New Year, New You? This year make it stick!

Hands up if you have made a New Year’s Resolution and by February it was out of the window?  I’m sitting here with my hand in the air for certain as I’ve done it more than a few times.  We start the New Year full of ideas, determination and the will to change but then life kicks in and it all goes sideways.  So this year, I thought I would do some research on how to make those resolutions stick and here is what I found.

Make clear goals

One of the best ways to make goals and stick to them, according to psychologists, is to make clear goals that are achievable and have a path to that aim.  Don’t just say ‘I’m going to finally do something about getting a new job’ but instead, say you are going to update your CV, brush up on the latest interview techniques and review your qualifications.  Once you are sure that you have everything prepare, you are going to look on the internet job boards for roles and start applying.  You aren’t going to get disheartened if you get turned down but are going to keep working towards that dream job.

Take it step by step

Say your ambition for the New Year is to start a small business from home and you have an idea for the business that you have done a little research on and feel it is a viable proposition.  So rather than jumping into running it full time, making a profit and quitting your current job, set a series of aims to get the business running.  This might be things like get your products ready for sale, set up a website, start building a social media presence and do some advertising.  Have a series of steps that will end up with the business up and running and can then continue to a profit-making venture.

Change things one at a time

You may have a list of resolutions you want to enact over the year but don’t try to do them all at once.  Say you want to start going to the gym but also get on top of your housework.  Then why not hire someone to help around the house for the first few months while you establish your gym routine then work on adding the housework to it – or work on the housework schedule then add the gym trips, whatever works best.

Talk about your goals

Tell your friends and family about your goals and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it or if you are feeling down about your progress.  You might think you are doing poorly but others might think you are doing great and that boost can make all the difference!

Don’t beat yourself up

My thing is beating myself up when I don’t achieve a goal but often it’s because I’ve set unrealistic timetables for that goal.  So try to be realistic about your resolutions and then if something goes wrong, don’t get too stressed about it – just look at what didn’t happen or what went wrong and see what you can pick up from it.

Putting Our House To Work

In our 2017 Income Booster Guide we talked about the urge to generate some extra income and how we could boost our income, which got me thinking about another resource that many of us have and that can make us some extra money – our homes. If you own your home, then there are ways of putting the house to work to make some extra money. Here are a few, including ones I have tried myself – with pros and cons of them.

Taking in a lodger

There’s a huge demand for housing these days and this has seen an old idea come back to life – taking in a lodger. The combination of people with spare, empty bedrooms and other people wanting to live in a certain area but unable to afford the full rent has led to the need for rooms to rent. I’ve done this one a couple of times, for students, and it can work but you need to be a little careful.

Remember, this person is going to be sharing your house so you could be eating meals with them, sharing bathroom rotations and even relaxing together, depending on the layout of your house and the person. Sure, they will likely have their own things to do but everyone spends time at home. So remember you need to be willing to share your home with a stranger for it to work.

Used as a film location

This is an exciting and interesting way to make a bit more money that isn’t a guaranteed source of income but if you need a boost for a holiday, a project or to clear a debt, then it could be an ideal solution. I did this once for an (unnamed) film company and it was great fun.

Having your home used as a film location can also generate a reasonable bit of cash assuming your home is what the film companies are looking for at that time. Bear in mind, however, that you will need to move out while they are filming. The contract will include the cost of a hotel but you could be out of your home for a few days or even a few weeks depending on what they are filming.

A slight off-shot to this is if your home is in which case, photographers might pay for a short use of your home or a room in it for a photo shoot. This won’t pay as much as the film studios idea but it also less disruptive to your life if you don’t want to move out.

Set up with Airbnb

Airbnb is a massive new concept where people rent out a room in their home to holidaymakers for a short time. It has taken off in a big way and can be a good use for a spare room that can earn money when you want – say for a month in the summer or while the kids are away at university. You can list your home, facilities you have and local attractions to attract people but remember, you will have complete strangers staying in your home for their holiday.