The beginning of the year naturally puts many of us into a reflective headspace. We think back over memories we have made, accomplishments we have celebrated, and obstacles we have overcome. This is also the perfect time of year to reflect on our finances. Did we accomplish goals we set for last year? Did we set the right goals? What goals do we want to set for this upcoming year?

Did You Accomplish Goals Set for Last Year?

In order to make a decision about what to do next, sometimes it’s important to look back. There are some key questions that are important to reflect on:

  • What financial goals did you set out to accomplish last year?

        o   Did you have an action plan?

        o   Were you successful?

                 - Did you follow the plan?

             - What were your setbacks?   

             - How can you prepare for setback in the future?

  • Did you set the right goals?  It is important to set the right goals so that you can stay focused and on task. Having a large goal is fine, but when you are setting goals for the year, it should be something small enough to accomplish within 12 months, or something broken down into smaller goals that can be tracked from year to year. When setting goals, it’s important to make sure it is realistic, measureable, and given a deadline.

Setting Goals For the New Year

Reviewing the previous year should help you come up with the right goals for this year. Determine what you want to do differently to have more control over your finances. Things to do to set your goals:

  • Review and reflect on last year: It is important to look at your spending habits and evaluate how you managed your money throughout the year. Did you have enough saved for emergencies or things you wanted to do throughout the year? It is also the perfect time to review important things like insurance coverages, retirement contributions, your credit report, etc.

  • Set Goals: Once you know what you want to accomplish, create a roadmap showing how you plan to get there. Set goals that are specific, measurable, and given a deadline.

  • Plan for Saving and Investing: You can sit down and think of the things you want to do throughout the year and give yourself a savings goal, or you can look at how much money you have left after paying your bills and assign that money a purpose. Things that are important to plan ahead for could be emergencies, vacations, holidays, special occasions, retirement, etc.

  • Set a Budget: Learning how to set a budget is important because you need to know if you are spending your money efficiently. Setting up a budget will give you a plan for your money and make it easier to find areas where you can spend less.

  • Check in on progress throughout the year: To make sure you stay on track, do regular check-ins. Checking in helps you see your progress, gives you the opportunity to make adjustments, and helps you stay motivated.