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Time for a reset!

With so many  people buckling down for the academic year, wistfully viewing the  vacation pictures, it's an appropriate time to be reviewing financial  goals.  Setting goals is a fundamental step to financial security.  Our  priorities, however, tend to shift as time goes on.  Is your household  ready for a "reset" button?

It has been proven over and over again that when you write it down,  a goal is much more likely to be achieved.  So the importance of  setting goals is obvious, right?  Well, it may be obvious, but that  doesn't always mean it gets done!  I hope you'll take some time this  week to take at look at your goals and priorities.

Recall what your own personal values are.

Make  a list of your values, things that are important to you.  Then, rank  them in numerical order, and rewrite your list in that order.  While it  may be neater to do this on a computer, there may be internalization  value in doing this part of the process with paper and a pen.

Then write out needs, wants, and wishes.
Start with really specific short term things such as "pay off the  balance on the credit card" or "pay for a large portion of Junior's  college tuition."  Once you have the short term out of the way, you get  to dream, and dream BIG.  What about retirement?  How do you see your  life in 5, 10, 15 years?  What does financial freedom look like to you?

Next, prioritize those things into three categories:  needs, wants and wishes.  One may not need to pay for Junior's college, but one does usually need to pay off high  consumer debt in order to be financially secure (and have a better  chance of being able to pay for Junior's college!).  By comparing this  list of priorities with the values list, you will see if your dreams are  aligned with your values, and help you determine the priority of each  one within their category.  This is critical!  If your goals are not  congruent with your values, they won't lead you to financial security.