It’s not too late to set financial and personal goals for 2022. Often people set their goals in January and then by March 15 or midyear those goals are in shambles.

This is a common occurrence. It’s so frequent that there are plenty of tips, tricks, and lists to help people accomplish their goals for the immediate and long-term future. Here are some smart tips to get back on track with your goals:

  • Credit card debt makes applying for credit difficult. Interest from credit-card debt eats away at the money that could be put into a retirement account. Pay off those credit cards in a timely manner.
  • Look at the whole picture. It is important to look at the bank accounts you have and to know your numbers.
  • Having multiple bank accounts avoids having that large, lump-sum balance in checking. If you fund your “side” savings accounts, you’ll be left with a smaller lump sum — and less temptation to buy something completely unnecessary.
  • The most important savings account is the emergency fund. If possible, keep your emergency fund at a different bank. The emergency fund should be an “untouchable” account. Don’t even activate the debit card. Leave it at home so it can’t be accessed when out and about.
  • Work with your investment adviser and plan together. Have the adviser look at income and expenses and make sure you’re not going too crazy. Make that appointment.
  • Pay yourself first and commit to putting money away. Do this by setting specific goals that are measurable and realistic. Make your financial goals a viable reach.
  • Be specific about any kind of goal. Whether it’s a financial or personal goal, having an accountability support system greatly increases success.
  • Mindset is important when trying to make a change. It is the first step. Understanding your money mindset and knowing how to change bad behavior or encourage good behavior is necessary to start implementing and sticking to goals.
  • Write your goals down and create a timeline.

Don’t be too hard on yourself if you aren’t reaching your goals. Sometimes goals need adjustments over time to better fit your stage of life.

Something will always be better than nothing. If you fall off the wagon one day, it is OK. Jump back on. And if that still doesn’t work, get an accountability partner.

Judy Heft is the CEO/founder of Judith Heft & Associates, a financial and lifestyle concierge celebrating 25 years in business helping people stay financially organized. She is the author of “How to Be Smart, Successful and Organized with Your Money.” For more information, visit www.judithheft.com.