Happy New Year! The start of a new year is often a time of reflection as well as forward-thinking. Many people utilize the new year as a starting point for goals they may want to accomplish or changes they may want to make. It is important to have a vision for what you want to achieve so that you can then create a plan to get there. A great way to spur thoughts of goals for the future is to reflect on accomplishments that you are proud of from the past year or beyond. When I reflect on the last year, I am personally most proud of the professional relationships that I have developed with clients and candidates, as well as beginning to study for the AFC certification.
As financial planners, we tend to be the people that have plans and thrive off processes. Goal setting for planners is almost second nature, and a skill that we can further develop within our respective lives and career paths. There are no goals too small to develop a plan for. Many new financial planners have goals that relate to completing the CFP® coursework and passing the exam, obtaining licenses, getting an internship or externship, landing your first job, or becoming a lead advisor. These are each excellent goals to have. This year, challenge yourself to elevate and specify the goals that you set this year.
When seeking to challenge yourself in goal setting, it is helpful to think about where you want to be and work backward to create steps and a timeline for achieving those things. You can assess what needs to happen between now and the completion of your goal for you to be able to call it a success. The more specific your goals are, the easier it will be for you to come up with a tangible plan for completion. It could be a matter of understanding habits and practices that you want to start as well as those that you want to stop. Utilizing numbers in your goals can not only help to make them more specific but also aid in your understanding of ways that you can break down your goals piece by piece. You can start with your annual goals and divide them up into smaller goals and tasks that can be tackled quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily. Furthermore, design the “perfect day” for yourself; though many days will look different, it will be a standard of what you’d ideally be able to accomplish that will help keep you on track toward your goals.
Take some time to think about goals that support your professional and personal growth. For financial planners and soon-to-be planners, consider some of the following goals and how they may be incorporated into the goals you have set for yourself.
- Participating in your first client meeting.
- Attending your first professional conference.
- Establishing financial planning niche interests and potential supporting education/designations.
- Developing a rapport with a professional mentor.
- Leading “X” number of client meetings.
- Earning a promotion, and taking on new responsibilities.
- Becoming proficient in new software.
- Initiating a new project within your organization.
It is imperative to write your goals and objectives down and have a plan for them because hurdles will arise. There will be times where things don’t go as planned, but the benefit of having tangible and specific goals with a plan is that when hurdles come your way, you can adjust the plan accordingly. Having a vision for yourself and your professional growth in financial planning empowers you to drive the trajectory of your year and career.
If you’re interested in beginning your journey in financial planning or are looking to make a change, submit your resume here, or check out our list of top-tier opportunities in financial planning firms nationwide here. The team at New Planner Recruiting is eager to help you on your way to ultimate career success.