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Financial Goals

How We’re Meeting Our New Year’s Goals: Better Habits

In 2016, we’re creating real habits to achieve personal life goals.

Articles by Shindy Chen

By Shindy Chen
Content Manager, Betterment  |  Published: January 5, 2016

Instead of resolutions that fall by the wayside, set goals. Aim for focused goals and create small, attainable habits to get there.

In 2016, Betterment employees are getting in shape, competing in an Ironman triathlon, and making time for new experiences.

At Betterment, each one of our employees is committed to building something truly significant for our customers’ long-term financial wealth.

But outside of the office, we take our personal lives pretty seriously, too, and our New Year’s goals come with habits we’re creating to achieve them. We’ve even tapped the New Year’s goals of team members from companies that are among the leaders in their respective industries.

So read on and get inspired to create some of your own better habits.

Learning to Be a Parent in a Growing Family

jon and fam

Jon Stein, Founder and CEO

“My wife and I are expecting our second child in the next few months. This year, I want to learn how to be a parent of two kids, and support my wife in the same goal.

“I also want to introduce my older daughter to blocks, to encourage engineering and spatial thinking, and foster her language acquisition and development so we can better understand each other.”

Getting in Shape


Andrew Glenn, Vice President of Core Systems

“To get in better shape, I’m going to cook at home at least two nights per week, and will aim to exercise five days out of the week.”

 Completing the Ironman


Anthony Hird, Compliance Manager

“I want to complete my second Ironman triathlon (in Lake Placid this time) in under 13 hours. I’ve created a six-day-a-week training program dedicated to maximizing my training time, and I’m also trying to go to bed and get up earlier to fit it all in.”

Making Time for New Experiences


Brandon Wu, Head of Privacy and Security

“I want to make room for new experiences. I will plan at least two adventures this year to see new places, and I’m also planning to take at least two classes to learn new things.”

Waking Up Earlier


Alan Jenson, Software Engineer

“I want to wake up earlier. I will move my alarm clock out of arm’s reach from my bed.”

Taking a Four-Week Trip to Africa


Catherine New, Senior Editor at Earnest

“I want to take a four-week trip to Africa over Christmas 2016. I’m automating savings of $200 per month into an earmarked vacation goal account. By December, I’ll have at least $2,400 set aside for the trip.”

Earnest is a marketplace lender headquartered in San Francisco. It offers personal loans, and loans for student loan refinancing.

Leaving the House Sooner

Peter Olivier Headshot

Peter Olivier, Chief Product Officer, Agora for Good

“I want to leave the house earlier in the morning. I bought an alarm clock, and going forward will charge my cell phone during the night by my bedroom door. That way, I won’t be tempted to check emails immediately after waking up. In fact, I’m refraining from checking my cell phone until after I’m out of the house in the mornings.”

Agora for Good helps people discover and fund exceptional nonprofits across various sectors. A customized dashboard allows donors to track their monetary impact.  

Stopping Impulse Spending


Chris Walters, Managing Editor at PolicyGenius

“I’ve been spending a lot of money on Amazon and Apple without even realizing I’m doing it. So for 2016, I’m going to take advantage of the iTunes ‘allowance’ feature and keep only one low-limit credit card on file with my Amazon account.

“I’m also reviewing my entertainment purchases weekly. I’m hoping that by raising awareness of how much I spend, I’ll be better equipped to pump the brakes the next time I see an eight-dollar movie deal.”

PolicyGenius aims to help customers more clearly and simply compare and choose any type of insurance.

Now that you’ve read some of our 2016 goals, it’s time for you to put yours in writing—tell us in the comments below. Remember, start with a focused goal and then develop smaller, step-by-step habits to get there.

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