While my husband Al and I are yin and yang in many aspects of our personalities, we are alike in that we are both very driven and goal oriented. So, naturally, we set aside some time after the 1st of the year to chat about our 2020 Resolutions. Once we shared our professional and personal goals, the next logical step for us was to figure out:
- How do we accomplish them?
- How do we support each other?
- How do we hold ourselves accountable?
Shortly after our conversation, Al sent me the link to the following video featuring leadership guru Simon Sinek: Simon Sinek on Consistency
The body of Al’s email read: “It's a really good explanation of why doing the right things every single day will provide results down the road even without seeing short term results.” So simple yet so profound! I loved the example of brushing your teeth every day and the idea that “It’s not about the events, it’s not about intensity, it’s about consistency.”
My husband watches this video every 2 weeks to help remind him to stick with the daily practice of the monotonous actions that will get us to our desired end results. Would watching this video every 2 weeks keep you on track for your goals?
Here are my top 5 tips to build consistency in your finances:
- Automate, Automate, Automate: automating your savings is the simplest way to consistently put money aside.
- Automate 2.0: Before your next raise hits your checking account increase your automated contribution into your savings account or 401(k)/403(b)/SEP IRA so you are immediately capturing that difference, paying yourself first and not getting used to increased discretionary spending. Same strategy applies to paying off debt. In the example of student loans or credit cards, once one balance is paid off automatically reallocate the monthly payments to another outstanding debt. This will insure that you are paying off debt as efficiently as possible.
- Speaking of Savings Account: Instead of generic account names, personalize your savings account. Over the last decade, my savings account has morphed from “Cash $$$” to “Wedding” to “Down Payment” to “Renovation” and now it reads “What‘s Next?” Naming your accounts will motivate you to save and you will be less likely to transfer money out.
- Treat Yourself: Counterintuitive? Maybe. But this is something I personally practice every time I hit a personal or professional goal. Some of our goals are not tangible or we won’t bare the fruit of our efforts for years to come, so it helps to keep yourself incentivized along the way. Within reason of course! You wouldn’t want to deplete your savings or incur debt to make this purchase.
- Partner with a Professional: Sticking to resolutions is hard but, in my experience, I have found that helping my clients set and measure goals is important. Knowing how much to save monthly towards each of their goals rather than just arbitrarily saving really motivates them.