The same applies to those who read all the popular finance books before committing to their first move to reduce their debt. Becoming an expert on cost cutting but not doing it is a formula for failure, Clark says.
2. Sealing the deal
For lasting change to occur, Brad Klontz, a clinical psychologist and co-author of "Wired for Wealth," says you must believe the change is important, feel confident you can do it and be mentally ready to make the change.
Here are three ways to approach a New Year's resolution successfully:
- Believe that the change is important to make.
- Feel confident that you have the ability to make the change happen.
- Be mentally, physically and emotionally ready to make the change.
But how will you know when you're completely ready for change?
"When it has become a top priority for you to do so, and you recognize the benefits of change outweigh the costs of doing business as usual. And (when you) are motivated to take immediate action," says Klontz, who practices in Kapaa, Hawaii.
"Change can be uncomfortable and take a lot of energy. So for many, the financial stress may need to increase before (they) are properly motivated to take action," he says.
3. Seeing resolutions to completion
To make your resolutions stick, you should write them down, says Brixey, the financial expert.
"Storing them in your head doesn't work. When you write resolutions down, state them positively and you're more apt to do them," Brixey says.
Don't write, "I won't spend any money in 2009." Instead say: "I will create a spending plan and stick to it." Or make your resolution even more specific by saying, "I will shave $50 off my expenses each month."
Post your resolutions on the bathroom mirror, the top of your computer monitor or some other place where you'll see them often. When you're reminded daily of your promise, accomplishing the task will become second nature.