Avoiding the “Stupid” New Year’s Impulses

Here we are the week before New Years and most of us want to, or feel the peer pressure, to start making resolutions for 2018.

Whatever yours may be, stop for a minute and make sure they’re not stupid or irrational things you do, or say to yourself.

The stupid things many people can do is to get super excited about getting fit in the coming year. The resolution is great – but signing a two-year fitness club contract falls under the category of stupid. If you can go for a two-month trial or on a month-to-month basis, it’s great. If you’re on a contract for a thousand bucks or more, it’s a really bad idea.

A second big one is doing serious damage to your credit score. If your mortgage is up for renewal, you’re looking to buy a home, or want to finally get your line of credit rate reduced, don’t borrow until that’s done. When you take on a new debt, the inquiry into your credit bureau can drop your score and your new debt will lower it in two other ways. Stay away from new debt if refinancing, a mortgage renewal or anything like that is on your radar within six months.

Under the category of stupid things we say to ourselves, the most common one I hear someone say is that “they got ripped off.” Sorry, there isn’t a sales person or retailer in the province who has a gun to your head. You didn’t get ripped off as much as did it to yourself. You shortcut getting another quote, you made an impulse buy with a finance contract, you didn’t shop around, etc. etc. But as long as you say to yourself and others that “you got ripped off” there’s no personal accountability. After all, if it was someone else’s fault – there’s no lesson for you to learn. If we change the wording to “I let myself get ripped off” that’s a powerful change in your thinking and in your actions the next time!

The second big way we sabotage ourselves is with the words “I can’t.” Of course you can. I can’t save, I can’t get my credit card balance down, etc. Yes you really can. But again, when you think like a victim – you’ll end up being right. If you stop using your credit card for a while, grade one math says your balance will drop with each monthly payment. So don’t sabotage yourself from the start and start thinking about how to turn the “I can’t” into “I’m going to.”

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