January Financial Fitness Challenge—Don't Bite Off More Than You Can Chew
The beginning of a New Year is fraught with pressure to make this the year you finally become a Perfect Person. Our expectations are high, and we've been succumbing to them for generations.
In 1726, a 20-year-old Benjamin Franklin wrote his list of 13 virtues, including "No. 5, Frugality: Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing."
In 1699, at age 32, Jonathan Swift, the author of "Gulliver's Travels" and other classics, wrote a list of 17 things he hoped to achieve in his future old age. Wisely, his last item was "Not to set up for observing all these Rules, for fear I should observe none."
Keep it real
If you end up overwhelmed with your "must do" list, overdoing can be a way of procrastinating and doing nothing. Swift was wise to recognize that he might "observe none" in his quest to achieve so much.
So think about your priorities and what you have to accomplish. Here are some suggestions:
As you make your own list, always use a verb—build, review, name, improve. Note that each of your goals requires action.
Remind yourself why you're working toward each goal:
Now, think which of these tasks has the biggest payoff for your personal goals, and pursue that one thing.
A dream with a deadline = doneNow you have to get to work. Break down your goal into the tasks that will get you there. For example:
When you accomplish your first goal, congratulate yourself—briefly. Now turn back to your list and pick your next achievable objective.
Overdoing can become a way of procrastinating and doing nothing.
Financial Fitness Challenge
Your credit union money mentors bring you this website and other tools to help you make the most of your financial resources. The Financial Fitness Challenge continues to look at ways you can make better financial habits no matter what condition the economy is in.
Each month we randomly select five winners to receive $50 Visa gift cards; we choose each month's winners only from that month's entries, so enter every month. Remember to register for the Financial Fitness Challenge.
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