Be Your Best Financial Self!

Be Your Best Financial Self This Year! [Printable PDF]

It’s the end of the year. And while you are enjoying the holiday binging and merriment, it’s likely that you are also reflecting on 2015 and thinking about what would make 2016 even better (even if it’s only in the very back of your mind). Maybe you’re making resolutions – to lose weight, spend time with family, fix your finances.

That’s great, because making a resolution is powerful! Research finds that people who make resolutions are up to ten times more likely to attain their goals than those who don’t explicitly make a resolution to change. But exactly what should you think about in order to make 2016 the best year yet? We’ve culled through the research and identified four key things that you can do, right now, to be your best self in 2016.

  • Ask yourself: Are you living “on purpose”?

This year, reimagine your relationship with time. Focus on fulfilling time, not just filling time. To do that, make sure your actions are in line with your purpose. Are your resolutions for change in line with your gifts, passions and values? Often we go right to thinking about the HOW of personal change without thinking about WHY we want to improve. Filling out our worksheet on Values and Goals, or creating your own purpose statement, will help you focus on fulfilling time, not just filling time in 2016. Remind yourself of your purpose, values, and goals to keep your habits in line.

  • Make a Can-Do v. Want-To List 

List the things you do everyday, or look at a week’s worth of activities. Divide them up into two lists: Can-Do Activities and Want-To Activities. There are plenty of things you can do with your time that perhaps you have to do, but don’t particularly enjoy. There are other activities you want to do. Do you have the right mix of Can-Do Activities and Want-To Activities? Can you take away one Can-Do Activity and replace it with a Want-To Activity? Or can you reframe one Can-Do Activity and think of it in a new way that makes it a Want-To Activity?

  • Celebrate the Small Victories

In Christine’s house, they call the ‘incremental victories.’ Don’t wait until you’ve completed a long to-do list to be happy, but rather, try to cheer for each small step along the way. Did you submit a draft of something? Great. Did you organize one drawer? Wonderful. Did you get all the kids fed and to bed? Fantastic. The draft might have been due yesterday, the goal might have been to clean out the whole dresser but then the baby woke up, and you might not have had time for baths before lights-out, but hey, good enough is sometimes worth celebrating.

  • Buy Happiness

Research finds that you can buy happiness—if you know how to spend your money. This year, focus on buying experiences (vacations, exercise classes) not things — you’ll build memories that will boost your wellbeing for longer. And abundance is the enemy of appreciation: Instead of buying a latte every morning, make it a treat once a week. You’ll save money and enjoy it more when you are drinking it. Check out our checklist on how to have Happ(ier) Money for more information on this topic.

Check out our checklist Making a Financial Resolution this Season? for more tips on making and keeping your resolutions this year.