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Reach Your New Year's Goals by Planning Ahead

By Sarah Carlson, CFP®, CLU®, ChFC®

The new year has arrived, and continuously planning ahead throughout the year is essential for setting yourself up for success. Whether you're planning for big life changes or just looking to get your life organized, always taking the time to plan ahead can help ensure you make the most out of the new year. 

Skip the same old new year's song of wanting something but failing to plan. Here are five planning tips to help you start planning in 2023:

Reach your new years goals by planning ahead with realistic goals

1. Setting Realistic Goals

Setting realistic goals for the new year is a great way to start planning ahead. Identifying your objectives and planning to reach them can be a great way to stay on track with progress throughout the year. 

Having specific targets and planning out the steps you need to take to get there can help ensure that your goals are achievable and you're more likely to reach success. Making sure that your objectives are within reach is key, as well as having potential milestones along the way to help stay motivated when things might get tough. 

If you're planning out your 2023 goals, make sure they are attainable, measurable and straightforward. This will help make the journey that much easier.

Reach your new years goals by planning ahead with actionable steps

2. Creating an Action Plan

Starting off the new year with a dedication to succeed requires careful planning and strategizing. Creating an action plan that outlines the step-by-step steps towards your goals can help set you up for success. 

Break down those big ambitions into smaller, more manageable tasks that have a timeline so it's easier to focus and take on each one. Prioritize the important ones—which ones are time-sensitive? 

Once you have finished all these, track your progress and see what worked and what didn't work in getting closer to achieving your goals, as this will allow you to adjust as needed for future targets. 

With enough dedication and follow-through of the strategies outlined in the new year's action plan, attaining personal satisfaction will be within reach.

Reach your new years goals by planning ahead and staying motivated

3. Staying Motivated

As we kick off the new year and new opportunities, it's important to stay motivated and on track with our goals. It is beneficial to record your progress through a diary, online blog, or an accountability partner as it gives us reminders of how far we've come and encourages us to keep going. 

At the start of each new month make sure you assess where you are at and set new goals for yourself to focus your energy on during that period. Combine this with vision boards for a powerful method of achieving what you want.

That way when new year rolls around again you won't look back in regret but instead in satisfaction at everything that you have achieved.

Reach your new years goals by planning ahead and overcoming adversity

4. Overcoming Adversity

With the New Year in full swing, many of us have high hopes for the year and our goals. But it can be easy to get winded and discouraged along the way when faced with adversity

The key to success is planning ahead to recognize potential roadblocks and how you are going to tackle them head-on. By being proactive instead of reactive, you can stay ahead of the game and remain energized as you strive towards your ambitions. 

So this year, make sure to factor planning into your strategy—it will give you an advantage over common obstacles and an edge towards a successful new year.


This is a helpful guide in setting realistic goals, creating an action plan, staying motivated and overcoming challenges. Keep these strategies close by so that you can make the most of your new year's resolutions and achieve success. 

As a team of Spokane financial advisors, we know the importance of planning and dedication. Change your own new year's movie—start planning now and get ready to take your life to the next level.

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Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly.

All investing involves risk including loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss.