It’s crazy to think that the year is already 2017! Boy, how time flies! With the new year upon us, have you thought about what you want to accomplish in 2017? It’s not too late to set some new goals for the new year. They don’t have to be huge goals and I’m not talking about New Year’s resolutions either… A goal is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely, whereas a resolution simply states that you are going to change an undesired trait or behavior without declaring how, when, and the steps you need to take to get there.

Here are five small and attainable goals/tools to help you become a better version of yourself:

1.     Set a Reading Goal

 Find a subject you want to learn more about and start reading a book a month. A great tool to use is Goodreads. Goodreads will help you keep track of books that you are interested in and provide suggestions from friends as well.

2.     Create an Exercise Plan

Whether it’s walking, hiking, cycling, climbing or hitting the weights, find something that you enjoy doing. Then set a goal to get moving every week. There are many benefits from physical activity. If you need to get out of the house to the gym, Planet Fitness is only $10 per month with no pesky contract. Plus it’s actually a nice facility that includes the normal spread of gym necessities

3.     Strengthen Your Relationships

In today’s world of smart phones and instant gratification, it pays to invest in your relationships. Strengthen our relationships is extremely rewarding. One great way to deepen our relationships is with the 5 Love Languages test. It shows us how people accept praise differently. I thought this was just for couples but then realized it can be used to better friendships and work relationships as well. Pick one person you want to grow closer to and take the test with them. Work on showing value according to their language and not yours.

4.     Conquer a Fear

Fears tend to hold us back in life and many times conquering fears gives us confidence to conquer others. I challenge you to conquer one fear this year, something that you have always wanted to do but you’re too afraid of. Whether it is simply getting over your fear of swimming to enjoy the lake this summer or to start your first business. Take courage and find faith to achieve what you believe you can do, because you can.

5.     Set a Savings Goal

You can achieve more tomorrow when you start planning today. Figure out how much you want to save each month and start a budget around that. The common recommendation is 10% of your income right now. If you are already doing this, try 15%. The future you will be very thankful for the sacrifices you make today.

There are many great ways to grow this year but helping your mind, body, and spirit is a great start. Make 2017 your best year ever by starting with some simple goal setting.

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image of Steven LaFleurSteven LaFleur grew up in Rapid City, SD and after high school went to college at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he majored in finance and met his wife Kelly. After college graduation in 2013, he worked for the family business for three years but eventually, Steven decided it was time to pursue a passion of his in helping people and their finances. Steven is now a financial advisor at True Measure Wealth Management in Omaha, NE. Steven and his wife Kelly have two daughters who keep them busy at all times of the day. Steven enjoys skiing in the mountains and also biking and golfing during the non-snowy months.