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The New Year is nearly upon us, bringing a fresh opportunity to consider your financial goals. For 2018, we are taking a different approach to resolutions. Instead of giving you a laundry list of tasks to accomplish, we want to encourage you to make this the year you really own your financial life.

Imagine fast forwarding your life to December 31, 2018, and looking back on the year. What do you think you will have accomplished? How did your financial life change? What roadblocks did you remove? Answering these questions can help you identify your true financial goals for 2018.

If your vision for next year differs from where you are today, then you need a clear strategy for making changes—and a plan to follow along the way. It all begins with knowing how to define and reach your financial goals.

According to a study on the science of achieving goals, 3 key steps make you more likely to achieve what you set out to accomplish:

• Written goals
• Accountability
• Commitment

Using these findings, we have created 3 steps to help you set—and keep—your financial resolutions for 2018.

1. Written Goals: Define and record what you want.
Financial worries keep 65% of Americans up at night. From paying for health care to saving for retirement, people’s concerns span an array of life events. Fortunately, writing down financial goals can improve your chance of reaching them and moving past these stressors.

When defining your financial goals and resolutions, ask yourself which priorities matter most to you and would help create the greatest comfort in your life. Your financial needs are unique to you, and they should guide the goals you set for the coming year.

2. Commitment: Outline specific action items for each day.
Once you have defined your financial goals for 2018, you can outline the actions you will take to help make your dreams a reality. Create and maintain your commitment to the goal by building a clear strategy for bringing it life. For example, rather than saying, “I want to pay down debt,” define the exact amount of money you will pay toward your liabilities each month. Determine which steps you need to take to achieve your financial goal, and then build a schedule for accomplishing the necessary tasks each day.

3. Accountability: Share your financial goals and progress with someone else.
When studying goal-setting, individuals who shared their objectives and actions with another person had better results than those who did not. To help increase your chances of achieving your 2018 financial goals and resolutions, share your plan with someone else, such as a spouse, family member, or friend. Make sure you give them a detailed account of exactly what you want to achieve—and the steps you will take to do so.

Once you’ve selected someone to share your goals with, keep them in the loop on your progress. In fact, sending weekly updates to your chosen accountability partner can make you significantly more likely to achieve your goals.

As you look to 2018 and what you hope to accomplish, we encourage you to follow these steps to start out on the right path. We are always here to guide your financial goals and help you create the future you desire.

Here’s to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling New Year!

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Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results.  Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by Dechtman Wealth Management, LLC [“DWM”]), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful.  Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions.  Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from DWM. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. DWM is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of the DWM’s current written disclosure Brochure discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request or at www.dechtmanwealth.com.

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