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Revving up for 2024! Thumbnail

Revving up for 2024!

It’s that time of year again; time for making hopeful New Year’s resolutions! From a personal perspective, this time last year I settled on a few resolutions that I hoped would bring joy and satisfaction to my life. While I did not fully achieve them all, I made meaningful progress and allowed myself to shift priorities as needed. Even though I did not meet all my goals exactly how I planned them, I learned lessons along the way that I will put to good use this year. 

Here are some 2023 things I worked on:

  • I earned my Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) marks after years of hard work and focus. This journey began in 2019 when I started the personal financial planning master’s degree program through Kansas State University and finally ended in July 2023. 
  • I more aggressively paid down my student loans. While I achieved this goal, I also learned it would be more helpful to automate this (like any other savings goal) by setting a specific monthly target that I roll into my overall budget that is paid throughout the year. 
  • I completed a Roth IRA conversion and saved funds for the associated taxes. This goal wasn’t created until the summer, so I had to be flexible with my other goals and it’s an area where I intentionally decided to shift priorities.
  • I have wanted to learn to drive a motorcycle for years with no forward progress, but I officially set the goal to complete the Motorcycle Safety Foundation course. Now I am a graduate of the basic rider course and slowly adding miles to my bike!

While some of these goals may not seem fun or exciting (except to us finance nerds!), I know working toward them sets me up for a brighter, more financially stable future. Plus, feeling the wind through my hair while I ride my motorcycle brings plenty of joy right now.

With 2023 in the rearview mirror, it’s time for many of us to commence our 2024 goals. I’ll share some of my goals for this year with you, but first I’m curious: What do you want to accomplish? Everyone’s answer varies but one common truth is to make sure your goals speak to you. Passion for your goals is essential to long-term success and overall happiness.

Once you have some ideas, here’s how to set yourself up for success:

  1. Set SMART goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time Bound. Setting SMART goals helps you define your ideas, focus your efforts, and increases the likelihood of achieving your goals. 
  2. Write your goals down so you can revisit them from time to time. Writing your goals down makes them more tangible and it allows for keeping track of them as the year goes on much easier. 
  3. Set aside time in your calendar to explicitly focus on your goals and track your progress. Set a weekly or monthly reminder as it is all too easy to forget or unintentionally put goals on the backburner. Life gets busy, and it’s okay to adjust your goals as the year goes on. This is about progress, not perfection, but a little planning can go a long way. 
  4. Lastly, be realistic. Do not set too many goals or ones that are unattainable. Working toward manageable goals will boost your motivation and encourage you to keep setting new goals. 

Here are a few of my 2024 SMART goals:

  • Make financial literacy more accessible to others by setting aside 4 hours each month to work on creating presentations to teach members of my local community relevant financial topics. 
  • Read twelve books with at least two focused on professional development and one nonfiction book.
  • Pay off my highest interest rate student loan with an additional payment that is set up as a line item in my monthly budget. 
  • In honor of my brother completing his first 24-hr ultra marathon, I will run at least 365 miles. However, working toward this goal may not start until warmer weather graces us! 

Now that you know my goals, we would love to hear some of yours! Feel free to share some of your goals with us. As always, we encourage you to reach out to continue the conversation.

Happy goal setting and a very happy New Year!

Written by Taylor Cole

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