Why I Don't Make Year-Long Resolutions

A few years ago, I chose to incorporate intermittent fasting into my life. For those of you who are unfamiliar, intermittent fasting is making small changes to when and what you eat. One day a week, I only eat 500 calories. I started the commitment by telling myself that I'd only test it out, and to see how I'd feel at the end of one month. That was 2 years ago - and every Monday still finds me loading up on the veggies.

I don't make year-long resolutions because they are geared to be impossibly difficult without any actionable steps.

Truth is, had I not set smaller, more measurable goals, I probably would have failed. Like the fable goes, "slow and steady wins the race."

The idea of taking smaller, more achievable actions - rather than committing to large, long-term actions without any follow-through - holds true especially when addressing financial goals. 

Think about every major financial decision: retirement; estate planning; even saving for college. In every one of these circumstances, achievement lies not in throwing yourself all-in without any planning, but rather in committing to hundreds of small actions (such as automatically saving 5% of your income each month) that ultimately achieve the big goal.

So if you happen to make a financial resolution this year, pay attention to the small steps. Here's how I'd suggest modifying popular financial resolutions to make them stick for 2016 (click to enlarge):


Here's to "sticky" resolutions - and here's to all of our shared success.