If you have been putting off financial goals, the New Year is a clean slate and a fresh opportunity to start pursuing them again. Staying on track doesn’t have to be difficult or take a lot of discipline: it just takes some simple application of time and will power. These four steps can help you stay on track all year long.
1. Make Your Goals Clear
The best way to make your goals real for yourself is to write them down. Once you’ve done that, they are no longer thoughts or ideas but tangible objects to accomplish now as opposed to “some day.” It takes time to sit down and contemplate what you want to accomplish, and doing so is the first step toward progress.
2. Review Your Goals Daily
Write down your goals somewhere you can look at them – somewhere you’re forced to look at them – everyday. Put them on sticky notes on your fridge or next to the mirror in your bathroom; on notecards in your wallet or on your computer. Daily reminders will reinforce the necessity of your goals and the sacrifices you must make to accomplish them, increasing your odds for success.
3. Ditch Credit Cards, Loans
Using a credit card or money from loan accounts is the same as spending someone else’s money; even if you plan on paying it back, it’s easy to get caught in the pitfalls of high interest rates. Limiting your credit card usage will prevent you from piling on debt, and living within your means through cash and debit will keep you out of trouble later while forcing you to stay on budget.
4. Take Action Now
Nike got it right with their slogan: Just Do It. Don’t put off tomorrow what can be done today. Make up your mind to do something toward your goal – no matter how big or small – each and every day. Whether you know it or not, you have the power to accomplish any goal you diligently set after. Be patient, take it one day at a time, and never look back.
What are you goals for the New Year, and how do you plan on achieving them? Start a thread in our comments section below.
Carrie Smith is a PerkStreet Customer Columnist who has worked as a freelance Certified Bookkeeper for nine years and as a Tax Specialist for four. She specializes in small business and oil and gas accounting. She has written several finance and accounting articles at Hubpages.com, and also writes regularly on her own blog CarefulCents. Follow her on Twitter @applecsmith.