Why it's important: Setting any goal gives you a concrete way to know what you're aiming for — and a way to know whether you've achieved what you wanted (as opposed to just throwing darts in the air and seeing where they land). But a specific goal is next-level proactive. It helps you paint a clearer picture of practical steps you can take, and overall it makes it feel more realistic and more attainable.
Hear me out! Which of these goals do you think you're more likely to achieve: "save a lot of money in 2021," or "save $200 per month in 2021?" Probably the second one, right? Saving $200 per month is more specific — you'll know you've met your goal if you end up with a total of $2,400 saved at the end of the year. With the first goal, however, "a lot of money" can mean anything — saving $5,000 could mean you met your goal, but saving $2,000 could also mean you met your goal.
Here's how you can do it: Grab your ~favorite~ notebook and a pretty pen (okay, any pen will do), and jot down a list of really specific money goals. Your list doesn't have to be worthy of being in a bullet journal — it just needs to work for you! It helps to consider any big life events you need to save for (a wedding, college, buying a house, etc.), and be realistic about what you can actually achieve. Throughout the year, check in on your goals every few months to see where you stand and if there's anything you need to tweak.