New Year’s Resolutions – Tips for Success
2021 proved to be another challenging year for many Australians, however, with the Christmas festivities behind us new year’s resolutions are usually not far from everyone’s mind for an optimistic 2022. It’s also a time to reflect on what the New Year may bring.
Should you set new year’s resolutions?
A Finder survey of 1,004 Australians revealed that 83% of respondents had set a new year’s resolution for 2021.Over half the adult population (51%) are hoping to lose the extra pounds gained during lockdown, with improved fitness and weight loss topping the list of new year goals.
Also, more than 1 in 3 people (38%) are vowing to eat better. This mirrors a recent CSIRO study in which 39% of Australians admitted to gaining weight during the pandemic.
Setting goals can be a useful way of feeling more in control of things and clarifying areas of your life that you want to focus on. Goal setting can also give you a sense of purpose and be motivating especially if your goals are SMART i.e. specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timebound. If that seems a little daunting, simply write your goals down and keep them somewhere handy so that you can refer to them regularly. Most importantly – keep it simple.
Here are a few tips on how to get started.
Set goals for the year
What are you hoping to achieve in 2022?
- Visit your dream destination? Now that international borders are starting to open you can turn those dreams into a reality.
- Start training for a new career?
- Improve your health and fitness?
- Get married or start a family?
- Start that investment or savings plan?
It helps to put some structure around your goals to make them more achievable. Once you’ve drawn up your list of goals, be sure to set yourself targets and milestones to reach throughout the year to keep you on track.
According to Forbes Magazine goals should be Approach-Oriented. This means goals should be framed in a positive way rather than being avoidance-oriented e.g. I will avoid being late. Approach-oriented goals are linked to long-term success.
Draw up a budget
When you’ve worked out your personal goals, you can draw up a budget to help make them happen. Make sure you’re realistic about your expenses, and what you’re willing to give up in order to meet your goals. Once you have your budget set, the most important thing to do is stick to it! It is always helpful, to compare your current products to see if you can save on things like Car, Home or Life insurance.
ASIC’s MoneySmart budget planner can help you set up your budget and track your spending.
Lock in your holidays and look after your health
Looking after yourself throughout a busy working year is essential. Lock in your holidays in advance, so you can budget for them and make sure you’re getting enough rest and relaxation.
Maintaining a healthy work life balance should also be at the top of your list for the New Year to keep stress at bay and promote mental wellbeing.
List any pitfalls
Planning ahead is always a good idea but even with the best intentions we can fail in meeting our goals due to unexpected events. So it’s important to list any potential pitfalls or barriers that might derail you achieving success. Sometimes it can be easier to break larger, longer-term goals into smaller steps.
Staying on track can be hard. Some people find that having a buddy to report progress to helps them stay motivated. Other techniques include using visual tools such as lists, spreadsheet or whiteboard to track your progress.
Take out adequate protection
Whether you’re single, married, with a long term partner or about to start a family, it’s important to help safeguard your finances while you’re working to meet your goals. One way you can do this is by taking out life insurance.
If you already have Life insurance and Income Protection, the New Year is a good time to review your level of cover so you can consider whether it is adequate to help cover things like your mortgage if you pass away unexpectedly, or your major cost of living expenses if you’re injured and unable to work for a while.
If you don’t have cover, there are a number of websites such as ASIC’s MoneySmart which provide details of what to look for when considering taking out cover. MoneySmart also provides information on the different types of life insurance products available. If you’re not sure how much cover you might need, you can use NobleOak’s award-winning Life Insurance calculator. It only takes 5 to 10 minutes to complete and you’ll be sent a free report which you can use as a tool to help you think about how much cover you may need. You can get a Life insurance Quote by clicking here.
Remember, that having adequate Life insurance products can help reduce stress by giving you peace of mind that your family and lifestyle will have a degree of financial protection in place should something unexpected happen.