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Read more about Make A Change Monday here.
It’s a new year, and while it seems like a great time to make a fresh start, it’s also a great time to look back into your past and figure out what went wrong.
Did you hit every goal you set out to meet this past year?
Did you come close? Exceed? Or did you fall terribly short?
If you did not meet your goals, it’s time to sit down with pen and paper. It’s time to be brutally honest with yourself.
Why didn’t you meet your goals? Is it because there was a medical emergency and you had to pull funds to cover it? Or is it simply that you lost sight of the big picture and overspent all year long?
Regardless of why you didn’t meet your goals, it’s time to learn from what went wrong.
If an emergency kept you from them, then maybe this year your goal should be to beef up your emergency fund. Or maybe you need additional insurance coverage because you found that the level you have just isn’t sufficient.
If your issue was more that you got a bit lazy or unfocused, then it’s time to recommit yourself. Get back to basics. Read my series on Strategic Shopping. Read about what living the frugal life means in my series on Frugality.
Reconnect with your goals and set an action plan to ensure that this year, you meet or exceed everything you set out to do!
I have created a 2011 Goals Wrapped Up PDF for you to print out and go over (Click the link to go to the PDF. Then right click and choose print). This worksheet will help you pinpoint what your goals were, what went right and what went wrong and what you have learned from the outcome. It’s a good exercise for anyone who wants to create a bit more discipline in their financial lives.
I did not meet all of my goals last year! I have sat down and pinpointed the main reasons why I fell short and I wanted to share them with you, because you might find yourself in the same boat:
- My record keeping was not up to par. This was mainly because things moved very quickly for me in 2011. I also experienced a loss in 2011 that kind of sent my life into a whirlwind. The rest of the year was playing catch up. To prevent this from happening in the future, I think I just need to adopt the mindset of keeping every single receipt. Life might not permit me to log or record everything right away, but at least if I keep it, it will be there to record when I’m ready!
- Our budget was turned upside down. Going from a one income family to a two income family (where the 2nd income is VERY variable and unreliable) was a bit stressful for us and it shook up the budget we’ve had in place for years. This year, things are a bit more consistent and we’re going to work on figuring out where we go from here.
- There was only one specific savings goal that we did NOT meet for 2011. That was buying the children bunk beds cash. Instead, we ended up investing more money into the site and into getting help for the site. I don’t regret changing around how the funds were appropriated, but I’m pretty upset I didn’t get the kids their bunk beds. This year, it’s non negotiable. I’ll be sharing some of our financial goals for 2012 in the next day or so, and that will be at the top of our list!
I want to know! Did you reach all your goals in 2011? Did you even write any goals down? Let me know how 2011 ended up for you in the comments!