The New Year's Resolution
We’ll Help You Stick With
It’s the New Year and something’s gotta give. We have to do better, be better and spend smarter. If you are anything like me, you’re in the process of cleaning out the old, in order to usher in the new. You are waist-deep in planning mode and setting goals in order to maximize your outputs for the year. It is normally this time of year when the vision board parties are happening and people are planning their New Year’s Resolutions. Our lists are ready, our visions are born, and now we are ready to execute.
But what if I told you, you forgot one – you’re missing a resolution on your list. It’s one that impacts more than just you, and the results are amplified exponentially. And what if I told you that we can help you stick with this resolution?
While less than 8% of people stick to their resolutions according to Forbes, James Clear, author of Atomic Habits says, “If you’re having trouble changing your habits, the problem isn’t you.The problem is your system.”
With no system in place, your habits are not repeatable and when trying to change, a system is essential. In order to combat this, today we’re building a system. Are you ready?
By the way, it is important to know that timing helps too. The start of the new year is the perfect take-off point.
Atomic Habits author James Clear says, “If you aren’t sure when to start your habit, try the first day of the week, month, or year. People are more likely to take action at those times because hope is usually higher. If we have hope, we have a reason to take action. A fresh start feels motivating.”
Now that we have the rationale down for doing this now. Are you ready? Here is the piece you are missing:
Enter #BuyBlack and #ShopLatinx. These are not just hashtags or a fleeting feeling of “doing good”. These two phrases actually provide you with valuable instruction for your resolutions. So go ahead and say it: “Siri, Diversify my 2021 spend.” And add that to your list of New Year Resolutions.
"If you have a dollar to spend, you have a role you can play."
Hesitant about adding it to the list because you are not sure if these movements are for you? If you have a dollar to spend, you have a role you can play. Go ahead and make the resolution to diversify your personal spend in 2021. Add it to your list. You have the ability to shape economies like never before. There are many benefits of doing business with the Latinx community and with the Black community. Not only does expanding your spending palette provide you with more options as a consumer, but also it creates a healthy and more competitive economy. Isn’t competition one of the holy grails of our system? For too long, due to all the barriers you know about already, Black and Latin owned businesses have not been able to get started, scale, and tap into broad customer markets like their white counterparts with equal talent and similar offerings. You can resolve to be part of setting that straight.
Now that we have identified the “what” and the “when”, let’s talk through the “how”. Here are 6 steps to keeping your #BuyBlack and #ShopLatinx resolution.
1. Track your spending for one month
In order to redirect where your money is going in the future, you have to first understand where your money is going now. Pull out those bank statements and find out where your dollars went in December. Look at November too. And October so you see what you were up to before the holidays started.
In your tracker, list out all of your monthly expenses, the amounts associated with each expense, who the vendors or suppliers are, and whether or not they are Black or Latin-owned businesses. At the end of this exercise you should have a comprehensive list and understanding of where your dollars are flowing and what communities they are impacting. Take special note of the businesses that are marked “no” under Black or Latinx ownership. Those are your opportunities for change.
2. Track those “Emergency Fund” splurges for all of 2020 along with the potential future emergency expenses
2020 was the year of chaos and as though a global pandemic wasn’t enough, I’m sure some circumstances had you dip into your “Emergency Fund”. Track those expenses in 2020 that had you shrug your shoulders and say “C’est la vie”. This includes (but is not limited to) unexpected expenses with a plumber, electrician, sitter, chimney sweeper, your car or even a roofer. These could also be expenses for gifts for the holidays or a planned home renovation. The point here is to track all life event expenses that did not occur on a regular basis.
Additionally add in potential future emergency expenses or life events that you may experience in 2021. Are you moving? Maybe you’ll need a realtor or movers. Do you have an electrician just in case? How about an auto mechanic? Think through all potential expenses that have come up in the past that you will need a recommendation for and instead of going to Angie’s List, make one for yourself featuring Black and Latin-owned businesses that can give you the excellent service you require. The categories on your list? Those are your opportunities for change.
3. Determine where you are willing to welcome new recommendations
As you go through your lists created in steps 1-3, determine where you are open to recommendations of Black and Latin-owned businesses in those categories. In some instances you may be bound by a contract (e.g. cable, rent, phone), but the categories where you have flexibility, go through and highlight those categories. Those are your opportunities for change.
4. Pick two categories to commit to changing and research
Now is where a little research comes into play. For all those categories where you have marked that you don’t have a solution or you are open to change, find Black and Latin-owned businesses to meet your needs. Pick two categories that require the most immediate action. Diversify those first. Then anytime you have a new need that you are willing to diversify, revisit your list. The need is your cue, and going to your list should be your response. Those are your opportunities for change.
Pro tip: Think about starting with a recurring expense. This way you can set the payment and forget it. This also continually creates meaningful change and impact throughout the year. Set up auto payment or deliveries. Part of a book club? Buy from a Black-owned store. There are many. You did the research in advance. Now every time anticipated expenses come up you can make the purchase proudly, and give the business a shout too. Those are your opportunities for change.
Once you turn the first two recurring expenses into habits, make your way down your list until you totally transform your spending! Remember – it is not about your intentions, it is about your actions. And to follow through successfully on this New Year’s Resolution, you need a system.
5. Spread the word and tell your friends!
Transforming your personal and household spending by forming new habits is a very big deal. One way to multiply the effect is to tell your friends and family and help them do the same. There is strength in numbers. And impact too. My company is multiplying the effect of individual choices by working with companies and organizations of all sizes to do pretty much the same thing you are doing but with their business expenses. And my clients are offering a great set of tools to their employees to do the same. So if you want to introduce me to someone at a company or organization where you work or that you care about, I am ready! Let’s do it together.
Conscious Customers™ helps companies and organizations be more inclusive by putting Black and Latin-owned businesses at the center of their spending and engaging their employees in doing the same at home. Reach out for more information at [email protected].