Set Goals for 2017

By December 9, 2016Law Review

by Jackie Bedard

The holidays are here, and for many of us, that means using this time to sit back and reflect on our successes or failures of the last year. Now is the best time to set personal and financial goals for 2017. Write two simple lists to help make progress for the coming year.

Set Simple Goals
The first is a list of your top 10 personal and financial goals for the year—as simply stated as possible. This list might include paying more attention to your children, exercising more or paying off old debt by following a new budget plan. One goal to consider is making sure your estate planning documents are up to date.
Draft the list out, set it aside for a day or two and come back to it to make revisions or additions.

Repetition and Reminders
Once you’ve set these goals, make three copies: one for your desk, one taped near the bathroom mirror at home, and one miniaturized in size to carry in a wallet or purse. This might seem silly, but reading one’s goals regularly can really help ensure commitment to achieving them.

The Little Things
The second list is all about the little things you have been tolerating over the last year. Sprint out a list of these annoyances. Don’t worry about prioritizing it, just put pen to paper.
Maybe you’re missing a button on your favorite sweater and are reminded of it each time you put it on to take the dog on a walk. It might be a garage door that needs fixing or a checking account that needs reconciling.
Once you begin writing these things down, it becomes clear just how many annoyances you’ve been putting up with in daily life that need addressing. Regardless of its content, this list of tolerations will certainly grow if it is not addressed.

You don’t need to take an oath to eliminate all of these issues within the next year, but you will have a much better chance of addressing most of them if you just start by writing them down.


Bedard, an elder law attorney with Carolina Family Estate Planning, can be reached at 919-443-3035 or