So, here’s the thing about New Year’s resolutions: they don’t always work out. Whether it’s a new diet, exercise plan, or attempt to become more organized, it’s not always easy to get a huge list of resolutions straightened out. Let us present to you a new idea: just one resolution. You can make the resolution to get your finances in order. This broad scope is not only going to be a huge accomplishment; it also will have a lot of long-term benefits.
The Problem with the Big List
A New Year’s resolution list can operate somewhat like a “To-Do” list, though it’s couched in more goal-achieving language. If you’ve always disliked to-do lists, fear not: Harvard Business Review is on your side. Harvard Business Review did a study on the effectiveness of to-do lists and found that they “don’t work.” Your brain can really only handle seven options before it mentally checks out. When it does check out, you end up ticking off the easy things on the list for a quick dopamine rush, avoiding the bigger projects.
An alternative to this is a different way to set goals: scheduling their completion at a certain time. So, if you choose to get your finances in order, you can schedule appointments with an estate planning attorney or sign up for money-management classes. This way, you avoid the to-do list rut and actually set yourself on a path to success.
What “Finances” to Get in Order
“Get your finances in order” can mean a lot of things. Whether you’re trying to cut spending or pay off bills, financial health involves a lot of different, occasionally unpleasant things. We’d all rather buy a fun gift for ourselves than pay off an overdue bill. However, financial healthiness is a goal that will involve some hard work.
One part of achieving financial health is asset protection, and this doesn’t have to be painful at all. Setting up an estate plan will allow you to decide where you want your assets to go after you die. It also allows you to set up end-of-life and sick care for yourself in the event that you become unwell. Another type of asset protection can involve setting up a trust for loved ones, thereby providing for their financial health too. That’s the beauty of this goal—it helps protect other people as well.
Figure Out What the Issue Is
When it comes to achieving financial health, we usually have to figure out first what the problem is. Luckily, most of us probably have some sense of where the financial health issue is. If you don’t, go look at your bank account. That will tell you what you’ve been spending money on, whether it’s Amazon purchases or other needless spending. This will help you recognize where you need improvement. You can always talk to a financial advisor about getting yourself in check. Remember, this goal is more of a long-term one.
Long- vs. Short-Term Thinking
Just like the common goals of losing weight or eating healthy, achieving financial wellness is one of those goals that isn’t going to have immediate, drastic results right away. Often, you can simply chip away at problems until they become manageable. But that is a good start, in and of itself. Estate planning, especially, is a financial tool that will pay off in the long-term.
Hopefully, we’ve convinced you to give our way a try. Instead of big, exhaustive New Year’s list, which can seem daunting at worst and a throwaway item at best, try just one New Year’s resolution that will have long-term impacts: improving your finances.