Whether you’re desperately escaping the backlash of a tempestuous 2016 or reflecting upon a year of tremendous achievements, we’re all moving onwards and upwards. So now is the traditional time for reflection, realisation, and resolutions – the magic three for a happy transition to the new year.
And when the clock strikes 12 on the 31st December, we’ll be in full 2017 swing.
The holiday season, like I discussed in a previous blog, tends to be a time of gluttony and overspending for many. This means it’s natural that as the festive season passes, frugality and abstinence seem to feature in our New Years resolutions. Promising ourselves ‘new year, new me’, that we’ll do this or remember to go there, that we’ll embrace change and forego bad habits.
But whenever I think back to last December, I’m stumped.
I can’t even remember what I promised myself last year, let alone stick to anything.
Because of this, my resolutions aren’t ever built to last. The most ambitious goals fall behind as quickly as they were created. It’s alright, I didn’t really want to save up to travel the world or buy a flat anyway…
New years resolutions are a funny thing. The tradition of annual promises goes way back to ancient civilisations.
Whilst Babylonians would make promises to their gods at the start of each year that they would return borrowed objects and pay their debts, thousands of years on, we now opt for 21st century alternatives like Vegan-uary and gym memberships.
Doing a quick sweep around the office to find out what Starlings were promising themselves this year, there was a general movement towards health, wellbeing and taking time to look after ourselves – physically and mentally.
Whether we’ve enjoyed one too many ports and pigs-in-blankets or spent a bit too much time Netflixing with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, January promises to see a surge in FitBit sales and Strava downloads.
Heading to park runs on a Saturday morning and aiming to eat better, fitness and health seem to be in everyone’s minds. One slightly embarrassed member of the tech team added that they want to keep away from the allure of Uber in the morning and try walking to work. Good luck with that!
Family and relaxation were also key resolutions. Because of this, several commented on wanting to spend more hours doing the things they enjoy with those close to them.
From reading more to taking more moments to enjoy the little things in life, several made it clear that 2017 was going to be a year for making time matter. Especially for the Starlings in the office with young families, who are keen to make sure they don’t miss their baby’s first steps or words
But it wasn’t just health that we were thinking about. Unsurprisingly, (we do work at a fintech company, after all) a vast contingent had set themselves 2017 money goals, ranging from saving for a deposit on a first house to not spending quite as much on Pumpkin Spiced Lattes next year.
Aiming to keep to strict budgets after a bit of a winter splurge, several in the office were pledging to look after the pennies and prevent the impulsive binges which tend to give their finances a bit of a hard time.
It’s really helpful to think about money in this way, as it can have a great impact on physical and mental health, family and time management. After all, money matters.
What’s my new year’s resolution?
For me, the hopeless money manager that I am, I’d love to be able save, here and there. Anything that I can put towards some exciting experiences would be a real treat. I’m setting a goal of saving part of my salary each month and hiding it away somewhere, out of my reach until I could really use it!
So whether you’re promising yourself to write that novel (for the third year running), you’re planning on lacing up the football boots and getting back on the pitch, or you’re saving for your next adventure, I hope that your 2017 is a successful – but more importantly, happy – one!
If you’re feeling concerned that money is having an impact on your health, you may be interested in exploring the fantastic Money and Mental Health Policy Institute which is here to break the devastating link between financial problems and mental health.
Additionally, if you’re looking to boost your financial education, MyBnk is a charity which offer ways of empowering young people by designing and delivering fantastic money management programmes. Take a look at their work here.