A compelling vision, self-definition, and consistent follow-through. These are the underlying strategies that ensure the success of New Year’s resolutions, according to a personal finance expert in a Jan. 2 video.

We will always act consistently with the way we define ourselves, said Rex Ma. A. Mendoza, president and chief executive officer of Rampver Financials, a distributor of investment funds in the Philippines.

“[So think,] Will I be a top-notch investor? Will I be among those who will do well this year? Self-definition dictates all you will do, and how you will follow through.”

Saving money is one of the most enduring New Year’s resolutions, and the pandemic only highlighted personal finance concerns. A recent study titled “State of Banking and Financial Wellness” by US-headquartered research firm Forrester found that more than half of Filipinos expressed an interest in building savings (58%) and planning for retirement (52%).

Manufacturers Life Insurance Co., Inc. (Manulife Philippines), a multinational insurance company, further found in a 2021 survey that the pandemic has been a game changer for millennials and Gen Zs. The top financial products the aforementioned generations invest in, as per the Toronto-headquartered financial services provider, are insurance, government bonds, and cryptocurrencies.

“As we have learned in the past, health concerns lead to greater financial concerns. Plus, the economy and its effect on job loss has led them to shift their priorities a little bit and focus on needs rather than wants,” said Melissa Henson, Manulife Philippines chief marketing officer, in a press briefing in August 2021.

Mr. Mendoza added that apart from self-definition, establishing a system is crucial to monitoring one’s progress.

“Make sure that you measure yourself in every facet you set forth… Solutions are nothing if you don’t follow through,” he said. “If you set standards, it’s not only your life that will be better, but also those of the people in your life.”

The basics of a successful New Year’s resolution, as mentioned in the Jan. 2 video, are setting goals, adding income streams, creating an expense budget, and investing with regularity. An August 2021 B-Side episode noted how investing differs from saving. The latter meets the need to access cash for unforeseen expenses, whereas the former meets the need to hit financial goals – such as funding for a child’s college education.

“If you invest in a methodical manner, you won’t care about the ups and downs [of the market, as] you will have a constant investment you can grow all throughout the year,” said Mr. Mendoza, who added that “try” is the weakest word in the English language.

“You know what’s much stronger than ‘I’ll try?’ It’s ‘I am,’” he added. “Say, ‘I am a savvy investor. I am a consistent saver’… This also works for the physical, intellectual, and spiritual aspects of your life.” — Patricia Mirasol