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  • Writer's pictureChristy

Getting Ahead When Starting From Behind

It is common for financial advisors to take time at the start of a new year to reflect on their successes and challenges of the past 12 months. However, this past holiday season, my clients prioritized rest, rejuvenation, and time spent with family over strategic planning. This common deviation came with good reason. Managing the stress of the last two years required hefty withdrawals from advisors' emotional banks. From a global pandemic and market-induced stress to heavier levels of required client support, they were in desperate need of time to reset. However, that much needed break has meant that they are thrown into 2023 a step behind from the start.

If you’re in the same boat, here are a few tips for a streamlined, yet highly effective and thoughtful planning process.

  1. Create space to focus: Clear your schedule, ideally for at least two consecutive hours and eliminate distractions to get into a thoughtful headspace.

  2. Start with a positive mindset: Rather than start by thinking about all that needs to be done, start with a list of the things that went well (or better than expected) in 2022. What elements, inputs or characteristics enabled them?

  3. Acknowledge the personal: Personal and professional success often go hand-in-hand. Take a moment to reflect on the various areas of your personal life and identify two to three areas you feel most need your attention.

  4. Create or refresh your compelling vision: Most strategic plans start with the big picture. With the pace of change we’ve seen recently, a vision for two to three years ahead should provide the most clarity for both the vision itself and the path to get there.

  5. Identify the big three: Decide on the two or three major initiatives or goals that are required to move you from where to are, to where you want to be.

  6. Work backwards: Break each of those initiatives into stages, milestones, actions or metrics and use these to create an action plan. (Don’t forget to assign ownership if you can delegate.) Be sure to book these into your calendar now because if it’s not there, then the likelihood of it getting done diminishes significantly.

  7. Define both success AND how you’ll celebrate: Brainstorm the ways in which you’ll celebrate progress now. In this way, you’ll start to visualize success in advance and be much more likely to take the actions needed to make that vision a reality.

Christy Charise, Founder & CEO of Strategic Advisor

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