Two Strategies to Get the Most From Your Goals

"The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step."- Lao Tsu

As an advisor, you probably have the acronym SMART (specific, measureable, actionable, realistic, time-bound) memorized. You have written down your goals and you’ve asked someone to hold you accountable. To add extra value and to boost your attainment you can add two more strategies: the goal superchargers—affirmations and visualization.

Strategy 1. Affirmations

To rephrase goals as affirmations, change them to present tense, use positive language and state in the first person. For example, if your goal states: “This month I will ask for three referrals and I will not fail,” then your affirmation would be: “I am reaping the benefits of three new referrals this month that would be great future clients and I am succeeding in reaching this target.”

The negative “fail” becomes the positive “succeed.” It is fairly subtle but the words “I will” become “I am”; so you cut out any hesitation and make it powerful.

Strategy 2. Visualization

Any elite athlete will tell you that they see it being done perfectly over and over again in their mind before they do it. So see yourself making a successful call or doing a flawless presentation. You start to build a warehouse of successful experiences by seeing what you want.

When you have your rephrased goals in front of you and you can see yourself achieving this goal, taking action is what comes next. Make a decision about what is the first step that you can take, however small, to reaching your goal. It may be brainstorming ideas, doing research, meeting with your business coach or picking a mentor’s brain to see if you are on the right track.

By taking the first step, you start to build momentum and give yourself a foundation of success. The next steps that you take can also be small -as long as there is action involved in them, you are moving in the right direction to achieving your goal.

Rosemary Smyth, MBA, ACC, is a columnist and an international business coach for financial advisors. She spent her career working at leading investment firms before pursuing her passion for coaching. She lives in Victoria, BC. Visit her website at  

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