How to Keep Your New Year's Resolution: Accountability Buddies and Little Bites

By Motley Fool

It's the time of year for New Year's resolutions. In this clip from Industry Focus: Tech, Motley Fool analysts Dylan Lewis and Michael Douglass explain what accountability buddies do and why they can be very helpful in keeping your resolutions and seeing through your goals this year. Also, they take a look at why it's so important to break up your goals into manageable chunks.

A full transcript follows the video.

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This podcast was recorded on Jan. 13, 2017.

Dylan Lewis: A couple other tips -- I did a little homework just to see what the internet was saying about this -- I think having an accountability buddy can be pretty helpful. This is something I've seen on multiple blogs, it's actually something that one of my friends kind of forced me to do for them. It's hard for me to not evangelize sometimes about personal finance stuff when I'm out with my friends, as riveted as I'm sure they are when I do that.

Michael Douglass: [laughs] I'm the same way.

Lewis: And neither of us are certified financial planners. But it's nice to at least raise awareness on certain things, and get people thinking about stuff. And I had a friend who had gotten a job at a school and worked and lived at home in the city that she was working in, so she was not paying rent for two years, because she was living with her parents. Then she moved out and moved in with a friend. And she came to this realization that she had saved a ton of money, well beyond what she needed for an emergency fund, and should probably do something with that. And she was talking to me about it, and I was like, "Yeah, let's do it."

Douglass: "Let's talk." [laughs]

Lewis: Not like you do it, but let's do it. Like, I'm going to ask you about this. And a month later, it was like, "OK, what's going on with the money? Have you set up a Vanguard account?" "No." A month later, "OK, I set up the Vanguard account, I haven't transferred the money yet." Sometimes it can be really helpful to find support from other people. I think that's something that people can overlook sometimes with that. You can be lucky and find an accountability buddy sometimes.

Douglass: Two thoughts on that. First off, do you want to be accountability buddies on, at least, the ones we share?

Lewis: Yes, absolutely.

Douglass: OK, awesome. So, that. Second thought is, the other thing you pointed out is that she did it in pieces. Blocking and tackling is really important. Rolling over a 401(k) or something like that, as you and I know, takes forever. There's all this paperwork, you have to coordinate, and shuttle ambassador between two different companies, and it's kind of miserable. For me, I'm very much and incrementalist. I believe very strongly in, "OK, I made progress toward this, I didn't finish it, but that's OK, because I made the progress I'm going to make this week toward it. Next week, I'm going to do a little bit more." Then, gradually, it's like, "OK, I filled out the form today. That's enough. I'm going to go have dinner now." "Today, I'm doing this thing." That's a way to chunk it into manageable portions.

Lewis: Yeah. Small bites, right?

Douglass: Yeah, exactly.

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