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Five things you can do right now to reach your 2011 goal

Happy New Year! The first week of any year marks a starting point for many. And I want you to use that motivation to kick-start your resolutions immediately. Here are four things you can do right now to move you closer to your 2011 goal.

1. Automate your savings

You want 2011 to be the year you make huge advances towards that big purchase: first home, dream home, new car, or funding a college education. So you resolved to start saving larger chunks of your income to achieve that goal. Instead of manually moving money from one account to another, automate!

Right now: This one is two parts, but the “right now” step is to go online and set up an online savings account. Next you can either set up an automated transfer from your checking to your savings each month, or you can talk to human resources about directly depositing a portion of your check into the savings.

2. Invest in what you know about

We’ve all spent the last month spending. This month pay yourself back by investing but don’t go into it blind. Do your research. Take your own fiscal responsibility as opposed to depending on others for making your investment choices.

Right now:  Set up an appointment with your financial planner to talk specifically about investing. Then figure out a reasonable amount that you can invest immediately after that meeting is over.

3. Give yourself a raise

You resolved to make more money in 2011, so you plan on asking your boss for a raise. Why wait for your boss to give you a raise when you can give yourself one? Take a moment and think about what you enjoy doing. Maybe it’s writing, painting, web design, or fixing computers. Most likely, it’s something you can get paid doing for someone else.

Right now: Put an ad on Craigslist marketing yourself as a freelance “your special talent”. No, you’re not going to make money today doing it, but you will be moving closer to your ultimate goal of making more money in 2011. And this action is two-fold; you’ll not only make more money but also be starting a business. How empowering is that!

4. Make an extra payment on the highest interest debt you have

I always feel proud of myself when I do a little extra in my workout. Whether that be five more minutes on the treadmill or an extra set of weights, it just feels good. Use this same mentality on your debt, especially those with sky-high interest rates.

Right now: Pick one of your debts. Decide how much you want to pay on it right now. Call up the company (or go online), and pay it. And don’t let those crabs in your bucket pull you down about the amount; the whole idea of this is to jump-start those goals you set for yourself.

And here’s a bonus: be proud of yourself.  Breaking down your big goals into bit-size, palatable pieces is huge! That step you just took means that you are well on your way to making 2011 your year.

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