New Year, New You

Debt Free

What are the top 3 resolutions for any new year? We’re revealing the answers on the Mid Day Money Show. Last week, the Debt Free Divas explored setting goals for 2011. I mentioned my borderline, obsessive tendency to create lists. As quirks go, I’m okay with a list-making obsession. However, as I reviewed our family goals for 2010, 2009, and then 2008, I noticed something. I’ve been rolling over many of the same goals for the last 3 years. Oh my. I make goals, but what am I accomplishing?

A blissful walk down memory lane turned into a reality uppercut right in the kisser (Not actually a boxing fan; work with me people). I had a momentary lapse in New Year optimism. The same optimism that whispers: “This year, I WILL loose 20 pounds and make my bed every morning”. Just then, WonderMan (my hubby) swooped in with a well-timed, mood-restoring suggestion. “Let’s consider our 2010 accomplishments.” Wait for it…3 …2 …1. Okay, I’m back!

No, goal setting is not a waste of time. Yes, life happens and your plans can be interrupted, placed on hold, or derailed entirely. We can’t prepare for every eventuality. We loose some, and hit others out of the park. At the very least, I’m reminded that I’ve been working on level 2 Rosetta Stone (Spanish) since 2008. Dios mio! It’s time to refocus and get her done.

This year, I’m adding a new component to our goal setting. In addition to a quarterly review, each goal will have an action plan. The plan will include 2 – 3 steps needed to prevent me from rolling so many goals over to 2012’s list. For example, some of the 2011 Debt Free Diva goals are:

1. Reach a 200,000 Alexa website rank by June 1.

2. Increase Facebook and Twitter followers to 600 and 100 respectively.

3. Develop class content and site structure for one class by March 31.

4. Secure one speaking engagement during Money Smart Week. (April)

5. Launch the Debt Free Diva Twitopera (stay tuned for details).

Now that our goals are written down and made plain, we can apply an action step to each one. For instance, in order to reach an Alexa ranking of 200,000, I need to:

  • post  2 – 3 articles a week,
  • participate in the Yakezie forum at least once a week,
  • read and comment on other Yakezie member and challenge blogs 2 – 3 time per week, and
  • bug my co-hosts until they install the Alexa tool bar. They are not as excited about the challenge yet. I think it’s because they don’t see the ranking change daily. 

We have goals, action steps, and a quarterly review planned. Is there anything else? Yes. Grab an accountability partner; a money buddy. Someone with equal parts nosey neighbor and bold buddy who’ll help keep you engaged and on track.

Don’t have a money buddy – don’t worry. The Divas can stand in. Just comment on this article. Include any goals fit for public consumption or just say hi. We’ll help keep you on track with a quarterly check in. No spam, no selling elixirs. We’ll just check in quarterly and, with your permission, promote a little PDA (Public Displays of Accomplishments).

Here’s to a great 2011! Let’s make it the year you say cha-ching and disable debt’s stranglehold on your finances.

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