Beat the odds – make good on your 2017 New Year’s resolution

December 28th, 2016

History is full of ambitious, talented and hardworking people who make New Year’s resolutions only to give up on them before the middle of January.

The cold, hard truth is that the majority of New Year’s resolutions don’t stick.

One Australian study puts the failure rate at close to 70%. The percentage of failures, according to a University of Bristol study, is closer to 90%.

Why is that? The most common reasons are unrealistic or overambitious goals, lack of progress, or the “just plain forgot” excuse.

There are common tips and tricks to get around failure, like making resolutions public (a sort of accountability) or being more specific (lose 10 pounds a month rather than simply “lose weight”), but the high failure rate persists.

Don’t become a statistic! The best way to execute on New Year’s resolutions is to view your resolutions as what they really are: time-specific goals. You want to accomplish X goal in Y amount of time.

Achieving goals is a subject EQ Bank has some expertise in. The EQ Bank Savings Plus Account helps thousands of Canadians reach their financial goals – and not just in January, but all year long. So there are transferrable lessons.

Here’s a look at how our savings account gets our customers across the finish line of their financial goals, and how you can apply the same principles to your 2017 resolutions:

Compound resolutions: Interest is calculated on a sum of money by calculating the percentage interest on the total sum and adding it to that total. The next period of interest will calculate the percentage interest on the new total. Interest on interest – otherwise known as compound interest. This speeds up growth of the sum.

This is how the EQ Bank Savings Plus Account helps customers save money. In terms of resolutions, a compound effort will help you achieve your goals faster and keep you engaged in the resolution-keeping.

For instance, if you resolve to call your mother every day, try to call her once a month in January. Make it twice a month in February. Then four times in March, eight times in April and so on. By June you will have reached your goal of completing a daily call.

The same can apply to hitting the gym or dropping into the book club, weight loss or calls home, or, most obviously, money-saving.

Obstacles out: If you resolve to go for an outdoor hike every weekend, and then it pours rain the first three weekends in January and you can’t make it out, well, that’s certainly an obstacle to achieving your resolution!

To use the banking metaphor, bank fees are a great hurdle to saving money. Because what does a high interest rate earn you if you are paying a similar percentage in bank fees?

So the best way to make good on your resolutions – or to save money - is to clear the obstacles, hurdles, challengers or anything else stopping you from succeeding. Or at least, have a back-up plan. As in, if you can’t go outdoors, why not check out a local rock climbing gym?  

Goal tracking: Imagine putting money in your bank account every few days but never knowing how much is sitting in the account.

This is one reason there’s a goal tracking feature in the EQ Bank Savings Plus Account – you can track exactly how much you put in to your account, no matter how many often or how much you deposit.

It’s easy to be over- or underwhelmed by resolutions when you can’t see any progress. So create a system where small measurable goals are set. This is as simple as a putting away $5-a-week, aiming for $40 after two months, and then seeing that effort turn into a realized resolution over time.

Good luck on your resolutions and making 2017 the year of you!

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