The Problem with New Year Resolutions
Getting our finances in shape is the usual suspect when it comes to New Year Resolutions alongside doing something about our weight and maybe relationships, depending on how things pan out in that department. New Year Resolutions have become the butt of jokes due to its notorious failure rate. Very few achieve the goals elegantly laid out in many a New Year Resolution. Many have given up altogether without trying to find out while.
You may be wondering what New Year Resolutions go to do with financial independence or a wealth mentality. Many New Year Resolutions involve financial goals, managing your money better, delaying gratification more and starting investing. There is nothing wrong with these goals. They are quite noble. The challenge is in the person making it, is the person ready for the level of commitment required to make it happen? Does the person have the political will to go through with it? That is the question. That is wherein the challenge lies.
A cocaine addict cannot stop cocaine use by just writing down a goal to stop using the drug. He has to change first, and become a non user, before he can stop on the outside. If a cocaine addict tries to stop, he may last for some days before his identity and withdrawal symptoms kick in and he slides back. The change has to start from the inside before it manifests on the outside. Same with a smoker, he has to become a non smoker first. If a smoker tries to stop smoking, he will be counting days and after holding back so long, he will slide back. Same with an alcoholic or any habit you can think of. If you want to climb Mount Everest, you don’t simply buy mountain climbing gear and head out to the Himalayas to start climbing. You have to prepare and keep preparing until you are ready to go. You have to grow your strength and endurance to the level that you have what it takes.
The change has to start from the inside. If the inside remains unchanged, trying to change actions is a fruitless venture doomed for failure. Who you are now will bring your efforts crashing down to reality. You cannot run away from yourself. You have to change first. This is the problem with New Year Resolutions. An unchanged person is setting goals only a changed person can accomplish. The unchanged person will sabotage the goals, no matter how noble they are.
The change has to happen on the inside first. That is where most of the work is, not in how to’s, tips and strategies. You can know how to do something but lack the ability to start and follow through. The internet is awash with how to’s and ‘how to’ sites. There is nothing like an unrealistic goal. What is unrealistic is the disconnect between the goal and the person setting it. What is unrealistic is the commitment of the goal maker to make the inward changes required to achieve that goal. Most of the work is on the inside. That is why it is critical to think new thoughts and create new empowering beliefs to support your goals. That is why it is critical to become a lifelong learner, to never stop reading and to never stop growing. As you keep growing, your capacity to achieve bigger goals grows correspondingly.
Are you really serious about achieving the goals you set out to achieve? Then focus on who you need to become to achieve those goals. Work on you. There is no short cut to success. The folks that have risen to the top are not better than you, they simply know how to focus more on what is really important. Are you tired of unachieved goals and broken dreams? Start working on yourself. Step up you gain. Raise the level of your play, and pretty soon you will move the upper league. Switch from New Year Resolution to New You Resolution. The rest will soon be history.
Usiere Uko is a writer and author of Practical Steps to Financial Freedom and Independence.
He also writes for Punch AM Business, Leadership & Lifestyle and Today’s Lifeline magazines.