The first day being Christmas Day and the 12th day symbolising when the famed Three Wise Kings made their appearance in the traditional Christmas story, and is celebrated with a King Cake.
Now, apart from the part about the cake, to be honest, I'm not really a 12 Days of Christmas kinda guy; and as for getting all excited about New Year's Resolutions - well perhaps I’m more pragmatic grinch than a romantic idealist.
But what I do each year is ask myself this question: 'What do I want and what type of person do I have to become to get it?'
The problem with New Year's Resolutions
There’s no cosmic power in making a resolution on New Year's Day (um, why do I feel like I've just outed Santa) just like there is no cosmic power in ‘Thinking yourself slim’. (If there was I would have lost 20 kgs years ago.)
- You have to do something different if you want to achieve something different.
If this sounds familiar, don’t feel bad, because you’re not alone.
In fact, according to a study by The University of Scranton’s Journal of Clinical Psychology, only 39% of people in their twenties achieve their New Year's Resolution goals each year. And the number keeps decreasing with age.
Forbes Magazine goes a step further and reports, ‘80% of people who make New Year’s resolutions are already off track by the first week of February’.
Why is it so?
The problem is, we essentially go from doing nothing to saying we will do everything, and miss the steps involved to actually achieve that.
- It usually has to do with the size of the resolution. People tend to choose over-the-top goals when making annual resolutions with no plan on how to actually get there.
- Big steps tend to trigger our big fears. People's innate fear of failure and being rejected are two of the most powerful we experience as humans.
The good news is small steps in the right direction work.
When we can break down our big plans into small daily steps, our chances of success are much higher.
- Commit to reading our monthly Sapience Blog (or subscribe to our Not-A-Newsletter) as a regular small step to help create a new needed habit.
- Do one thing at a time, ask for support from people who are able to give it to you and cut yourself some slack if the speed of change is not what you initially hoped for.
We’re all going to live longer in our retirement so we need to get used to making regular small financial decisions today, so it becomes a regular normal part of how we better manage our lives today. It's also a needed skill to model for our kids (and friends) that can help build their confidence.
Check out these 12 Good Readings (and yes there's 12 of them in keeping with the theme)
Over the course of this year, we’ve published over 30+ original articles - all designed to help you improve your money skills, insights and confidence - and to help you become that better person.
Given this special time of year and for many a season of hope, I thought I’d share a list of this year 12 Most Read Sapience Blog articles, all designed to help people make the small steps to help them become more Life Confident and help them get where they want to go.
Pro Tip. Be patient with yourself. Like all new skills and important decisions, some take time, most take effort and they all usually take some form of adjustment period to get used to before you see how they work for you and your family's particular situation.
The 12 Most Read Sapience Blog articles of 2018
Here are our 12 Days Of Christmas Readings to help you have better conversations with your partner, your kids and yourself.
About better conversations with your partner
About better conversations with your kids
About better conversations with yourself
Where to now?
So when it comes to your 12 Days of Christmas, instead of looking for a partridge in a pear tree, let’s slow down and find the peace in taking small steps in the right direction.
Why not take the time to intentionally set aside 12 Days for your family - biological or logical - and friends, to focus on how our lives interconnect and how we can do better, together.
How will you answer this question this Christmas?
'What do I want and what type of person do I have to become to get it?'
Merry Christmas to our clients, friends and supporters.