Setting Goals for the New Year

The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals. ~ Melody Beattie

It is so hard to believe that we are in the final month of 2018! This month is typically the busiest month of the year filled with shopping, festive parties, family, friends, and loads of memorable moments. Before we know it, the gifts will all be unwrapped, the parties will be over, and we will be welcoming the New Year. The chance that many refer to as “Out With the Old and In With the New” – an opportunity to set goals, make resolutions, and improve specific areas of our lives.

Once the gifts are all unwrapped and the holiday craze is over, there is usually a lovely lull the week before New Year’s Eve. Typically, this week provides a calmer, quieter pace, both at home and at the office. Don’t wait for the calendar to change, use this week to get a jumpstart on setting your New Year goals and resolutions. Here are a few tips to help get started.

The most popular New Year’s resolutions year over year include, health and fitness (exercising more, losing weight, and eating healthier), getting out of debt, and saving money. Set aside the time to sit down, grab a notebook, and write down what you want to accomplish in 2019 and break the goals into categories: Health and fitness, financial, travel, career, and major purchases. Under each category set an annual goal and then break each goal into monthly goals.

For example, if your goal is to pay down debt. Grab your statements, tally your total debt, and determine the pay down amount. If your goal is to pay down $5,000, write $5,000 for the annual goal and $417 for the monthly goal. The same goes for building a savings account or saving for a major purchase. If your goal is to save $12,000, write the annual goal of $12,000 and the monthly goal of $1,000. If your goal is to lose weight, travel, or change careers. Set a goal of when you want to achieve the goal and break it down to monthly steps you need to take to accomplish the goal. Breaking the goal into bitesize chunks allows you to focus on smaller, more achievable, steps to reach the overall goal.

Next, create a vision board with charts to track and monitor your monthly and annual progress, and include photos of items you want to save for, purchase, or reward yourself with when you meet specific milestones. Vision boards should include short-term and long-term goals and dreams. There are loads of tips and ideas for creating a vision board on Pinterest and there are Apps available for creating vision boards on your mobile device.

Once January hits, be sure to review your written plan and vision board weekly, update your progress, and adjust as needed. Having a written and visual plan and reviewing your progress weekly, will provide the focus and momentum needed to more easily accomplish every goal you set in 2019!

For more tips on setting and achieving financial goals in 2019, be sure to check out my new book “Digging Out” – available for purchase on www.jodeebrydges.com.  The book has everything you need to get your financial house in order and make 2019 your best financial year yet!

Wishing you a joyous holiday season and a New Year filled with accomplishments both big and small!

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