INDIANAPOLIS, Ind – Whether your goals include better fitness or better finance, experts say the best way to set yourself up for success is to be specific and make a plan.
“Find out what’s going to drive you,” said Jen Gandolph Hawk, studio director at Orange Theory Fitness Greenwood. “Do you need a coach to push you? Are you individually motivated? Do you have a group of friends? It’s just a matter of finding the right person for you first.
For those hoping to lose weight and get back into shape in 2022, Gandolph Hawk recommends setting specific goals. This could be how many pounds you hope to lose, how many minutes you want to gain in your 5k time, or other exercise benchmarks. Once you’ve decided on your goals, she says you should write them down and start charting your daily plan to achieve them.
“Print out a calendar, put it on your fridge, put it on your phone, whatever you use to organize your life, and just set a goal for yourself each day,” she said. “And some of those days have to be days off, you can’t go every day. Your body needs to recover and regroup and a bit.
Gandolph Hawk also recommends sharing your goals with others who will help you stay responsible.
“You don’t necessarily need personal trainers and gyms, just accountability partners or Facebook groups,” she said. “Maybe you find a friend somewhere you’re going to text about your walk for the day or how many stairs you’ve climbed.” “
For those hoping to improve their financial situation in 2022, Andy Mattingly, COO of Forum Credit Union, said the first step should be similar to focusing on fitness. Rather than making a general statement like “spend less money,” he says you should decide on specific and realistic goals and write them down.
“This is one of the most important things that I think is wrong with people is that they make resolutions,” Mattingly said. “They don’t really associate it with something that they can measure and verify.”
If, for example, you decide to spend $ 25 less per week, Mattingly says it’s a good idea to focus on habits.
“So you can say every time I go to the grocery store I’m going to take at least five coupons,” Mattingly said. “Maybe you’re still going to the grocery store using your planned meal list. It’s a great way to save money because you don’t buy extra stuff that you’re going to throw away. “
Mattingly says daily routines can be looked at to find ways to cut expenses.
“Maybe you are someone who gets pampered every day with that gourmet cup of coffee on the way to work,” he said. “You don’t have to cut it off completely, but maybe your resolution is that I only go on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, but Tuesday and Thursday I’m going to drink the coffee at work.”
Mattingly also suggests waiting 24 hours before making an unscheduled purchase over $ 100. Taking a day to think about it can often discourage impulse buying.
For those looking to eliminate debt, Mattingly recommends setting monthly goals.
“This year I’m going to start paying an additional $ 100 each month on my credit card, and I’m not going to go into more debt either,” he said. “If it’s just another $ 50 on your credit card and you’re like wow I can do it, maybe by June you’ll make $ 100.”
Another financial goal could be to reach 10% of your income to go towards your 401K or other retirement savings. Mattingly says this can also be done in smaller steps.
“So maybe this year, to get there, you say every quarter that I’m going to increase it by one percent,” he said.
Typically, most New Year’s resolutions are dropped by mid-January, so both experts say you shouldn’t let little failures distract you from your overall mission. Don’t forget to celebrate the small victories along the way. And if you don’t quite hit your long-term goal in 2022, you can still build on the progress you’ve made towards that goal in 2023.
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