BOSTON (CBS) – It’s the start of a new year. And many folks do make New Year’s resolutions, thinking they will get rid of an old bad habit or start a new good habit, like saving more.

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Nearly half of us do make New Year’s Resolutions but sadly less than 10% are successful. So why bother even to make resolutions if we never achieve them?

Because hope springs eternal. And so often we want to undo or redo whatever we did do or didn’t do last year. We want to produce a better us.

We all want to be healthier, wealthier and wiser. The media has been focusing on healthy by providing us with motivational stories about weight loss and exercise programs since the day after Christmas. The morning shows have been showing the before and after pictures of folks who have lost significant weight.

Every major weight loss program has been running ads on TV and radio as well as the newspaper and magazines. Oprah has been advertising the virtues of Weight Watchers, explaining why she joined. She could have bread and she owns 10% of the company!

So, I thought we would spend this week on getting wealthier and wiser. Oprah can help you get healthier.

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Prioritize your goals and put together a plan. What’s your deadline? If you want to succeed, you need to be committed to your plan.

And you need to write it down. Lip service here does not work. You will be far more committed if you actually put pen to paper. Begin to talk about it with others. Doing so makes you accountable.

Enlist a buddy who may have the same goals. You are more apt to be successful if there is more than just you trying to save money or lose weight.

Choose a goal that is attainable. Saving more and becoming rich are ambiguous goals. Break the goal down into smaller steps.  Planning to save $1,000 this year is achievable. Enrolling in the 401(k) at work is attainable. Saving 3% in your retirement plan. Bringing lunch from home at least 4 days a week to save more also works. Small ways to succeed.


You can hear Dee Lee’s expert financial advice on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 each weekday at 1:55 p.m., 3:55 p.m., and 7:55 p.m.

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