There are less than two weeks until the year ends, have you reviewed your end of year tasks. You have probably already been thinking about what you want to bring next year. Thinking about it is great, but starting to plan for it is even better. For me, December is a time for celebrating my accomplishments and learning from the failures. It is also a time to figure out what I want to do next year in my businesses, on my blogs, and in my personal life. It is a great time to step back, take a breather, and decide what to do in the coming year. The benefits for me to do this now are:
- It allows me to look at the bigger picture.
- It guides me to decide on what goals would be a good and natural next step.
To help you get your goals ready for next year, below are five tasks to do before the year ends to help you too.
Do these tasks before next year for a better focused year.
- Review your current year goals to decide what next year's goals will be. First, look at the earlier 11 months. Check off the completed goals. Decide what purpose you want to carry over from the current year and what you are choosing to let go of. This part always takes some time. It is understandable if it takes several days to do this. After all, you are planning a goal for an entire year; it will take you a little while to figure out what that goal would be.
- Review all your investments and tax-related paperwork to make sure they are for this year's tax return. Organize all your receipts, bills, sold investment papers, and any other paperwork that you need. Create an accordion folder to organize these papers. Visit our post for instructions: HOW LONG TO KEEP TAX RETURN SUPPORTING PAPERWORK Then, schedule time to meet with your bookkeeper, accountant, and/or financial adviser at the beginning of the year. It is a busy time for them so scheduling it now will get you a more convenient appointment.
- Review your current year's budget. Find the areas where you over budget or under budget to see what expenses can change to be more in line with your budget goals. Check your electric bill, cable, and other monthly bills to see what can be adjusted, reduced and closed. To help you keep your bills together, here is a What to Keep in Your Bill Paying Station checklist. Using software to review your budget is so much easier. If you don't use software to help you get organized, I recommend Quicken to manage these accounts.
- Donate to your favorite charities. One of your goals for this year may have been to de-clutter your home and give stuff to the less fortunate or donate a cash contribution more often during the year. If these were on your goal list, here are some reminders for you to do before the end of the year.
- For Cash Donations: Make a list of your favorite charities and give cash. Make those contributions now before the end of the year. When you schedule your donation, make an automatic monthly contribution, and add these to your calendar as a reminder. Here are some of the most popular charities: American Red Cross, WHYY, United Way, Feeding America
- For Property Donations: Bag up all the items you want to donate and bring to your favorite donation place. Here is a list of donation locations I share with all my clients, Charitable Donation Locations.
- Talk with your spouse/partner about what their goals are for next year. Then, start writing them down. This way, before the year begins, you are both on the same page. Here are some topics to talk about:
- How much do you want to save?
- Where do we want to go on vacation next year? How much can we save for that trip each month?
- What do we need to get done in the house next year? When do we want to do it?
- Do we need a new car next year? Where will the down payment come from?
- Do we want to change investment companies?
- What do we want to invest in next year?
By reviewing these tasks before the end of the year, you will set your vision of what the new year will bring. I want to end with this quote: Plans are nothing; planning is everything. ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower This says so much.
I believe that planning then executing are necessary to reach any goal in life.
Please share this post with your family and friends to help them get their goals for next year. I hope you set your goals and execute them. To continue the conversation, please leave a comment below and answer this question: What do you do at the end of the year to help you plan for the next year? I would love to hear from you.