The Today Show reports that learning a new habit takes, on average, 66 days for the behavior to feel automatic. The actual time it takes to form that habit varies based on the person, the behavior and the circumstances. Since good habits lead to good results (especially with money), it’s important to get those positive routines in place as soon as possible so you can hit a home run with your financial goals this year!
Whether your aim is to get your emergency fund in place, pay off debt or save for a big purchase, a good money habit is a surefire way to help you hit your goal. Here is how to put the right habit into place.
1. Identify a goal.
An effective person begins with the end in mind. Set a goal before you start forming a habit. The more time you direct yourself toward your objective, the better your chances for meeting or even beating it! Write them down, post them in a place you will see them. >> Read 10 Ways to Reach Your Financial Goals in 2019
2. Create a small habit toward achieving your goal.
Let’s say you want to avoid eating out and use the money you save to buy a new iPad. Come up with a simple and repeatable way to prepare for meals so you don’t hit the drive-thru line. Prepare your lunches for the week on Sunday evening. Make a list of the dinner ingredients you need before going to the grocery store. Eat leftovers every Tuesday and Thursday. Find what works for you. Put your stamp on your routine.
3. Create accountability.
Find someone you trust to talk through your goals with. This needs to be someone who can give you a reality check and encouragement along the way—someone who’ll check in on your progress and cheer on your accomplishments. Having accountability means you don’t leave your dreams on your own shoulders; you pick someone to help you carry the load.
4. Reward yourself.
Here’s the fun part! Figure out a reward for sticking to your habit. If you avoid restaurants every day for a week, treat yourself with something you enjoy like a movie. Those little rewards keep you fired up about the progress you’re making.
5. Become more self-aware.
Know your money weaknesses and set up a plan to avoid or overcome them. Know your money strengths and build on them as you celebrate every victory (big and small). Plus, being more self-aware is one of the top keys to crushing any goal.
As you succeed with your new January goals, share them with us. Tag us in your Facebook, Twitter & Instagram posts with the hashtag #CUMoneyGoals so we can celebrate your wins with you! Let’s light up the internet with goal setting and positive vibes!