Even though we’re still smack dab in the middle of the winter holiday season, it’s never too early to start planning for the coming year.  As 2010 comes to an end, what are you looking forward to saying goodbye to, and what are your hopes for the coming year?

One of my new year’s resolutions is to start putting money in my retirement account again.  This was a rough year for me financially, and I didn’t make any contributions to my Roth IRA account.  One of the basic rules of financial planning is pay yourself first, and this is going to be high on my list of goals for 2011.  I turned 30 this year, and it’s time to start thinking about what’s going to happen if I get to 60 and have nothing to show for it.

Last year I had a shredding party with some friends to say goodbye to bad financial habits that had crept up over the previous year.  For instance, one friend had her house go into foreclosure.  Another friend had to short-sale her house.  And another friend had wracked up several thousand dollars in credit card debt.  Say goodbye to your debts and bad habits by putting the bills in the shredder.  You can bury the shredded paper in the backyard, burn it with some sage, or just throw the paper shreds out in the recycling bin.  You could plan a solo party, or do it with your partner or some friends.  But a shredding party is a fun, symbolic way to prepare yourself for a financial new year.

I also plan to read several books in the coming year.  I’m going to re-read Suze Orman‘s Women & Money, Get a Financial Life by Beth Kobliner, and The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.  Even though I’ve read all of these books before, they all have excellent tips about framing your thoughts about money, focusing on the abundance in your life, and setting a goal to put yourself first.  These are always useful tips, and good tips bear repeating.

It’s funny, but on a Top Ten List of New Year’s Resolutions, personal finance is all the way at the bottom at #8 – and the goal is “Get Out of Debt.”  That’s an important goal, but there is so much more to financial goal setting.  I understand the desire to loose weight and quit smoking – but it really does surprise me that money matters aren’t higher on this list, and that getting out of debt is the primary focus.

That being said, what would your Top Ten list look like? Are you already thinking about 2011? Or do you need to get through December first? I’d love to hear about your thoughts on crafting resolutions for the new year.