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Set 2023 straight with money intentions

New Year’s resolutions aren’t just for breaking habits.

They’re for setting your financial goals and intentions. Find out how they differ and why both might matter for your money.

It’s a new year, and it’s time to make plans for a great 2023. Hands up everyone who just thought about saving more or spending smarter?

You’re not alone. 78 percent of Aussies set financial goals last year, with 51 percent planning to save more and 32 percent wanting to spend less.*

They also share common aspirations for the New Year like eating better, getting healthier, finding better work/life balance and travelling more. So it’s no surprise that achieving these goals will take some smart spending and regular saving to achieve.

But research shows only 8 percent of people reach their goals. So why are resolutions so hard to keep? And what could help you stay on track and achieve that important goal?

Intention setting may be your secret weapon.

What’s the difference between goals and intentions?

On the face of it, goals and intentions look the same, but there is a big difference.

Goals are about achieving a future outcome. They’re about a destination, and they need some important elements to be successful like what you want to achieve, activities that are manageable and relevant to getting you there, and consistent proof that you are on track.

Intentions are guiding principles for how to act, live and feel. Why do you want to achieve this goal, and how do you want to feel generally? Intentions are about your broader experience.

Why do I need intentions, aren’t goals enough?

Intentions and goals get easily wrapped up in one another, and for good reason. They’re both there to get you what you desire.

But some people may need more than a goal to help them get what they want (remember, 92 percent of people break their New Year’s resolution)*.

Goals are useful, but here’s what’s tricky about them; sometimes, things don’t go to plan which might mean you can’t achieve what you had set out to accomplish. If you only have financial goals, you may be setting yourself up in a pass or fail system that doesn’t weather the external forces you can’t change, like a pandemic.

Intentions create flexibility. By setting intentions, you can redirect your goal to something manageable, meaning you have more chance to stay on track and fulfil your aspiration because the reason for making the goal continues to be met.

And because intentions help set the tone for why you’re doing something, they may help you to decide which goals are really worth your effort.

Let’s look at this example:

Your goal is to save money for a holiday next summer. You decide to save $50 each week for the next 52 weeks to pay for flights, accommodation and some spending money. You will be able to achieve this by reducing a monthly insurance spend ($50), cancelling two streaming services ($30) and will only order takeout fortnightly instead of weekly ($100). By making these changes, you have covered savings for the goal, plus $80 extra per month, which will go into a separate savings account.

Your intentions for 2023 might be to have fun, feel more secure and have greater confidence. So on the money front, spending sensibly and saving smartly means you will be able to save for that great holiday you really want and have extra in savings for something else. Or have a little extra saved in case an insurance premium rises during the year that you hadn’t prepared for.

Being clear on what you intend – why you want to achieve the goal in the first place – may mean you are less likely to be reactive when things don’t go to plan.

How do I set an intention?

Some questions to ask yourself when setting an intention;

What is really important to me? Is it security, health, fun, balance, commitment, confidence or anything else? And why is it important?

Are my intentions clear, simple and positive? This will help with good financial goal setting.

Do I believe I can achieve my intention? Flush out anything ideas that hold you back and go for it!

Setting both goals and intentions might just help you get what you want out of this year.


Source: Wallis, S 2022 New Year’s Resolutions 2022 [online] Finder

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