Financial advisors, like most people, like to make last-minute New Year’s resolution. That’s because the New Year is seen as a chance to start fresh with strategies that will spur growth in their practice.
But New Year’s resolutions are often infamous for being broken. Before the end of the first quarter, many resolutions fizzle and are forgotten and life returns to what it was.
That’s because New Year resolutions are often set in absolute terms, defining what the advisor hopes to achieve. They are quite often put together as spur-of-the-moment ideas rather than carefully considered, achievable goals.
Therefore, your resolutions should be well thought out and be realistic. Otherwise, they can become meaningless and result in unfulfilled expectations by the time the next year-end comes around.
Here are some ideas to help you make more achievable New Year’s resolution:
Any commitment you make for the New Year must be well thought out and aligned with your long-term plan. Good advisors typically set aside a day or two with their team to set realistic, measurable and sustainable goals, which are then reviewed prior to yearend, before setting new goals.
You will typically have an initial burst of energy once you have established your plan. But the difference between a good advisor and a great advisor is the ability to execute. You must have a system that focuses on execution and should keep a scorecard of your achievements.
It’s easy to frame resolutions in absolute terms. You might, for instance, resolve: “I am going to add 100 new clients next year” or “I will grow my book by $25 million.” But such resolutions — while probably achievable — are usually not based on an evaluation of what can be accomplished unless you have investigated your operating environment.
Your resolution should be based on a plan that you can use as a guide. So, in order to gain those clients and assets, you might resolve to contact a certain number of qualified prospects every week.
In any business, there will always be obstacles and speed bumps. You have to be resilient in order to overcome obstacles. At the same time, you must have a positive attitude and a sense of control that will enable you to see your plans to the end, as well the control to make any adjustments, if necessary.
You are in the best position to assess what you’ve done well so far and whether there is scope for improvement. Use this as an experience to help you reach your new goals. With proper planning and the right resources, your goals can always remain in sight.
Not all New Year resolutions end up fizzling out. They can be born out of a vision. If this is the case, take steps to realize the vision, that is, chart a realistic course to realizing your vision. Most often, you cannot do it alone. You should therefore resolve to harness all available resources to get to where you want to be.
In last, the New Year resolutions should be aligned with realistic goals. You will have focus and will be able to work towards those goals easily, resulting in a bigger impact on your bottom line.