Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions? –lose weight; –watch less TV; –spend more time with family; –focus on your faith; — or maybe even save more money! We focus on something in the short-term with the hopes it will make a significant difference in the long-term.

Whatever the goal, you’ll need more than a resolution to achieve real and sustainable success. For many of us, systemic change can only be achieved through a change in the way we think about an issue and a process that leads us to our goal.

In my experiences as an attorney and a financial coach, I have seen how many people OVERESTIMATE what they can accomplish in one year and significantly UNDERESTIMATE what they can accomplish in five years. I tell people that if they can change the way they think about money and investing, they will not recognize their lives in five years!

For example, someone doesn’t get rich because they save $1000 a month for one year. They get rich because they save $100 a month for a lifetime. One of the biggest reasons why we fail is that we are overzealous and overcommit on the front end. We become discouraged and give up. Has this ever happened to you? It has to me!

We think that systemic change has to be a big change, and we often associate change with pain. However, systemic change is based on a shift in the way you think about something. The shift can be very subtle; however, such a shift can lead to a change on the trajectory of your life.

Our overzealous start can lead to discouragement and failure. Most of us can’t save $1000 a month, however, many of us can start to save $100 a month. Next year we can save a little bit more. Every time you get a pay raise, you save a little bit more. When you pay off the car, you save a little bit more. If we’re consistent with saving a little bit more, you’ll be surprised how much you can save over the long-term.

If we are going to be successful investors, we need to be intentional. Financial success and peace of mind can be attained by creating good financial habits for life. Establish reasonable and attainable goals. Consider making goals based on your long-term visions you have for your life and those you love.