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It's the End of the Year -- Now's the Time to Finish Strong!

Many people set goals for themselves throughout the year and they plan on working on those goals for the full 12 months of the year.
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Many people set goals for themselves throughout the year and they plan on working on those goals for the full 12 months of the year.

But let's all be honest about something: December usually ends up being a write-off, right? Sure you can work on your goals for the first week or two but by the middle of December, you're up to your neck in wrapping paper and ribbons and stocking stuffers and credit card bills! Once the 25th comes and goes, we still a family get-together or two, and then New Year's Eve. Who has the time to work on their goals the late week of the year???

YOU DO. That's right, I'm putting it out there: YOU have time to work on your goals. You set them earlier in the year because they were important to you (and probably still are). So no matter how busy you get this time of year, don't drop the things that are important to you the other 11 months of the year.

I guess this probably applies to anything you set goals about - from health to diet to spending to investing to date night with your spouse! But for me, I'm talking specifically about your credit.

With that in mind, here are 3 ways that you can finish the year (without sacrificing all that gift-wrapping and turkey-basting that you still need to do).

1. Make sure you pay back your credit cards.
I know you've spent some money this year on gifts for family and friends. That's okay - but don't stop there. After you've given the gifts to your loved ones, gift yourself the gift of great credit by paying off your credit cards in full and on time.

2. Conduct an annual audit of your credit habits. It doesn't have to be complicated, but take some time to think back in the year and consider what your credit habits were like. Were they in line with your goals? Did you fall off the wagon in terms of not keeping healthy credit at the top of your list? If you struggled, figure out when and why you struggled. Perhaps you splurged a bit more than you should have during a vacation, or maybe the holiday season. Again, this audit doesn't have to be complicated but it is valuable to think about it for the 2016 credit goals you want to set!

3. Create a credit plan for 2016.
Your year will start out strong if you take a moment today to think about what you want to achieve for healthier credit in 2016. Of course the ultimate goal is healthier credit and even a higher credit score, but how do you do that? What actions should you take? That's what you need to plan out. Schedule out how you will rotate through your credit cards, for example, and also schedule time to pull all of your credit reports to make sure everything is correct.

That's it! I'm not asking you to ignore your many holiday responsibilities, I'm just suggesting that there is a way to finish this year really strong, in terms of credit - by taking time to do these 3 simple credit-strengthening activities.

Happy Holiday Season!

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