Do you have any end-of-the-year goals? Anything you want to sneak in before the New Year begins? It seems that everyone waits for January 1 to make changes in their life or set new goals, but why not get an early start on them?

For most of us, we begin the New Year with hopes that it will be better than the previous year. We want to make more money, get a promotion, get in shape, find time for a new hobby or take that vacation you’ve always wanted to. But why is January 1 so special? Why can’t you start striving to reach your goals today?

If your goal for the New Year is to save money, why not start with curbing your spending this holiday season? If you want to lose a few pounds and get in shape, why not start by enjoying all your holiday meal favorites, but just leave a little on the plate or just have one slice of pie instead of three. If you want to go on that vacation you’ve always dreamed of, start now by saving a little extra money each week to go toward your vacation fund. You can usually find something to give up that will be inconvenient, but worth it. If you eat lunch out every day then bring your lunch from home a couple of days a week or you could always cut out the lattes. You would be amazed at how fast you can save money when you aren’t spending it on the extras.

So, don’t wait to get started on changing your life for the better. Do it today. What have you got to lose?

Joy Larson is a mother of four boys, graduate of The University of Montana, animal lover and writer.

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