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Christmas tree with single ball decoration
Then the Grinch thought of something he had not before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesnt come from a store. What if Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!” ― Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

12 Days of Christmas and the occasional New Year's Resolution

- Bah humbug!

Did you know the 12 Days of Christmas tradition, actually doesn’t start before Christmas Day (regardless of what the retailers would like us to believe) but actually begins post-Christmas?

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?'

Read in this article

The problem with New Year's Resolutions

There’s no cosmic power in making a resolution on New Year's Day (errh, 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’.

The most common aspirations cited for New Year's Resolutions are to eat healthier, get more exercise and save more money.

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.

Good News

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.

Why bother?

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 are 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's 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 an 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

1.  If you expect to retire you need to upgrade your financial literacy now

2.  Your Mortgage or your Super - which one should get your money first?

3.  Who's your Super beneficiary?

4.  What happens if you unconsciously equate money with status?

5.  When young families lose a parent

6.  The question every blended family wants answered

7.  How to survive a financial train wreck

8.  Who can make emergency medical decisions for you?

About better conversations with your kids

9.  What to teach your children about money, before they are 10

10. A better way to lend money to family members

About better conversations with yourself

11. How to budget like a Badass!

12. How to have the money talk with your partner

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.

author pic drew browneDrew Browne is a specialty Financial Risk Advisor working with Small Business Owners & their Families, Dual Income Professional Couples, and diverse families. He's an award-winning writer, speaker, financial adviser and business strategy mentor. His business Sapience Financial Group is committed to using business solutions for good in the community. In 2015 he was certified as a B Corp., and in 2017 was recognised in the inaugural Australian National Businesses of Tomorrow Awards. Today he advises Small Business Owners and their families, on how to protect themselves, from their businesses.  He writes for successful Small Business Owners and Industry publications. You can read his Modern Small Business Leadership Blog here. You can connect with him on LinkedIn Any information provided is general advice only and we have not considered your personal circumstances. Before making any decision on the basis of this advice you should consider if the advice is appropriate for you based on your particular circumstance.

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