Health and prosperity have long been the basis for New Year’s resolutions. Never more so during a global pandemic!

Unfortunately, once we are back into our daily routines, life gets in the way and our resolutions are often discarded. Possibly because we were too ambitious, but more often than not because we didn’t commit to a plan and apply the necessary effort to changing ingrained habits.

There is nothing quite as satisfying, though, as achieving one of our resolutions. Reflect on the last one you achieved. How did you do it? Why was it achieved, over others? What plan did you make? How did you execute it?

As the saying goes, repeating the same thing over and hoping for a different result is the definition of insanity. So identify clear goals, break their execution down into monthly and weekly steps and commit.

Here are some ideas:

  • Goals:

    Write down what you want to achieve. Make different columns for your goals: you can have basic ones such as ‘eliminate credit cards’ and bigger dreams such as ‘buy an investment property’. Write them down, be realistic and if you have a partner, make sure both of you agree on them.

  • Plan:

    A year gives you plenty of time to plan to reach your goals, but if you don’t make a plan now, chances are you will be making the same goals next year. For each goal, break its achievement into weekly, monthly and quarterly steps. Many small steps add up to big achievements.

  • Discipline:

    You can’t achieve change without hard work. So acknowledge the effort required and commit early.

  • Weed out:

    Throw out the goals you won’t follow through on and don’t sabotage yourself from the outset – if you know you won’t go to the gym every day, change it to something you will do.

  • Prioritise debt reduction:

    Achieving most financial goals involves saving of some sort, but remember if the expected return from investment of the savings is less than the interest rate of your most expensive debt (credit cards, car loans), consider paying off the debt first.

  • Use the market:

    The market for mortgages and other financial services is increasingly competitive. You can save a lot of money simply by asking your broker or adviser to check the market each year. For example: on a $300,000 25-year mortgage, negotiating your rate from 3.5% to 2.95% will save you approximately $25,000 over the life of the loan.

  • Review your personal insurance needs:

    As you move through your career and life, your personal insurance needs will change. Give some thought to how your family has grown, if your job has changed, have you acquired any additional assets. If so, compare what level of cover you need to what you already have.

  • Advice:

    Acknowledge you can’t know everything, and take expert advice early – not just when you’re in trouble. A financial adviser will significantly improve your chances of success.

Start your plan today and make 2021 a healthy and prosperous year for you and your family.

Campbell Korff.

Start your plan today and make 2021 a healthy and prosperous year for you and your family.

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