Time to set financial goals for 2011

A new year is just around the corner. This is a time when many of us reflect on the past and look forward to the future by making resolutions and setting goals for the coming year.

Like most of us, you may strive to establish goals at the beginning of each year. And, like most of us, you probably never realize many of your goals.

What can you do to improve the chances of your goals coming to fruition? There are several steps you can take to help you realize your dreams.

The starting point for your goals is a strong desire. Your first step in achieving your dreams is to really want to attain each goal you set for yourself.

Remember to be specific with regard to your goals. Do not be ambiguous. State exactly what you want to achieve this year.

Develop a plan for the path you need to follow to accomplish each of your goals. You must create the action steps that you need to take and follow through on them.

Make your goals measurable. For example, you may want to set aside funds for the education of your children. How much do you want to set aside?

Establish definite time limits on your goals. This makes them more realistic. Perhaps you want to lose weight during the year. You should state how much you expect to lose each week or month.

Put your goals in writing. This will increase the chances of your achieving them. In addition, writing them down will motivate you to attain them.

Finally, review your overall progress periodically. You should make sure you are moving in the right direction. Do not allow your goals to fade away. Figure out what you need to do to accomplish them.

Your goals are your dreams, and you can turn them into reality. The approach discussed above can help you achieve them.

Wayne Curtis, Ph.D., is on the board of directors of First United Security Bank. He may be reached by email at wc_curtis@yahoo.com.