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New Year Financial Goals

By Mark Foster

The new year is underway. Everyone should have some kind of goal for their money, and now is the perfect time to be thinking about goals for 2012. Many people wish for good things to happen to them financially, however many take little or no action to turn those wishes into becoming reality.

It is important to create a few financial goals. As hockey legend Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”

Here are a few quick helpful tips from Credit Counseling of Arkansas: 

  • Create a few goals for the year – maybe three to six, or whatever you feel capable of but don’t overdo it. It’s easy to bite off more than you can chew by pursuing too many goals which can leave you feeling overwhelmed and discouraged. 
  • Goals will vary from person to person, but some examples might be to start a retirement account; pay off a credit card debt; or to save $1,500 towards the down payment on a car. 
  • Make your goals specific. A goal such as “better financial health” is too vague. Come up with something more specific so you will know exactly what to aim for, and know when you have achieved it. 
  • Most importantly, write your goals down and post them where you can see them daily so they are a constant reminder. Statistics show that when goals are written down there is a much higher success rate for reaching those goals.

Don’t beat yourself up at the end of the year if you fall a little short of your goals. Rather than focusing on whatever fell short, focus on your successes instead. One year I made a list of eight goals. By the end of the year I had achieved five of my goals, with two other goals achieving some progress, and only one goal that I failed to even start. At first I started to kick myself for the one goal that never got underway, but I realized that I had a very productive year and needed to appreciate the success of what was achieved.

Mark Foster is Director of Education with Credit Counseling of Arkansas (CCOA). CCOA is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.

Views expressed are the personal views of the author, and do not represent the views of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, its employees, its members, or its clients.

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