I want to eat healthier, drink more water, go to bed on time, train for that half a marathon and this year I'm really going to save money. Sounds good, right? We make a plan, figure out how we're going to achieve our goals, and we just do it. In our heads, it all seems easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Only, New Year's resolutions don't work. As appealing as it is to start the new year fresh, with all great plans for yourself - we prove every year that it doesn't actually work. In fact, 80% of our good resolutions don't even make it to the end of January.

Willpower fades..

Why doesn't this work? The idea of "just doing it" leans on your willpower. And willpower is like the warm sun on your face. When it's there, it's cozy and fun. Life feels better, easier, and warmer.

And then the day turns into night, or the rainstorm approaches. The sun disappears behind the clouds and suddenly you are on your own. Your willpower is nowhere to be found. You don't feel like leaving that cookie in the jar, having to go to bed already, or do your trail run outside in the rain. And that's the problem: willpower is not always there. Willpower is nice when it's there, but unfortunately you can't build on it.

3 key insights for getting a grip on your finances

You'd like to improve your finances. If New Year's resolutions don't work, what will? These three key insights can make the difference between continual failure and a sense of success with every step you take:

  1. Focus on behavior, not results: we often look at the big goal, the result. It's good to know where you want to go. But don't stop there. It's the small steps that get you closer. Focus on your behavior, and think: what can you do today to get one step closer?
  2. Keep in mind that you make most decisions unconsciously: 95% of our choices are automated, unconscious and rooted in our habits. We like to think of ourselves as very conscious beings, but much of what we do is on auto-pilot. So you still forget to drink your water, schedule that workout or really spend less now.
  3. Have a plan: start patiently and in a structured way. By putting money aside today, you will not be a millionaire tomorrow. But by saving, and bring structure to your finances, you get a grip on what comes in and what you spend. This reduces financial surprises, you are prepared for what's to come, you have money for fun things and you build a financially healthier future. One step at a time.

Automatize: the lifehack for a successful financial plan.

Want to win financially this year? Forget willpower. The biggest lifehack for your financial plan is automating your money flows to different saving jars with the Flow app. Automation brings you: insight, overview, and no more stress about money. You set up the automation once according to your plan, and from there it's just about adjusting and perfecting it. This gives you both control over your finances and more time to do what you like. And that's what we love about Flow.