The year we have all been waiting for is here. It is 2020 and like many people, you have great expectations for the new decade. To ensure that you realize your goals, it is important that you kick off the new decade in the right way. At the beginning of each year, it is not unusual to find people setting goals to engage in activities to improve their fitness. People make plans to jog each morning, take evening walks, get a gym membership or buy a skipping rope.
Regardless of the activity you elect to achieve your fitness goal, it will have associated financial implications. This highlights the fact that we cannot develop other aspects of our lives without paying attention to our finances. So for this year, as we get fit physically, we will also engage in activities that will also get our finances in shape.
Here are a few tips that will get you ready to get in shape financially:
- Assess Your Habits
Our financial progress is mostly driven by our spending habits. Sometimes you plan to do so much in a year; grow my savings, buy a house and many other great things. However, you realize in the course of the year that you have falling behind on your goals. It is because you may not have assessed your spending habits before setting your goals and those habits become a stumbling block.
- Set Financial Goals
Have goals? What financial goals do you want to achieve this year. It is very difficult to manage your resources effectively and efficiently without setting smart goals. Ensure that your financial goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time bound.
- Have An Action Plan
Do not just end with goals, what is the course of action? What will you do to achieve your goals or what will you do differently this year to achieve those goals. Remember that your resources are scarce and human needs are insatiable. You need to tell your money where it should go by budgeting. Otherwise your money will dictate to you where it wishes to go and you will find yourself behind schedule.
- Just Do It
The common saying “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” is very relevant to this point. Open that account. Get an automated payment instruction. Talk to a financial advisor. Whatever the first step is, regardless of how insignificant, just do it. You will be surprised at how far you will go from there.
- Seek Professional Advice
Before making a major financial decision, ensure that you speak to a financial advisor. It may be free or it may cost you a little. However, it can cost you much more if you do not get that professional perspective.
- Celebrate The Wins
Regardless of how small, ensure that you recognize the progress that you are making. Remember that you are better off than not taking action at all. The wins will keep you motivated to keep running.
- Use the Buddy System
Find a person in your circle who can hold you accountable for the goals you have set. This could be a trusted friend, mentor, colleague or relative. You can also join a group of likeminded people to keep you motivated.
- Set Checkpoints
Take time to do regular reviews of your progress. This will give you an idea of how far you have come to achieving your goals. With this information, you will be able to make necessary changes if you are lagging behind or you will be encouraged to keep pushing if you have overachieved.
So there you have it, the 8 keys to ensure that you get in shape financially to realize all the great things this decade has in store for you. Before you set here are a few quick questions to ask yourself:
- Have you set any financial goals?
- Do you have a planned budget for the year?
- What percentage of your income are you able to save?
How much have you invested (financial asset, real asset etc.)?