As the New Year rolls around, many of us prepare to set resolutions. When it comes to setting goals in the New Year, most always seem so eager. The problem is that the excitement often fizzles out as the year progresses, leaving us to wonder what went wrong and why we couldn’t continue to the end.
In this blog, we answer the question: “Why are most of our resolutions unmet?” and offer practical advice to help you meet your goals in 2024.
Are Australians Setting Goals in the New Year?
Let’s take a look at some of the numbers first. Finder, Australia’s most-visited financial comparison site, found that 73% of Australians, around 14.8 million, have made New Year’s resolutions for 2024.
What’s interesting is that younger people seem to be more into resolutions. For example, a whopping 92% of Gen Z and 83% of Millennials have resolutions, while only about half (52%) of baby boomers do.
Besides resolutions, many Aussies are also focused on money goals this year. An impressive 83% have set financial goals. They’re aiming to save more (54%), spend less (34%), and cut expenses (21%). Some are looking to grow their money by investing more (18%), finding ways to earn more (14%), and building up emergency savings (13%).
Looking at different age groups, it’s clear that Gen Z (94%) and Millennials (91%) lead the pack in setting financial goals compared to 85% of Gen X and 61% of baby boomers. For instance, millennials mostly want to save (60%) and spend less (39%), while Gen Z is focused on saving (57%), spending less (34%), and investing (27%).
These numbers from Finder’s research provide a revealing insight into Australians’ New Year aspirations and financial intentions.
Reasons Why We Don’t Follow Through
With so many Australians already done with their goal-setting in the New Year, why can’t we follow through? Most resolutions start strong but often lose momentum as the initial excitement wanes.
New Year’s resolutions often end up unfulfilled, and it’s a common cycle. Why does this happen, and why aren’t we better at sticking to our resolutions? There are a couple of reasons:
1. We Don’t Start With Changing Our Mindset
Before our actions change, our thoughts and attitudes need to change first. This shift in thinking, or consciousness, lays the groundwork for behavioural changes. It’s like building a house – a solid foundation makes a stronger structure.
If you don’t truly believe in your New Year’s resolutions or your mindset doesn’t align, achieving them becomes tougher.
2. Lack of Accountability
Successful change often needs support. Your New Year’s resolutions will require consistent effort that pushes you beyond your comfort zone. Having someone or something hold you accountable, like a friend, mentor, or tool, helps maintain progress. This external support ensures you stay on track, especially when the initial excitement wanes and things get tough.
3. Fear and Resistance
Sometimes, we’re afraid of setting goals in the New Year. Even if we consciously desire them, internal fears or doubts hold us back. It’s like an invisible force preventing us from moving forward. Overcoming this internal resistance is crucial. If we’re scared or doubtful, achieving the goal becomes much harder.
In a nutshell, successful resolutions need a change in mindset, external support to keep us on track, and addressing any fears or doubts that might hinder progress. By addressing these factors, we can approach setting goals in the New Year more effectively.
What Can You Do to Achieve Your Goals?
So what can you do if you really want to do your goal setting in the New Year and make lasting changes? How do you ensure that you have a good chance of success? Some practical things you can do are:
1. Understand Your Why
Think about why you want to achieve your New Year’s Resolutions. What drives you? Understanding your motivation provides a strong foundation for sustained progress. Doing this changes your mindset, and it’s fuel for your journey towards success.
2. Address Your Fears
Proactively tackle your fears about reaching your goal. Identify what holds you back. Is it self-doubt? Fear of failure? Concern about what others might think? By acknowledging and addressing these fears, you gain more control over them.
3. Believe in Yourself
Work on believing that you deserve the success you’re striving for. Sometimes, we unknowingly hold ourselves back due to feelings of unworthiness. Remind yourself that you are capable and worthy of achieving your New Year’s Resolutions.
Tips to Stick to Your Resolutions
Progress matters more than perfection; each step you take gets you closer to your aspirations. Here are some more practical suggestions on what you can do so you have a better chance of following through with your New Year’s Resolutions.
- Set Clear, Achievable Goals – Define specific, achievable milestones. Break your big goal into smaller, manageable steps. This makes it less overwhelming and easier to track progress.
- Create Accountability – Find a buddy, mentor, or a community to share your goals. Having someone to support and hold you accountable significantly increases your chances of success. If you’re focused on your financial goals, you can use a budgeting tool to help you become more responsible.
- Consistency is Key – Make your goals a part of your routine. Incorporate small actions into your daily or weekly schedule that align with your resolutions. Consistency helps build habits.
- Celebrate Milestones – Acknowledge and celebrate your achievements along the way. Rewarding yourself for hitting smaller goals boosts motivation and keeps you on track.
- Adapt and Learn – Be flexible. If things don’t go as planned, reassess and adapt. Learn from setbacks and adjust your approach. Flexibility is crucial for long-term success.
- Stay Positive and Patient – Change takes time. Be patient with yourself. Stay positive and focus on progress rather than perfection. Embrace the journey towards your goals.
The most important thing we learn from looking at resolutions is that sticking to our goals and having help from others makes a big difference in achieving what we want. Knowing why we want something, dealing with our own doubts, and having someone to support us are key to reaching our goals.
If you need help with money goals like saving or investing for a secure financial future, Help My Wealth is here for you. Our team is committed to helping you, providing support, and plans that fit your needs. Together, we can set practical goals and create a personalised plan that keeps you focused on success. Get in touch with us today!