Many business professionals set aside some time in late December or early January to set some goals for the New Year. We encourage financial advisors to use a simple process and write out some goals for the year.
The following is a quick and easy variation of our goal setting process that you can use to get your visionary wheels turning. It's called W5 and if you know a thing or two about journalism you know the power of a diagnostic approach to reveal what's really important. Ponder these questions and put pen to paper so that you have a clear picture for what you would like to see happen in your business and your life in 2021.
- What am I grateful for? When setting goals, it's natural to place an emphasis on aspiring for things we don't yet have. In the process we can overlook what we have already achieved and take many important things for granted. Gratitude is a powerful force and can help slow life down so that we aren't completely driven by ambition. Contentment and appreciation in conjunction with aspiration can lead to balance and personal fulfillment.
- Where do I see myself at the end of 2021? This is where you take your goals out of your head and put a wish list on paper. Take a panoramic view in this process. Most people feel a wellspring of self-motivation when they go through this process and get very excited about the promise of the future.
- Who do I want to become? Back to the topic of balance, this question reminds us not to just focus on monetary or tangible goals. That's not to say they aren't important pieces of the puzzle, they are. As legendary business philosopher Jim Rohn often said, "Who we become is more important than when we earn or acquire." This question ignites other important issues related to our sense of purpose and personal legacy as well.
- Why is this so important to me? Speaking of self-motivation and a sense of purpose, this questions helps us cut through the clutter and tune out some of the noise and other distractions that compete for our attention. All of those external issues can conspire against us by causing us to lose focus and drift off course. By finding the answer to this question, we can create a beacon that helps us stay on track.
- When will I get started? Ultimately if we are to achieve a goal we have to take action before the Law of Diminishing Intent kicks in. There has to be a sense of urgency. Often the key that separates the best from the rest in life is understanding this simple maxim - After all is said and done, more is often said than done.
- How will I achieve my goal? Some goals are more complex than others and because of the Law of Cause and Effect; they require a specific action plan to translate them into reality. Coupled with the fact that most success in life is achieved incrementally, many lofty goals require that new habits be formed and a patient reliance on compounding effort be applied. Solid, consistent activity will often lead to heightened productivity if you have a plan and see it through.
On behalf of everyone at Pareto Systems, I wish you all the very best for 2021. I sincerely hope it is a breakthrough year for you personally and professionally.
Contributed by: Duncan MacPherson