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Setting Financial Goals for the New Year

financial goalsI know it’s only November and we haven’t yet had our Thanksgiving turkey in the U.S., but I’ve already started planning what my financial goals for 2015 will be. Lots of people won’t start talking about their goals for the New Year until January, but in my opinion you should start planning now for what you want to accomplish next year. That way when January 1st rolls around, you’ll already know what you need to do to be on the road to success. Here are just a few things I did to help me decide what my financial goals will be for 2015.

Take a Look Back

If you can’t remember what your 2014 goals were or how you stack up against them, take some time to review them now. Look at what you set out wanting to accomplish and how you progressed toward these things throughout the year.

2014 isn’t over yet and there’s still time to achieve your goals, but you should be at about 75-80% of your beginning goal by now. If not, why didn’t you make progress as you were hoping or expecting? What setbacks did you experience along the way? If you are on track to have your goals met by the end of year, or if you’ve already exceeded them, what helped you be successful? This information is key to helping you prepare for the coming new year.

Project Forward

Now that you’ve analyzed what you sought to do and what your results have been for 2014 so far, this information can help you figure out where to go from here.

If you had setbacks this year, how can you plan ahead now to avoid them next year? Maybe you’re on track to meet, or have already met your 2014 goals, because of a one-time income boost. If this is the case, what can you expect to accomplish next year without this event happening again? On the other hand, if you’ve met or exceeded your goals and believe you can replicate this progress again next year, you need to decide how much higher to set your goal for 2015.

Setting goals is a balancing act: your goals should always be something that you have to stretch a bit to reach. You don’t want them to be too easy so that you don’t have to work hard to achieve them, and you don’t want them to be unattainable either.

Break Them Down

Once you have big idea goals in mind, break them down in bite-sized steps. For example: if your goal is to pay off debt in 2015, how much should you pay off each month (or each quarter)?

Having smaller monthly or quarterly goals will make it easier to evaluate your progress during the next year, and will be helpful for evaluating your overall progress at the end of 2015.

Keep Track

Writing down both your big picture goal for 2015 and your smaller bite-sized goals, and keeping them posted in a highly visible place, will help you to stay motivated when times get tough. Spending temptations arise for all of us from time to time, and having your goals close at hand will help defeat the urge the splurge.

 

What do you do in order to set/establish goals? What are your financial goals for 2015? What is a goal you killed it on this year?

 

 

Photo Courtesy of: Amodiovalerio Verde

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Kayla is a mid-20s single girl living in the Midwest, USA. She is focused on paying off her consumer and student loans, while simplifying her life and closet. You can join her on her journey at ShoeaholicNoMore or follow her on Twitter.

16 comments

  1. One of my mini goals is to be able to track down my spending religiously! Small but I think this will have a big impact on my finances.
    How To Save Money recently posted…Tips on Saving Money When You Are Living AloneMy Profile

  2. We stuck to our plan this year for the most part. I am ready to clamp down on our spending a little bit in the new year, though.
    Holly@ClubThrifty recently posted…How The Internet Saved Me $780 In Five MinutesMy Profile

    • Good luck! Can’t wait to hear more about it. I haven’t made all my goals, but I feel better prepared for what to expect next year now that I’m almost a year into budgeting.

  3. Each year we set our goals for the next year, write them down and then review them at the end of the year. This year has had some success but a lot of missed goals. 🙁 We are currently working on goals for 2015 and are planning on it becoming a brighter year.

    • Good Luck! I hope it goes better for you. I know my goals will be a lot more realistic now that I know more of what to expect to accomplish in a year’s time.

  4. We did okay this year with our financial goals, but a decent amount of large expenses popped up unexpectedly a few times. Lets hope for a cheaper 2015! 🙂
    Michelle recently posted…Bad Money Mistakes Couples Should Avoid – They May Be Making You Poor and Stressed OutMy Profile

  5. This is a great reminder that I need to get focused on 2015 goals. I always seem to get caught up wrapping up the current year that I don’t take enough time to look forward. I plan to give some good thought to this over the coming weeks. I have a lot of things I want and need to accomplish in 2015 so it’s really important for me to write them down and keep track of them.
    Shannon @ Financially Blonde recently posted…Music Mondays – Thank YouMy Profile

    • Yes! That’s exactly it Shannon. This is a crazy busy time of year, but in order to start 2015 off right we should all take a little time to figure out our focus/goal(s) for the year.

  6. You are so right….it is time to assess how I did this year and how I can do better next year. It seemed I took 10 steps forward this year and 8 steps back. Next year has to be different.
    Petrish @ Debt Free Martini recently posted…Ex-Shopaholic MiseryMy Profile

  7. Planning now is a great idea. I do all of the steps you mention. I look back at the current year and my goals to see where I succeeded and where I failed. I then think about what I want to achieve in the future – where I want to be and what I need to do this coming year to put me into position to get there.
    Jon @ Money Smart Guides recently posted…Black Friday Shopping TipsMy Profile

    • I’m so glad you do all these things. It’s a great way to be prepared for the new year since you know exactly what you accomplished in 2014 and why (or why not).

  8. Yay! Another set of goals for next year to do. Still, I haven’t completely get my goals this year. That being said, I know what kind of goals I will have next year based on this year’s. Keeping track is really beneficial, I love doing some monitoring.
    Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank recently posted…Investing, Gambling, and Entertainment in Personal FinanceMy Profile

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