Realistic goals will help you achieve New Year's resolutions - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Realistic goals will help you achieve New Year's resolutions

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EAU CLAIRE (WQOW) -- Like many people you may have made some New Year's Resolutions. Maybe you've decided to hit the gym more often or set a financial goal.

A recent survey shows 36 percent of Americans listed finance as their first priority over other more traditional resolutions.

WQOW spoke with a financial advisor today to find out what you can do to make sure you meet those financial goals in the new year. Whether your new year's resolution centers around finances or weight loss, experts told us setting realistic, manageable goals will help you succeed.

Financial advisor,  Andy Schlafer says when January 1st rolls around the phone begins to ring, many people want to know how to start the year off on the right foot financially. "People are a little bit more aware or want to be more aware of what investments they own how do they work how are they performing," said Schlafer.

He says one way to manage your money well is by being realistic, "The goals and the strategies have to be realistic, if you're not doing anything and you want to start funding your IRA it's not realistic to start funding that IRa with $5,000."

Schlafer says look at your budget, figure out how much you can live without and then pay yourself first. If you set financial goals too high you may become discouraged and not stick with it.

And it dosen't matter if your goal is to set aside an extra $50 each month, or lose 50 pounds. Health experts agree, setting manageable goals is the key to success.

"It will take time you know the weight didn't come on in a week or two or three so they have to be realistic," said Diane Dressel, a registered dietitian.

Dressel says those who are serious about committing to a weight loss program have to be prepared to make a lifestyle change, "Habits are powerful and if they go back to the same old habits they'll be back to the same old weight."

When it comes to weight loss health experts say it's not uncommon for people to struggle with a new diet, but if you slip up, it's important to move forward, not give up.

"An analogy is like when they taught their kids to ride a bike," said Dressel. "Most kids fall off that bike and if they want to learn how to ride the bike they gotta get back on."

Back to money management. Schlafer says looking back on 2009 there is a financial lesson that can be learned. As we all experienced, the economy can be unpredictable, and Schlafer says it's a good idea to have a back-up or emergency strategy in place.

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