More Than a Wish

Five Practical Tips for Your 2021 Goals

It’s been said that “A goal without a plan is just a wish.”  As you get ready to close the door on 2020 and start fresh in 2021, you are probably thinking about your goals (or perhaps you’ve been told to set some goals).

Or maybe you are thinking about building new habits or crafting resolutions for the new year.

While sketching grand plans for the future can be fun and inspiring, many financial advisors and financial planners struggle to create goals that actually lead to success.

Here are five practical tips for your 2021 goals:

Tie your goals to your vision.  We’ve shared that a good vision allows you to enthusiastically say “yes” to actions that will help your practice grow, while confidently saying “no” to everything that will pull it away from success.  Therefore, make sure your goals move you towards your vision in a clear and direct way.

Match results goals with corresponding activity goals.  Results goals represent outcomes you want to see but over which you have minimal or no direct control.  Examples of results goals include revenue, assets under management, or number of clients.  On the other hand, you have a lot of control or even complete control over your activity goals.  For example, while you can’t press a button and bring in a new client, you can proactively promote referrals by: 1) developing client success stories; 2) selecting specific clients with whom you want to share the stories; and 3) having a referral promotion conversation with those clients.

Make the completion of the goal 100% clear.  It should be obvious to you (or anyone else) that the goal was accomplished.  This is fairly easy with quantitative goals but qualitative ones are a bit problematic.  Words like “improve,” “more,” or “better” are too vague to be meaningful.  Instead, describe exactly what you will do, exactly how things will be different, and exactly when you will do it.

Simplify as much as possible. Identify what will give you the best leverage toward achieving your vision.  For example, do you need separate goals for revenue, assets under management and number of clients?  Or will one goal work just as well?  In his book The One Thing, author Gary Keller writes, “Extraordinary results are directly determined by how narrow you can make your focus.”

Keep them visible.  If your annual business plan is written in January but spends the rest of the year gathering dust on your credenza, you’re not likely to make much progress.  Instead, keep your goals front and center by using post-it notes, index cards, journal pages or even your phone or computer’s wallpaper.  Reviewing your goals at every opportunity will remind you of your progress and stir you to take action.

PS: If you’d like a copy of our 2021 Business Roadmap to get started on your goals, email Adam for a complimentary copy!

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