Contributed by Manuel R.

Setting New Year’s Resolutions can be challenging.  Should you set them? Are you destined to fail? Sometimes resolutions are set up to fail because they are not thought through fully.  A lot of resolutions can be about finances such as paying down debt or saving up for a vacation.  Although most resolutions are personal goals, there is often a financial aspect to them.  Planning ahead on the financial aspects of your resolutions can help you achieve them.

Let’s take one of the typical personal resolutions—losing weight.  There are many elements to consider if your goal is to lose weight including yearly membership at the gym, a new bike, equipment for your home or dance classes.  After you figure out what you need, ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you willing to sacrifice to achieve your goal?  Most goals require some form of sacrifice. If you have to save up to buy a new bike, are you willing to forgo your coffee runs? Or eating out at restaurants? If not, then you probably will not be able to reach your goal.
  • Working with a personal fitness trainer might get you to your goal but can you afford them?  If not then maybe group classes are for you.
  • How much money is really needed for the goal?  We think of joining the gym as one fee but what about workout wear?  The bike is one cost but what about the helmet, biking shoes, etc.?  Make sure you count all the expenses up so you don’t get stuck halfway without all of the equipment you need.
  • Does your job support healthy initiatives? Some companies pay for part of gym memberships and some gym give discounts to people from certain companies.
  • When do you need the money? Do you need to pay every month or every six months? When will you need to replace your equipment? If you know in advance you can save up.

Taking care of the financial aspects of your goals will help you achieve your resolutions. To bolster your resolve, here are five tips to help keep you on track with your resolutions.