One of the top five New Year’s resolutions for 2015 includes improving personal finances. Yet, only eight percent of Americans will actually stick to it throughout the year. Whether it’s your New Year’s resolution, a financial bucket list, or one simple goal, achieving financial success is not an accident – it takes vision, planning and support. Farm Bureau Financial Services offers five simple steps to help you get started.

Start where you are. Understanding your financial situation is the first step, but as you evaluate your finances, be sure you take time to appreciate what you’ve accomplished so far and put past mistakes behind you – though not before learning from them! Then, take time to visualize how reaching your goal will help make a positive impact in your life. It’ll help motivate you to stick with it.

Write it down. Simply thinking about what you’d like to achieve isn’t likely to keep you motivated beyond your first credit card bill. Write down your goals and outline a plan. If  your goals involve sticking to a tight budget, be sure to plan for an occasional splurge - just for fun. 

Contact an expert. Not sure how to create a plan for achieving your specific goal? Get help from an expert. Practical advice from a professional can save you time, money and frustration. 

Review, adjust and repeat. Reflect on your progress on a regular basis and adjust the plans when necessary. Celebrating milestones along the way can help keep you motivated, be sure to include some milestone marks in your plan.

Don’t quit. There will be distractions as you work toward your goal, including many you can’t control. Focus on your vision and don’t give up.

Applying these simple tips can help you start – or stay on track – as you work toward long-term financial security. Take advantage of more tips at the Farm Bureau Financial Services Learning Center and use the Becoming a Millionaire Calculator.

 Source: University of Scranton Clinical Psychology, Last visited 1/06/15