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New Year, New You (Hacked)

5 Tips to Achieve your Money Goals in 2023

by Rosalia Gitau, CEO, Bixie

"The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide you're not going to stay where you are." - J.P. Morgan

It’s 1 Jan 2020 first thing in the morning. My husband looks at me and says: I am going to do 100 sit-ups everyday this year. By 3 January, he had given up.

The graveyard of New Year’s Resolutions is vast and filled with all our hopes and dreams of being better versions of ourselves: healthier, happier, and more prosperous versions. Our best selves. But the mere act of wishing on a star isn’t enough to change a habit. Indeed, behavioral science shows it takes a lot to change our default settings out of what is comfortable and easy and towards what is best for us. When we first started Bixie, we interviewed hundreds of women around the world and found this common refrain: “I know I need to do something about my money, I just don’t know how”. A new year is a perfect opportunity to take action on this lament and take control of our lives. And here are 3 evidence-based strategies to get you started.

#1 Set a clear and actionable goal

At Bixie, we hear from women all over the world that “I want to get my finances in order”. This is a great start, but it’s a bit vague: what does ‘in order’ look like? What does ‘in order’ entail? Try to Break this down into digestible parts such as “I want to reduce my debt by 50% by the end of the year” or “ I want to reduce my spending my 50% by the end of the year’ or “I want to increase my income by 20% by the end of the year”. Then break those down into quarterly, and monthly milestones, and even weekly milestones to help keep you on track.

And speaking of staying on track…

#2 Scream it Out Loud & Get Support

You’re more likely to achieve a goal if you are held accountable. Get a friend to join you in achieving your financial goals (can be a shared goal or a different goal), post your goal on social media, make a bet with a friend so whoever wins buys the other a plane ticket. Do whatever you can do to move your dream from inside of your head to out in the real world. This very act will make you more accountable and increase the likelihood of success.

#3 Don’t Give Up

Missed a milestone? No worries, keep going. Stayed up online binge shopping? No worries, we all have those days. Don’t let one setback set you back to zero. Dust yourself off and try again. And again. And again. Until you achieve your goal.

#4 Fake it til you Make It

Your mind can trick your body into feeling and thinking things and vice versa. Just put on a fake smile when you’re upset and you will see that you will start to feel better within minutes. The same applies to your financial goals. You want to attract wealth, pretend you’re wealthy. And no, that doesn’t mean spending. It means start mimicking the financial behaviors of wealthy people: invest, start multiple income streams, start a business, create original content. Do this long enough and you’ll get the result you’re looking for.

#5 Know your Why

It takes at least 3 weeks to form a new habit. In that time– and far beyond– you’re going to encounter myriad challenges to reaching your goal. You will be tempted to quit. Let me repeat: you will be tempted to quit. When this happens, you need to go back to why you wanted to achieve this goal in the first place; you need to know your why and write it down and go back to it when you’re tempted to give up. For example:

  • My 2023 Goal: “I want to cut my spending”

  • My Why: because I want to travel the world in 2024 and I need to be able to afford it.

So the next time you want to click yes to your shopping basket, pause and remember your why. Visualize you standing at the top of the Eiffel Tower taking a selfie and ask yourself if the purse you want to buy right now is worth it.

Behavioral science shows us that humans overestimate the present and underestimate the future. This is why it is so hard to stick to our goals– because they are far away, some time in the distant future. Knowing this trait about ourselves, however, allows us to hack our brains, and pursue and achieve the lives that our hearts desire.

This is your one singular life. Make it count. #YOLO

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