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Establish Realistic Goals

Your values are the things in life that are most important to you. Your goals - whether long-term or short-term - are the steps you must establish along the way to make your values become your realities.

Goal setting is easy. Goal reaching is tough! Use this form (PDF) to sort your goals into three major categories: short-term, midterm and long-term.

  • Short-term - those goals you can accomplish within about one year.
  • Midterm - goals that can be accomplished in about five years.
  • Long-term - goals that will take more than five years to accomplish.

List three to five goals for each of the major categories. Be specific. For example, maybe you would like to graduate from college within the next year, go to Hawaii within three years, and get married and have a child within five years. Your goals should be directly tied to the values you determined to be important to you.

Keep your lists of goals along with your most important values cards. Reevaluate your goals regularly to keep track of those you've reached, those that may have changed and those that are no longer needed. Now you've built a foundation for resource management!

Congratulations! It's YOUR MONEY, and you are well on your way to using it YOUR WAY!

Visit to learn more about setting goals.

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OCAP believes that financial literacy and understanding the financial aid process are critical aspects of college planning and student success. OCAP staff who work with students, parents, educators and community partners in the areas of personal finance education, state and federal financial aid, and student loan management do not provide financial, investment, legal, and/or tax advice. This website and all information provided is for general educational purposes only, and is not intended to be construed as financial, investment, legal, and/or tax advice.