Alexa von Tobel, founder and CEO of LearnVest.com.
Courtesy Learnvest
By Alexa von Tobel
January 6, 2015

The Leadership Insider network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in business contribute answers to timely questions about careers and leadership. Today’s answer to the question “What’s one New Year’s resolution to improve your career in 2015?” is written by Alexa von Tobel, founder and CEO of LearnVest.com.

Have a financial plan! Tackling money—whether it’s saving or earning more—is a common New Year’s resolution, but I believe that having a detailed plan can help you achieve financial success in multiple ways. A good financial plan should encompass where you stand today, what you hope to accomplish this year and in the future. This should include everything from retirement contributions, to possibly buying a new home, and even saving up for a vacation. And always be sure to have a financial “safety net” in place in case of unexpected emergencies. Progress won’t happen over night, but you have to start somewhere.

According to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, 70% of American workers say that financial stress is their most common cause of stress. And the majority of employers believe that financial stress has a direct impact on employee performance and financially healthy employees are more productive. While I already have a financial plan in place (I am a certified financial planner, after all!), I think the beginning of the year is a great time to reevaluate.

I know from personal experience that I could never have resolved to drop out of Harvard Business School to start LearnVest—in the heart of a recession—without a clear plan in place. It was a tremendously risky career (and personal!) move, but I knew in my gut that the risk was worth taking. I poured my savings into LearnVest and established a clear timeline of business goals. If the company had not taken off by my self-imposed cut-off date, it would have been time to move on to something else. Five years later, with over $73 million in funding and a dynamic software that helps make financial planning affordable and accessible to people nationwide, I’d say that resolution has certainly paid off!

Watch more about the goals of business executives in 2015 from Fortune:

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