By Daniel C. Finley
If you are like most advisors, you are excited about the New Year. It brings the promise of fresh beginnings, the excitement of new activities and the hope of having a more prosperous year than the one you are leaving behind.
Many of us believe that New Year’s resolutions are the key to making our business dreams come true. However, successful advisors know that this is merely the initial step in the process; it is actually the implementation of goal-related activities that lead you along the journey to your desired destination.
Successful advisors also know that the road toward reaching goals is often paved with hazards, such as lack of business vision, weakness of daily structure, mishandling of interruptions and not having a tracking process or a reward or punishment system.
Therefore, the secret to fulfilling any resolution is to be consciously and consistently aware of conducting your daily business tasks so that they are aligned with your daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly goals. A simple way to “check in” during the day is to ask yourself:
“Is the activity I am doing right now helping me to obtain my goals?”
When you spend your day in this manner, you are being truly accountable to your resolution.
Every thriving advisor knows that having clear, concise and measurable goals is the cornerstone of an effective business blueprint. Here are the steps you can take to achieve your goals:
1. Record and review your Ultimate Business Vision.
Once you are crystal clear about what your Ultimate Business Vision looks like–complete with a Mission Statement–you must write it down. Goals rarely get accomplished unless they are written down. Think back to some of the business goals you had last year. Did you write them down? If so, did you break them down into quarterly, monthly, weekly and even daily goals? And, finally, did you review and re-evaluate them? Chances are that if you did not attain last year’s goals, something got lost in recording or reviewing them.
2. Systematize and automate your business actions.
After you map out the business action steps that are necessary for reaching a goal, remind yourself of these steps every day. The way to do this is to systematize each goal-related activity. For example, you want to do eight seminars in 2012. Your first seminar could be on February 15th. Determine what weekly actions have to happen in order to have your seminar. You can systematize the process and automate each step by putting a pop-up reminder in your contact-management system to remind you when to implement each step.
3. Anchor your business actions.
Business actions are rarely consistent when there are no consequences. You must create a reward system to give yourself affirmative reinforcement for daily, weekly and monthly goals that are met. Conversely, you must have systems in place to make sure you continue acting to avoid the punishment.
4. Measure your goals-implementation process.
You must have and set your objectives–a measurable system for tracking goals. This is the only way to ensure if your actions are in alignment with your goals. A simple way to determine objectives is to ask yourself: “Can I use a graph to measure my goal-implementation process? If you can chart your activities, you have clearly defined objectives. If not, it is time to revaluate your process.
Remember that the secret is not only to have goals, but to also consistently implement any goal-related actions that will help you accomplish them. Resolve to make 2012 the year you consciously manage the journey toward reaching your Ultimate Business Vision.
Daniel Finley is president and co-founder of Advisor Solutions, a professional coaching and consulting firm for financial advisors. For more information, contact him at 715-262-2040 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.