Up until the 31-Dec 2015 I did what 92% of us do; fail my new year’s resolutions – these resolutions ranged from going to the gym more to improving my golf to getting a better posture; all of these were spectacular, and sometimes expensive, failures (I have a 1 pack, a hunchback and the same handicap as 4 years ago).
31-Dec-2016 rolled around and again I made what I thought would be an empty promise of speaking and understanding basic Spanish.
Esta Vez Tuve Suerte!
Now – while I may speak Spanish like a 1 year old child, it is a start – why did I achieve this resolution after so many years of abysmal failures?
A Measurable and Achievable Goal
My exact aim was to be able to hold a conversation in Spanish for over a minute. In hindsight this was far more specific than my other goals – it was something that could be measured as opposed to all my other goals. Because I was able to measure it I also considered it to be more achievable.
Baby Steps to Start
Taking a small first step played a huge part for me and the smallest step you can take is downloading something on a device. The good thing about living in the 21st century is there is a pretty much an app for everything – learning a language is no different. On the 01-Jan-2017 I downloaded an app that helps with languages (Duolingo) and I have been using it consistently ever since. Being able to break down your resolution into an easy first step will make it much more achievable.
On the 31-Dec-2016 my partner also made a resolution (to get her driver’s licence – don’t worry; she isn’t 16) and we made an agreement that if either of us fail in our quest the other has got to pay for a nice meal. This little competition provided a lot of motivation for me – I feel it would work even better if two people were gunning for the same goal. It keeps you motivated at those times you are feeling particularly lazy.
In case you were wondering – she still isn’t on the road and I very much enjoyed my meal.
The “Why” of the Goal
Focusing too much on the “What” rather than the “Why” is a big reason I didn’t achieve any of my previous goals. Having something of meaning attached to the goal makes it the hard work that much easier to do. Personally, I want to be able to speak Spanish so I can converse with my partner’s Argentinean family. Looking at some of my other goals – instead of saying “get a better posture” I could have said “work on my posture 10 minutes per day so I don’t have back pain in the future”.
Realising When Help is Needed
Once I had started learning the real basics via Duolingo I noticed that I couldn’t reach my goals without further help, so I decided to get a professional tutor to help. Realising that I couldn’t achieve the goal on my own was tough to admit but also an important part of the overall process. Lots of the most common goals (financial, exercise, health etc.) are made a lot more achievable with the aid of an expert.
Let’s Talk Financial Resolutions
Many of the most common resolutions are financial related – whether that be spend less money, save more money, travel more or buy a home. These are important resolutions, but they need to be Measurable and Achievable. Plenty is a service that can help determine whether your financial goals are achievable and then we can help you stay on track and measure your progress. We even offer 1 on 1 help if you need (Get started here).
What Does 2018 Hold?
Given my 2017 resolution was a roaring success I have set myself the following 3 resolutions for the coming year:
- Save an Extra $800 per month (with the help of Plenty)
- Break 60 in the city to surf to have bragging rights over my friends
- Read 1 non-fiction book per month
What are yours?
The information contained on this page is of a general nature and may not be appropriate for your personal circumstances. You should obtain personal financial advice before acting on this information.