Like many people, you may have started this year intending to spend less and save more. And like many people—80 percent, in fact—you’ve probably already broken your New Year’s resolution. That’s okay; there is still enough time to reevaluate your goals and get back on track.

Reassess Your Goals

But before you recommit to your resolutions, it’s best to reassess and make sure what was important to you at the start of 2022 is still relevant now. Ask yourself the following:

  • What were your goals?
  • Why did you choose those goals?
  • Are your goals a priority to you now? If so, what caused you to pivot from your initial plan?

These three basic questions will help you identify your current priorities and the way forward.

Be Realistic

Shaking off established routines is undoubtedly tricky. In fact, research suggests it can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days to break a habit. The way to overcome this hurdle is to start small and expand your goals as you go. Seeing progress, however small, will provide added incentive to keep practicing healthier financial habits.

Use whatever tools you have at your disposal to help you understand your saving and spending habits. Keeping track is key to long-term success, whether it’s a tried-and-true method such as a checkbook to 21st-century resources such as these budgeting apps

Celebrate Small Wins

Celebrating small victories is just as important to goal completion as correcting missteps.  Begin by doing a weekly check-in, asking yourself, “what did you achieve this week?”

Jot down any successes and use them as motivation for the week ahead.

Ask the Experts

Saving for retirement, monthly budgeting, and getting out of debt can be challenging. It may be a good idea to get a second, expert opinion.

A convenient place to start is by looking for experts in your own life. Partners, parents, and close friends can be a wellspring of knowledge. Moreover, many online resources are available for any financial topic you may think of.

FirstBank offers resources and valuable information at Smart Cents that can help.

No matter your path to reach your financial goals, please remember that progress is better than nothing — it’s a journey, not a destination. Take advantage of the financial tools available and put them to work for you. And one last thing, make financial awareness and goal setting a part of your routine — not just something you do at the beginning of the year. This will help you, in the long run, to reach your goals in less time.

Check out more financial tips and resources for even more savvy savings and spending tips.

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