Happy New Year! As we put the past year behind us and look to the future, it's a typical time for people to start the year with some financial resolutions. For some their focus will be on getting rid of debt. Others will have savings goals. Some people just need to know more about their investments. Many people need to control their spending through budgets. Whatever your goals or resolutions are, the key to success comes from getting it done. As a result, I offer you some key principles to getting your resolutions implemented.
Principles of Implementation
But before I get there, recognize five universal principles of implementing your resolutions. These are principles in my life that I try to live by.
- Find Focus and simplicity– The great late Jim Rohn, profoundly said “There are half a dozen things that make 80% of the difference in anything you do. Focus on those half a dozen things as they will make most of the difference.” Far too many people spend too much time on the 20% that has little impact on the outcome. To find focus, you need to set some goals and stay focused on those goals! There's something to be said about keeping it simple!
- Change your lifestyle – Far too often change is temporary. You see this in the gyms right after the new year. They get really busy for the first couple of months and then things start to slow down again because too many people go back to their old habits. To be successful over the long haul, you must make everlasting changes and the only way you can do that is to change your habits. Steven Covey says it take 21 days to change a habit. In my opinion, it takes 21 months to forever change your financial habits.
- Just do it – Nike said it best. You see, I am in the information business. I provide lots of great ideas but ideas are just ideas. The best ideas in the world are the ones that are put to work. They are the implemented ideas. You are better to do and fail then to not do anything at all. And if we think back to point number 1, you are likely to be more successful by doing fewer things that are important and do them well than trying to do too many things poorly. You can have all the information in the world but if you don't do anything with that information, what good is it?
- Take responsibility – The hardest thing to do is to recognize that you are responsible for where you are today. It's much easier to blame other people or circumstances but remember, you hold a considerable power. When you do hold yourself accountable, the good news it the future is yours to change! Stop making excuses, stop whining, stop blaming. Get focused on the things you need to do to change and improve and get started. If it help you, find a friend to keep you accountable. Or get and advisor to keep you on track.
- Stay Disciplined – Life is busy and full of temptations to take us off course. The key firstly is to have a course or a plan or a road map. Once you have the plan, then the motivation to get started, you need the will power to keep it up until it becomes a habit.
So before you start your new years resolutions, are you ready to commit to these 5 keys to success?