It’s New Years Eve and the pressure is on to make resolutions for next year. We can do it any day of the year, of course, but today is a good time to reflect.
Unfortunately, for many it is time for severe self-criticism. This is an exercise focused on listing our perceived flaws, flaws and shortcomings and setting resolutions to change them and ourselves in 2022.
I don’t like resolutions because they can be shameful and are riddled with judgment. They feel like punishments and reminders of where I’m not good enough.
I try to take a more empathetic and positive approach – without self-criticism – and so I turn to areas where I would like to grow, support myself and step out of my comfort zone. I prefer to set intentions and goals, not resolutions.
So today, I’m going to set some positive, results-oriented intentions on how I plan to live my life and what I hope to achieve in 2022.
I am a personal and business finance coach, so naturally I will be setting financial goals for 2022. More importantly, I will be evaluating my goals for everything “should”. I will reflect on them to make sure they are personal to me and firmly anchored in my values.
They won’t be what I think I should do based on other people’s expectations or standards. They will be achievable so that I can stay motivated and not give up in mid-January or at the first hurdle.
Do you have money-related resolutions like “I’ll be better off with the money” or “I’ll spend less money”? I suggest rephrasing this to “” I will improve my financial literacy by ‘inserting books to read or a course to take’. “
Doesn’t that sound more positive and motivating than “I’ll spend less”? Increasing your financial literacy and improving your financial habits and relationship with money can have surprising peripheral benefits.
A lot of people tell me that they feel more comfortable with money and that other areas of their life improve after facing and resolving their financial fears.
They save more with less effort. They sleep better thanks to less stress, they lose weight thanks to a less stressed diet but also because they have decided to be more aware of their expensive eating habits. Because they eat better and sleep more, they have more energy and feel more motivated to exercise, and are often more involved parents. But the benefits don’t stop with the individual.
In 2021, I have often been asked for advice on how we can instill positive money habits and values in our children. I hear parents worrying about the materialism of their children around Christmas. It seems like this is a time of year that highlights our values and highlights our relationship to money.
The best way to instill good spending habits in your children is to model good spending habits. The best thing you can do for your children is to cure your own negative financial habits and change your relationship with money. Our children learn best by observing our behavior.
Talk to your kids honestly about your struggles with money, in an age-appropriate way. Be honest and show them you’re making mistakes by improving your habits. Celebrate your successes and talk about how you have achieved them.
Maybe a 2022 goal could be to improve your financial literacy levels and understand your money mindset. When you educate yourself, you can confidently talk to your kids about financial concepts like how credit cards work, how interest is calculated, and why saving is important.
We cannot guarantee that our children do not make the same mistakes as we do. But we can do our best to model positive behaviors. Be open and honest and talk about money in a positive way so that they don’t absorb your fears, insecurities, or negative financial habits.
Even if you have healthy savings habits or don’t overspend, you can still pass negative associations with money on to your kids.
Being too thrifty can create a scarcity mindset or negative money associations in our children’s minds. Be aware of how you talk about money in front of your children. Keep it positive and solution-oriented, non-judgmental about yourself or others, and most importantly, let them ask questions and keep the dialogue open.
With that in mind, Happy New Year to you and your family. I wish you all an abundant and rich year full of growth, happiness and love.
Carol Glynn is the founder of Conscious Finance Coaching
Update: December 31, 2021 4:00 a.m.