Let yourself make mistakes

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. If you don’t make it to the gym for a week or you fall out of your reading routine, it’s not time to give up. Understand that you’ll make mistakes, but it’s vital to get up and continue crushing your goals.

New Year’s resolutions to consider

1. Set financial goals

There are numerous goals to strive for in the personal finance realm. It could involve saving more money or investing.

Some specific ideas include:

  • Adding to or starting an emergency fund: It’s ideal to have three-to-six months worth of income in an easily accessible savings account in case of emergencies. This can accommodate scenarios such as losing your job, a broken heater, or a failed car engine.
  • Learning to invest: There is a wealth of resources out there to learn to invest. It’s important to understand how to invest wisely so that you’re not just following the latest hype. The proper financial instruments can help you grow your wealth long term.
  • Reviewing and budgeting your expenses: You might have months where you don’t understand where your money goes. Reviewing your expenses can reveal the money sinks that prevent you from saving more. For example, after a review, you might realize that going regularly to the nearby burrito spot is costing you hundreds per month!

2. Start a business

Ever had that online store idea at the back of your mind? Or maybe you want to start a side hustle doing graphic design or personal training. It’s easier than ever to start a business in 2022.

A business venture is a great way to get into something you’re passionate about or to create a bit of extra income outside of your day-to-day job.

However, remember that starting a business comes with risks. Whatever the venture, someone could sue you for negligent services. That’s why it’s essential to consider a good business insurance plan once your side hustle is up-and-running.

3. Review your insurance

Reviewing your insurance is like decluttering for a specific part of your life. Your insurance policies don’t necessarily keep up as your life circumstances change. That’s why it’s vital to review and update your insurance regularly.

For example, suppose you added a pool to your backyard. While it’s exciting to have this new addition to your home, it’s also a crucial time to check your home insurance. Your pool may add unknown risks to your property that your policy doesn’t accommodate. This leaves you vulnerable in unfortunate circumstances.

Other events such as a child moving out for college, quitting smoking, or changing vehicles are all reasons to call your insurer. This ensures you have the best coverage for your situation, and you might even lower your premiums.

New year’s resolutions are not always easy goals to accomplish. They require discipline and structure. Using SMART goals is one way to get you closer to success. And if you mess up, it’s vital not to give up. Continue striving for your goals no matter what!

Written by: APOLLO Magazine

Share this article on social media