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#Goals

Jan 6, 2021

by Carmen Gonzalez

 

As a new year rolls in, we all have a habit of setting resolutions for things we want to change. Why not set goals for ourselves? Goals have a tendency to stick for longer than the first month of the year. Resolutions make us feel like if we fail then we can’t start back, but goals remind us that we aren’t striving for perfection but progress. From your financial situation to physical health, wellness goals can help you build the life you want.

 

Writing down goals keeps them top-of-mind. When you are making your list, you want to make sure that you know what category your goals fall into and what priority they should take. The three major goals categories and their timelines are as follow:

•  Immediate goals and needs must be achieved in the next 60 days or less. This might be preparing for a spring break getaway, buying a new tire, or planning for nights out during crawfish season.

•  Short-term goals are those that you want to achieve in the next six months. This could be preparing for summer vacation, buying a big ticket item, or run a marathon.

•  Long-term goals are those that you want to achieve farther in the future than six months. This could be buying a home, planning for retirement, or losing a certain amount of weight.

 

The beginning of the year is a great time to reset your financial goals. A good place to start is establishing a budget. A basic budget starts with your monthly income and expenses and expands to include savings and non-monthly expenses. If you want help getting started and sticking to your budget, schedule a  FREE appointment with a Centric Certified Credit Union Financial Counselor. When your budget is handled, you can start tackling your credit. Once you improve your credit, you boost your buying power which allows you to meet your financial goals and dreams quicker.

 

When you are making a budget, you need to include your saving goals in your plan. Your first saving goal should be establishing an emergency fund. An emergency fund should be at least $1,000, and you should aim to eventually be able to cover three months’ worth of expenses. Next, you should save for holidays, birthdays, and other special events like vacations. Saving for gifts for Christmas and birthdays can help you stay out of debt, and saving for vacation can help you know what kind of vacation you can go on. Centric offers both Santa Saver and Vacation Saver Accounts that can help you keep your saving goals focused. Lastly, a major savings goal should be retirement saving. Make sure you are participating in your employer’s 401k retirement program. Most companies will match a certain percentage of your contribution, so it is recommended to contribute that percentage and invest in your retirement in other ways. Roth IRAs are a great option for saving for your retirement, as well. Centric Certified Credit Union Financial Counselors can help you decide what retirement options are best for you.

 

Beyond establishing and achieving financial goals, physical wellness goals are important to set for ourselves. When we improve our physical wellness, the rest of our goals tend to be easier to achieve. An easy way to start improving your wellness is by meal prepping. Meal prepping helps you cut costs and calories and allows you complete control over what is going into your body. A good way to create the habit of meal prepping is to plan and pack your lunches for the week every Sunday. When you plan ahead, you are more mindful of what nutrition you are fueling your body with. Another great goal to set for yourself is finding fun ways to be active. Getting outside and moving can help your physical and mental wellness. Soaking in some vitamin D and breathing in fresh air has proven to improve moods and behaviors. If you find it hard to keep yourself accountable to getting active, ask a friend or loved one to set the goal with you so you can keep each other on task. You can make it competitive, or just something fun. Choose a method that pushes you to keep trying. Lastly, set an appointment with your primary care physician so you can have a wellness checkup. Your doctor can help you spot what areas you need to work on and advise you if you need to add in vitamin supplements or other foods that can help boost your health.

 

Again, we all need to remember that perfection should not be our goal; progress should be. If we fail or mess up on our journey to reaching our goals, it does not mean that we can continue working towards the things we want. Even when we mess up or don’t meet our goals when we wanted to, we can look back and see how far we have come. No matter if we are needing to improve our financial wellness or physical health, we can begin to see things fall into place as we take the steps towards our futures that we want. To evaluate your financial wellness, schedule an appointment with a Centric Certified Credit Union Financial Counselor today!

 

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