Tip of the month: How to keep your financial resolutions

When it comes to financial planning, we believe that every good plan begins with well-defined goals. That’s why we are a big proponent of setting financial resolutions at the start of each New Year. However, a study shows that only 58 percent of people maintain their resolutions past one month.

Sure, it can be tough to stay on track, but getting your financial house in order is critical for future success. Below, we offer a few tips that can help readers keep their financial resolutions in check all year long.

Start small. Instead of setting lofty goals like, “Pay off all of my debt,” set smaller, more attainable goals. For example, “Save $1,000 for my emergency fund by August.” This type of goal setting is more realistic, measurable and holds you accountable to a deadline. In addition, smaller goals provide you with a sense of accomplishment once achieved, which can create a snowball effect of wanting to take on other financial objectives.

Ask for help. Working with an advisor or financial mentor is a surefire way to set yourself up for success. Working with the right people can help you determine if a goal is realistic and attainable, and then also help you achieve it. Having someone who can coach you, be your cheerleader and also hold you accountable will be extremely helpful in sticking to those resolutions.

Be flexible. Set a timeline and check in on your progress throughout the year. Life throws us curveballs and it’s OK to readjust your goals if something has changed. It’s always better to amend, rather than to abandon a goal.