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New Years Resolution

Well, the holidays are (sadly) over. After all the delicious meals, great gifts and family dynamics, it’s time to get back into routine and think about accomplishing your goals for 2016. Below we’ve gathered several tips so you can give those resolutions your best shot and make this the year you “Own it!”

1. Let’s be real. When you first sit down to brainstorm what you want to achieve this year, it’s important to not overdo it. Many people put tons of pressure on themselves by setting lofty goals only to give up four weeks later after realizing they were outrageously ambitious. Making resolutions realistic will increase your chances of hitting your milestones.

2. Strategy 101. Develop a strategy that helps you achieve your goals piece by piece. Start by approaching your goals as getting better at something, rather than going from zero to hero in one giant step. Have $1,000 in credit card debt? Make it a goal to pay down $75 the first month of the year, instead of the entire balance. Want to hit the gym a little more? Start with exercising twice a week and go from there. Remember: you don’t have to make leaps and bounds right away, but laying down a plan of attack will get you there slowly but surely.

3. Yes, make a chart. Tracking your progress and the milestones you hit will keep you motivated throughout the journey to owning your goals. If creating a nice savings cushion is in the books, make a note of how much you’ve saved every two weeks, along with how much you have left to reach your goal. This will not only keep you motivated but also let you know where you stand throughout the process. Remember: short-term goals and small accomplishments are key.

4. Treat yourself. Remember those short-terms goals and small accomplishments we mentioned? This is the fun part where you can reward yourself for every landmark you hit and stay motivated by doing so. But try to be responsible. If you’re trying to make a dent in your student loans, then opt for the $60 spa treatment instead of the $200 tablet. It’s definitely possible to be accountable and have fun at the same time!

5. Jog, don’t run. Achieving long-term goals takes time. And that’s okay. Studies show that it takes people doing something 21 times before it becomes a habit. Keep this in mind if your progress starts off a little slow or you’re not seeing the big results you want right away. As the old saying goes: it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Follow the four tips above in the meantime and you should be just fine.

There you go, savvy savers! Enjoy the journey to achieving your resolutions and making 2016 your year of “Owning It.”

If financial goals are your focus this year, Summit has various savings and loan calculators to get you started: Cheers to a new year!