Mike Gorski, RD, CD, CPT
Hybrid Athletic Club and Fit Fresh Cuisine
January 1st has come and gone. Everyone sets lofty goals for the first of the year as New Year’s resolutions. How often do they reach these goals?
Researchers at the University of Scranton found that only 8% of people accomplish their New Year’s goals. A success rate of 8% is pretty low. I can’t think of one program or plan that someone would pay money for if they were told, “we have a great 8% success rate.”
How can you make sure that you accomplish your New Year’s goals, and become part of the 8%? Start here:
1) Where do you want to be in a year?
Yes, a year is a long ways away, but you do need to have that end goal in mind. What are you working towards – losing weight, gaining strength, saving more for retirement, finding true love? Anything can work here.
Example: I want to lose 20 pounds of body fat this year.
This is usually where people stop. They have their goal, and off they go. Like I stated before, a year is a long ways away. If you are trying to do something big like lose body fat, it won’t just happen overnight.
Once you set your year end goal, write down your “why.” Why is that your goal? Think hard, and keep asking yourself why several times to get to the deep rooted reasons.
Example: I want to lose 20 pounds.
Why? I want to feel better about my body.
Why? I want to be able to play with my kids longer?
Why? I want to be a great parent and set a good example for my family. This is your WHY. This will motivate you to stay on track, even in the hardest times.
2) Next, find what you have to do this month to accomplish your goal.
Maybe you need to start working out, eating better, and handling stress in a better way. Maybe you need to save $500 this month to pay for your planned spring vacation.
Example: This month I need to commit to eating better, exercising more, and using exercise to manage my stress instead of food.
3) Now, what do you have to do this week to accomplish your goal?
Try committing three days a week to planned exercise, or reduce eating out to two times per week, and put your saved money into your retirement account.
Example: This week I will get in 30 minutes of brisk walking three days, and try that Body Pump class at the rec center for one day.
4) Lastly, what can you do TODAY, right now, to get you one step closer?
Do you hate exercise? Don’t know where to start? Find a professional to help you. Skip eating out for lunch, and pack a sandwich from home, then tuck that $15 dollars into a “vacation” envelope.
Example: Today I will contact that Mike Gorski trainer guy from those videos and see what he recommends for me, and if he can help me or – Today I will sign up for a walking group/gym membership to help motivate me to move more.
Now you have your plan.
Work from the bottom up. Instead of focusing on that big year end goal, focus on what you need to do TODAY. Find a fitness professional, save $10, go on a first date, whatever you can do today to get you to January 1, 2017.
Keep your four-step plan on your desk, or computer, and update it weekly, monthly, or even daily.
By breaking down your year-end goals into daily tasks, you are more likely to succeed in the long term, avoid burnout and becoming overwhelmed, and accomplish your New Year’s Resolutions!
Andrew Grow, Investment Advisor (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Happy New Year! We made it through the holiday season, lovely winter weather is pummeling the northern states and playoff football is here. With more time being spent in doors (voluntary or not), this is a perfect time to do some planning for the year ahead. Let’s take a look at a few items to review. Perhaps it will take just a few small adjustments to start the New Year off on the right foot.
Retirement planning: It is finally time to make that change we’ve been putting off until… the New Year! If you have an employer sponsored retirement account (401(k), 403(b), etc), take advantage of that benefit. Contribute at least enough to maximize the employer matching contribution, and if you already are, try to contribute an additional 1% this year. These accounts help you save for retirement and have beneficial tax treatment for your contributions.
Saving goals: How does that emergency fund with at least three months, or better yet six months, of living expenses look? Is the money readily accessible (for example, in your savings account at your bank)? Life can certainly be unpredictable so setting money aside for emergencies is important. If you do not have an emergency fund already, or are struggling to save enough, try automating the process. Most banks or credit unions allow customers to set up automatic transfers from one account to the other (for example, from checking to saving) – scheduling the transfer a day or two after each paycheck may be a good time for the transfer.
Health and wellness: Taking a serious look at your overall health, both financial and personal, is important. Often times, being healthier on a personal basis positively impacts your financial health as well. Review any wellness programs offered by your health insurance and/or employer – for example, participating at a local gym may include premium discounts or cash rewards from an employer or insurance provider. Wellness programs range from filling out questionnaires to worthwhile incentives just for participating in an exercise program. You’ll find you have a greater chance of success when you find a program that you can benefit from.
Start 2016 off on the right foot! Review the positive aspects of the year passed, and keep up the good work. For the areas that left room for improvement, this is an ideal time to make a plan and stick to it.
Contact Andrew Grow, investment advisor at ISG Advisors, at 608-828-3707 or email@example.com for additional information or assistance.
Employees will be receiving a new tax form this year having to do with their health insurance – Form 1095.
Whether you are a small or large employer, your employees need to be aware that they will need the information contained in the 1095 form when filing their tax returns. Many of you have already educated your employees on this new requirement; however, this may be a good time to remind everyone of this important information.
Our latest video on Form 1095 provides a simple overview of this new requirement. If you have any questions, contact a member of the ISG Advisors benefits team.
Executive Vice President