On the hunt for a New Year’s resolution you’ll actually keep? A new study has a suggestion for you: saving money.
It might sound counterintuitive — after all, we’re in holiday season, and our wish lists keep getting longer and longer. But the best-kept resolutions have an action plan, and it turns out saving money is an easier plan to stick to than most.
The study was done by Fidelity Investments, who found that 56% of people who had made a money-related New Year’s Resolution last year said their finances had improved. That’s good news for the 37% of survey respondents planning on saving even more money next year.
What is it that makes money-related resolutions so much easier to achieve than other goals?
“Financial resolutions are actually relatively easy to achieve,” Fidelity’s John Sweeney told Money Magazine. “With diet or exercise, you have to get up every single morning and resolve all over again, but with something like a 401(k) payroll deduction, you just set it up once at the beginning of the year, and then it becomes a part of your lifestyle.”
The study did reveal some tricks for why this works that you can apply to resolutions of all kinds. Choose a way to commit to your resolution that’s easy and attainable — like setting up a savings plan. Other tricks for success? Declaring your resolution to the world (a Facebook post will do), tracking your progress and avoiding situations that will tempt you to lose focus.
Not to mention, reward yourself for your progress — and forgive yourself if you mess up. After all, once you’ve saved all that money, you can afford a little treat!
So there you have it. The most achievable New Year’s Resolution might not be as glamorous as a total makeover or a trip across the world, but your future self will thank you for it.
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