This Is the Best Way to Make Sure You Stick to Your 2022 Financial Resolutions

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You don't have to give up on your financial resolutions.

Key points

  • Setting financial goals is only worthwhile if you stick to them.
  • Certain techniques, like finding an accountability buddy and tracking your progress, can maximize your chances of success.
  • Making the right plans early can help you avoid giving up along the way.

Many people set financial resolutions, but unfortunately not everyone sticks to the goals they've set for themselves at the start of the year.

If you want to end 2022 with your resolutions accomplished and your financial situation improved, there are a few key steps to take to make sure your resolutions become a reality.

1. Make sure your goals are SMART

Setting SMART goals is a proven approach to maximizing your chances of success. "SMART" is an acronym that stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-limited

This means you should know exactly what your goals are, have a method for measuring if you're on track, and are setting realistic goals you can actually accomplish. The goals should also be something you care about and you should have a specific deadline for achieving them.

If you make sure your resolutions meet all these criteria, you'll know exactly what to do and can easily see if you're on track or need to make changes as the year progresses. This makes the chances of success a lot higher than if you simply have a vague goal you want to accomplish but don't have any specific roadmap for how you're going to achieve it.

2. Find an accountability buddy

When you are working with a buddy, you're less likely to abandon your efforts to achieve your goals. And working on accomplishing them also becomes more fun. After all, you'll feel like you're in it together and you're not likely to want to disappoint your accountability buddy.

Find a friend or ask a loved one to be your accountability buddy. You can each share your resolutions -- financial or otherwise -- and schedule a specific time each week or each month to check in on your progress.

When you know you have to report to someone else about your efforts, you're much more likely to stick with your plan so you'll have something positive to share.

3. Track your progress throughout the year

Keeping regular track of your progress is important to staying motivated. If you have a measurable goal and you know what you must do each month to stay on track to accomplish it, you'll find out right away if you're likely to fall short of fulfilling your resolution. This way, you can change course -- such as by reworking your budget.

Tracking your progress also helps you stay excited about accomplishing your goals, even months after you've made your resolutions. If you want to pay off credit card debt, for example, seeing your balance go down month after month can make all of the sacrifices worth it.

If you've set financial resolutions for yourself for 2022, obviously you have defined some things you want to accomplish -- and it's worth making the effort to maximize your chances of success. Work on accomplishing these three steps ASAP, and hopefully you'll be able to declare your resolutions a success by the time 2023 rolls around.

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