We're at that point again.
Some people will sign up for gym memberships and then stop going by mid-January. Others will promise to clean up their debt—until the first credit card bill from Christmas comes in. Still more will pledge to get a new job and never look past the want ads (where only 15% of new jobs are advertised).
If you made a New Year's resolution in 2010 and didn't follow through, think about how you would feel if you had stuck to it. You wouldn't still be feeling tired from those times you got up early this summer to run. You wouldn't still be hungry from that time you didn't order a pizza because you were sticking to a budget. Your health and money situation would be better, you would feel better, and you would have accomplished your goal.
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What if we told you that accomplishing a goal wasn't as hard as you thought? The secret to making a goal into a reality is getting started and taking small, consistent steps. Most people hear "losing 20 pounds" and think it has to happen this week. It doesn't—it is something that will require a little sacrifice each day over a period of time, not a crash course in pain and discipline.
Getting started on something is always the hardest part. But once you've done it a few times, it becomes part of your daily routine. It doesn't become an extra chore, it becomes something that is already in your schedule.
Making a budget is the same way. When you first make a money plan, it won't work. It will barely work the second month, but that is because you are getting used to doing it. By the third month, you’ll have a much better feel for it, and your stress level will go way down. It just takes the determination to get through the rough patches that go with getting started.
We are on the cusp of 2011. You can either fall into the same trap as last year, or start making a little effort. The race is about to begin, and you’re at the starting line. Get started, and watch yourself grow!