Friday, 4 January 2019

Your resolutions are (almost) doomed to fail

The Beginning

Your Wealth is a custom Enterprise briefing for people just like you: Executives, entrepreneurs and builders who know that time isn’t money, but that time and money are feedstock for the one thing that matters most in life: Your family, however you define it.

Once a month, in partnership with our friends at CIB Wealth, we’ll bring you a hand-picked selection of ideas, tips and inspirational stories that will help you make the most of your time, enhance our wealth, and build a better life with the people you love.

As always, we love hearing from readers. Send us story ideas, hints, tips or interview suggestions to editorial@enterprise.press.

Your Life

Congratulations — we’ve all made it through yet another orbit around the sun. Although that’s the most accurate definition of a new year, our annual celebrations seem to have very little to do with astronomy and a whole lot more to with change and fresh starts. A lot of us view 1 January as the perfect chance to put behind us an entire year, whether it is full of successes or failures, and reflect on these experiences. Even though the turn of a new year technically doesn’t differ at all from any other midnight, we also see it as a chance to open up new chapters. We are all at least somewhat aware of that fact, but we still tend to believe that there’s something special about a new year that will help us enact real change, on whatever level we seek. And so, we set resolutions.

The psychology behind setting resolutions has its roots in “the universal human desire to have some control over what lies ahead, because the future is unsettlingly unknowable,” David Ropeik writes for Psychology Today. “Not knowing what’s to come means we don’t know what we need to know to keep ourselves safe. To counter that worrisome powerlessness, we do things to take control. We resolve to diet and exercise, to quit smoking, and to start saving.” The fact that 88% of people fail to achieve the goals they have set out is neither here nor there; resolutions give us the feeling that we have control, a purpose, and ultimately something to look forward to.

There’s a science behind why we overshoot with our resolutions: People tend to set themselves up for failure by setting resolutions to do things they have failed at accomplishing during the rest of the year, with the hope that making the decision to follow through as of New Year’s will make all the difference, Claire Maldarelli writes for Popular Science. Also problematic is the fact that many people derive a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction just from the act of setting a resolution — the instant gratification we get from thinking about self-improvement is enough to make us feel like we did something, without actually committing.

Fret not — there’s also a science behind how to make meaningful changes. Studies have proven that around 80% of resolutions are abandoned by the second week of February, and that high failure rate has a lot to do with how we mentally frame resolutions, according to Business Insider. “If you can stop yourself overthinking how awful it will be to have a salad for dinner, or to go on a run after work, you might just have a better chance of going through with it.” Lifestyle coaches also suggest avoiding thinking about resolutions as something that “should” be done, which makes them carry the connotation that they are a burdensome responsibility that can be ignored in favor of a more enjoyable activity.

Resolutions can feel like a Catch-22: We’re supposed to kick old habits and develop new ones, but more often than not, we find ourselves trapped in the same old loops. But if you’re setting resolutions about mental health, Elite Daily’s got simple steps you can build into your day. One of the easiest things we can do is unplug from social media. Spending a little less time on your phone bouncing between tweets, pictures, and posts means making more attention available for your surroundings and more brain space to be present. Setting guiding questions for the start of the day can be another way to remain tethered to your goals throughout a hectic day or week.

Instead of setting one mammoth resolution, think about breaking it down into sub-goals. Since the majority of our resolutions tend to center around abstaining from or significantly cutting down on a behavior or consumption pattern, it might be more beneficial to choose one thing per month to cut out of your life, says CNN’s David G. Allan. Over the course of one year, Allan attempted to abstain from behaviors such as eating after dinner and being grumpy, or consumed items such as alcohol and sweets.

Your top 5

The top five business and economic news in Egypt in December and the first week of January were:

  • The Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) accused iPhone maker Apple and some of its distributors of having violated antitrust regulations and ordered them to amend their contracts.
  • The central bank could potentially resume issuing licenses to international banks looking to enter Egypt.
  • The Financial Regulatory Authority rejected Beltone Financial’s appeal of a six-month suspension handed to its investment banking arm over alleged irregularities in the IPO of Sarwa Capital.
  • The IMF will be disbursing its fifth tranche of Egypt’s extended fund facility this month, instead of last month, following extended talks with the government over elements of its reform program.
  • The central bank kept interest rates on hold during its final monetary policy committee meeting.

Your Time

Procrastinating? Who, us? Neeever. If procrastinating feels like your dirty little secret or the bane of your existence, fear no more. According to the Harvard Business Review, your brain is wired to procrastinate. We perceive the immediate hassle of starting a task as greater than the reward of finishing it and, lo and behold, we wait as long as possible to get started. Here are some things you can do to procrastinate less. Rewiring your brain is possible, though, if you start thinking more about the gratification of completing the task ahead than the burden of getting through it — in this case, the destination is more important than the journey. And setting yourself up for shame can help too: Publicly commit to your goal and watch the fear of losing face light a fire under your [redacted].

We also love a good to-do list, and some of us here at Enterprise will forever remain partial to the feel of pen and paper over even the most user-friendly of apps. Whether you choose the digital or analog route, writing down the tasks ahead of you can help turn long-term or abstract goals into actionable, concrete steps. Instead of feeling adrift in a big project, your to-do list will anchor you to the current task, according to Fast Company.

