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Some resolutions are achievable

Patience, self control are keys to success

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POSTED: December 31, 2008 9:26 a.m.
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Derek Sills

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New Year’s resolutions seem to get the best of us every time.
Each year, people make them, and within a few months, people tend to break them.
Still, year after year, we tell ourselves we’re going to lose more weight or save more money than the year before.
Derek Sills, who heads the investment services department at The Heritage Bank in downtown Hinesville, believes the No. 1 reason people fail to achieve their financial New Year’s resolutions is because they lack patience and self-control.
“We’ve gotten into so much of the lottery ticket mentality,” he said. “Every commercial revolves around spending money, but there’s a difference between looking like you have wealth and having wealth.”
Achieving financial success takes time.
“Wealth is a marathon,” Sills said. “It is not a sprint. People think that they are going to put $10 (in the bank) and they are going to become a millionaire overnight. That ain’t real.”
What is real, according to Sills, is setting a goal and being empowered enough to keep at it — no matter how long it takes.  
“The very first thing you have to do is establish discipline to pay yourself first,” he said. “Without capital, you can’t create wealth, and you can’t create capital without saving money first.”
Sills believes that if people saved as little as $5 per paycheck they could see results and feel good about investing in their future.  
“It is more important to prove to yourself that you can start the journey,” he said.
“You can build up money in your savings account by saving $5, $10 or $20 and then change your investment to something like mutual funds, stock and bonds or real estate investments.”
Sills said reaching your full saving potential might require a little more.
“If you want to be able to retire at your full salary, you will need to be aiming for (saving) 15 to 18 percent of your gross salary,” he said.
By investing in a 401K account, Sills said people can double their savings by using free funds.
“Find out what your employer’s match is for your 401K account and invest that amount,” he said.
While it might be outlandish to say you are going to be a millionaire by the end of next year, Sills said it’s not too far-fetched to believe that you can be financially set for life.
“I tell people all the time, make a list of everything you want in life and spend the next 30 years getting it,” he said. “That’s real investing.”

On the healthy trail

Self-control and discipline are not only good for one’s finances. They can go a long way toward optimal health.
Irma Wright is an instructor at Newman Fitness Center on Fort Stewart, who also works at Farmer’s Natural Foods. She and Farmer’s owner Jerry Poppell said getting healthy is about deciding what is important.
“A lot of people don’t set realistic goals, and that’s why a lot of people don’t achieve their goals,” Wright said. “It takes commitment.”
Commitment and 30 minutes a day is a good way to start, Wright said.
“First, they need to be sure to clear it with their doctor that they can exercise. After that, they just have to find out what they like to do … like water aerobics, a spinning class or a dance class. If you enjoy doing it, you are going to keep up with it.”
More importantly, Wright said you have to watch what you eat and the company you keep.
“Surround yourself with positive people,” she said. “If you have people that have the same goals that you do, it can motivate you and support you to do the right things.
Getting healthy is about prioritizing, Poppell said. The first thing a person should do in their quest for a healthy body is detoxify with some form of exercise – walking, running, swimming, doing yoga.
“It’s kind of like starting over with a new slate,” he said.
After cleansing your body, Poppell said a person should begin consuming healthier, organic foods.
“The best thing to do would be to have less-refined sugars, less trans fats and, for the short term, it is not a bad idea to cut back or minimize high carbohydrate foods,” he said. “Keep in mind that there are plenty of healthy alternatives to your favorite, not-so-healthy foods.”
“It may be more expensive to eat healthy now, but it is kind of like you pay now or you pay later. It’s what you invest in. You have to ask yourself, ‘Is it worth it?’ The investment in yourself, your body, your mind and your health,” he said.

 

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