While most folks are busy planning their New Year’s resolutions, December is a good time to take a serious look at your biggest dreams. Take the time to reflect on your progress and see if you’re still on track to achieve them. This is big-picture planning. Are you saving up for a wedding or a new home? Do you want to go back to school in order to advance or change your career? Are you on track to save enough for retirement? Tap into this time to review your big dreams, and if necessary, recalibrate your roadmap for reaching them. Here are three things to seriously think about.

Create A Roadmap To Your Dreams

We all have big goals we want to reach in life, and most often they require large sums of money to achieve them. Whether you want to buy a new car or a lofty dream home, it’s essential to layout a roadmap for how you’re going to stash enough aside to make those purchases. How much money do you need, and by what date? The more specific you can be about the amount you’ll save each month, week or even day, the sooner you’ll have your dreams within your grasp. 

Consider An Advanced Degree 

If going back to school is among your aspirations, then consider it carefully. Will a higher degree advance your career? Exactly what types of jobs will you be eligible for with an advanced degree? Research what those jobs are paying and determine if the time and investment in more schooling now, will actually pay off in the long run. If the answer to these questions is yes, then give thought to how you’ll pay for tuition. Does your company offer tuition reimbursement, or are you eligible for a grant you won’t be required to pay back? Again, research and planning are key for figuring out how to make the best use of both your time and money. 

Plan For Retirement

It may seem like a lifetime away, but it can’t be repeated enough – it’s never too early to start planning for retirement. If you’re already contributing to your work’s 401(k) plan, it’s a great start. If you don’t know where to begin, financial author and expert Dave Ramsey offers a retirement calculator on his website. When in doubt, do your homework and seek out financial experts who have your genuine needs in mind.