So How About Those Resolutions?
Every year around this time in January, any hope of hanging on to a New Year’s resolution has pretty much diminished. That’s if you can even remember what your New Year’s resolution was. This past Monday is known as Blue Monday – the most depressing day of the year. The holidays are over, most of the US is deep into winter, and New Year’s resolutions have fallen by the wayside. The gym is less crowded than it was a few weeks ago. The weight loss group meetings are not standing-room only anymore. And we slide back into old habits, choosing to settle back into our old routine of vegging out on the couch watching NetFlix.
It was exactly six years ago this week that I had my transformation moment that propelled me into my debt free journey. Apparently I didn’t get the memo about needing to be depressed and unmotivated. I was visiting my grandparents to help them out after my grandfather had had some knee surgery. Watching my grandmother balance her checkbook and reflecting on all the struggles she and my grandfather had faced when leaving Cuba for the US was the catalyst for my debt free journey. In fact, it was during a time of calm and peace after the hype of New Years that I was able to tune into my real desires to turn around my financial life.
I am grateful that it wasn’t a New Years resolution to change my financial situation that year because I probably would have given up within the first two weeks of the month. The emotional high of the new year would have worn off and I would have returned to my old habits, just like any other year from the past. In fact, I think the greatest impact for change is deciding to make that change is when there are no outside arbitrary pressures like a new year driving it. It needs to come from within, a true internal desire, in order for the change to be lasting. It is learning to be reflective and to observe and to listen to all that is going around you to know what is really weighing on your heart and mind.
Just because you may have fallen behind on your financial New Years resolution does not mean that you have to give up. If you had plans to start budgeting or making a plan to pay off debt, there is still 346 days to carry out that plan in 2016 (bonus day with the Leap Year!). Each day is the opportunity to reinvent yourself and to become more like the person you want to be. So start today. Start with tracking your spending. Start creating a budget for February. Make a plan to get out of debt. Start investing for your future. You now have the time to think clearly about the financial goals you want for yourself without the pressure of New Years resolutions so start today!