Here’s a quick fix for your procrastination habit in 2019: Delete your Facebook account. Or at least cut down on the time you give to that blue-themed monster at regular intervals throughout the year. We’re not even going to give you the whole speech about its effects on your mental health — all we need to do is direct you to this compilation of Facebook’s transgressions on users’ rights, courtesy of the Guardian.

Your Money

So what does the new year have in store, and where should you think of putting your money? Think cautious, but not hopeless. Amid warnings of a bearish 2019, there’s a lot of negativity in the market, FT Money says, and many investors are spooked, torn between the fear of missing out and the fear of losing money. While the optimist could argue that a dip could mean more buying potential, rising political tensions in both developed and developing countries have led to investors holding onto cash and super defensives like utilities and healthcare. Still, it’s worth remembering that experts’ end-of-year sentiments were off the past two years; people thought that 2017 was going to disappoint — instead it was a positive year — while people had high hopes for 2018 — which were unmistakably dashed. FT’s main prediction is that 2019 could be a little worse than 2018, but not terrible.

Profitable investment options for the next year include exchange-traded funds (ETFs), especially utilities ETFs which are a safe option, Forbes advises, as well as the real estate and the surging elderly care industries. Look out though, for traditional “disrupted” markets that are about to be destroyed by tech and innovation, such as traditional retail and auto sales industries, which have seen sales decline as e-commerce and the sharing economy grow.

Tech companies are staying optimistic about 2019, despite difficult market conditions, WSJ notes, dubbing it the “reign of the unicorn IPO.” We can expect to hear a lot about the four giant tech IPOs in 2019, with Uber expected to bring USD 120 mn from public funding, becoming the biggest IPO in US history. Hospitality industry disruptor Airbnb is also valued at a whopping USD 31 bn for its IPO next year. Uber’s ride-hailing rival Lyft is also expected to issue an initial public offering, with a potential valuation of USD 15 billion, while productivity software giant Slack is expected to pull in USD 7 bn in its IPO next year.

Whatever ventures you decide to explore, the availability of the necessary tools to help you track your spending and have all your banking needs at the tip of your fingers is always helpful. CIB’s internet banking services — which are accessible via computers, smartphones, and tables — allow you to keep on top of your finances through an easy-to-use platform with improved navigability to provide a smooth and enjoyable experience. CIB customers can view all accounts, credit card, loan, and mutual fund balances and transactions, as well as print and save account and credit card statements.

For more details, visit the landing page for CIB’s internet banking services.

This might be time the year to teach your kids about money. Despite it being a central feature of our lives, and the fact that children are taught about the basic concept of money, it’s hard to deny that we’ve all faced serious struggles with our financing and budgeting when we first gained financial independence. According to the Wall Street Journal, it’s best to start early with these conversations, and honesty is the best policy — even when it comes to talking about family income. “Often, parents fear causing their children anxiety or think talking about money is impolite. The problem is, keeping these secrets often caused more anxiety than telling the truth. And the negative effects of that childhood anxiety can last into adulthood. [Research has] found that subjects who report limited communication with their parents about money later in life feel ‘clueless,’ as if they don’t truly understand how credit cards or money management works.”

And don’t think that nudging them toward finance courses will automatically result in better financial management skills in the real world. While there is a general correlation, researchers have found that the link does not imply causation, particularly since there are several individual factors — such as family income bracket — that can affect people’s financial literacy. However, doubling down on math education does help, just by making kids more confident with numbers.

Your Family

Downtime with the family at home is best spent cuddling up to watch a movie or TV show — it’s a tale as old as time. So it’s good news for us all that Disney is expected to release this year quite a lineup of movies, both old and new. Remakes of Disney classes that will debut this year include the live action versions of The Lion King (release date 19 July), Dumbo (release date 29 March) and Aladdin (release date 24 May), along with Toy Story 4 (release date 21 June). It also seems the Frozen craze will likely be reignited with its sequel, Frozen 2, which is expected to premiere at the end of November. The Marvel Universe will also come out with Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame in 2019.

It seems we’ll also be in for a treat on Netflix this January. Netflix has a lot in store, with the release of original features such as A Series Of Unfortunate Events (Season 3), and film classics like Pulp Fiction as well as the feel good-cartoon Happy Feet will all be hitting our screens at sometime in January. For a full list of everything joining and leaving Netflix this January, click here.

Your Style

Bring in the New Year with a fresh style agenda for the year ahead, and revamp your wardrobe to bring something new to the table. Whether it’s vowing to try an entirely new trend, wearing more color, or investing in timeless signature pieces, make 2019 the year you focus on yourself and change up your style. Check out InStyle and Elle for fresh new ideas for your 2019 style resolutions.

Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594), and a subsidiary of Inktank Communications. Summaries are intended for guidance only and are provided on an as-is basis; kindly refer to the source article in its original language prior to undertaking any action. Neither Enterprise Ventures nor its staff assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, whether in the form of summaries or analysis. © 2018 Enterprise Ventures LLC.