We are ending 2017 in just a few weeks. The presents are being bought, wrapped, and placed under the tree. Meals are being planned as we look forward to sitting down with family and friends for our holiday feasts. As you look around the table, reflecting on the year and the many accomplishments by you, and those at the table, you may begin to think about what you want to do for 2018. Before you start on your new list, take some time to review your goals and targets for 2017. How are you ending 2017? Did you reach the desired outcome? Hit the targets on the goals you set? No matter how you frame it or say it, did you track it and hit the mark? Did you come close and maybe need just another month or two? It’s ok, now is the time to finish 2017, and look forward to the new year. Start by moving the goals that need another month or two to the new list for 2018 and set your plan for 2018 in motion.

A little about setting goals. Begin 2018 and set your goals with the outcome you want in mind. At the end of the year what do you want to accomplish, personally, financially, for your family, and for your children. Set up a timeline. Sometimes it is best to start with small goals, weekly or even daily and build your timeline from there. One of my Dad’s favorite sayings, that we heard often while I was growing up, was “Inch by inch, life’s a cinch, yard my yard, life is hard.” Make sure you are creating smaller goals or targets that are realistic to reach. The key to hitting the year end goals, is those small wins throughout the year. The feeling of success will keep you moving toward that yearend target.

Check in often depending on the goal, you may check it daily, monthly, or quarterly. Evaluate and make sure you are on track. If you are not, make the adjustments needed and get back on schedule as soon as possible. When setting financial goals, there are times when life happens and an unexpected expense pops up. Don’t let it get you down, once it’s paid, just refocus your efforts and get back on track. One item you might add to your list is your holiday spending plan for 2018. Now’s the time to review your receipts, and write down everything you bought and how you paid. Did you go into debt this holiday season? If so, I hope a limit on what you spend for the 2018 holiday just became one of your goals. Starting in January, start saving for that dollar amount monthly. If you are going to start shopping in October, then the target deadline is October. Divide your holiday budget number by 10 and you just found the amount you must save monthly to have a debt free holiday season. Relieving the financial stress of the holiday spending will allow you to truly enjoy the season with your family and friends. After all, family and friends is what life is all about.