Happy New Year! Welcome to 2021 and I know that for most of us, it could not have come soon enough. Personally, I am optimistic about the coming year. I believe that often we need to take steps backward before we can move 2 or 3 steps forward and I think we can all agree that 2020 was a step backwards in many ways. But it is through hardship and difficulty that greatness is ultimately born and there were many silver linings that came from last year as well. Many families were brought closer together because they were forced to spend more time together. For most of us, we were reminded of what is important in our lives. These are lessons that I hope will stick with us for some time. Last year brought challenges that many of us had never faced in our lives, but with challenge comes new opportunity as well. This is what I choose to focus on.
Every year, between Christmas and New Year’s Day, I take time to spend with my family, but I also use the quiet time to consider my goals for the upcoming year. I want to be clear, this is not resolution setting because I’ve never been a big believer in that. Resolutions are often temporary and don’t have lasting commitment. Goal setting for me is always done with the bigger picture in mind but broken down to actionable steps that can be done daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly. Setting actionable goals helps to keep me focused and additionally affords the opportunity to celebrate achievements as we make progress especially when our lives might become chaotic.
Here is my process for setting successful goals:
1) Start with the bigger picture in mind – I always have a 10 year goal in mind. It’s the big picture of where I want to be in life and the person I want to be for my family, my business and my community. Knowing where you want to go provides you with your North Star so that you can create short term actionable items to get you there. From 10 years I determine what I need to accomplish in the next 3 years to stay on track for my big picture goal. Then I determine the same for 2 years and again where I need to be by the end of this year. Once you know where you need to be in one year you can then break it down to what needs to be done quarterly, monthly, weekly and perhaps daily.
2) Write it down – Years ago I remember reading a study that was published by Harvard which stated that people who wrote down their goals were 10 times more likely to achieve them. There is something about the commitment of writing down your list that engages a person. I use a whiteboard for this purpose because it give me the opportunity to play around with it and come up with multiple lists before I set my targets. From there, I use software like Asana to help plan out my goals and tasks for the year.
3) Celebrate the small victories – Every milestone through the year should be checked off and celebrated. Every step is building towards your bigger picture and recognize that all these little things add up.
4) Set goals which are measurable – If you cannot measure it, you will have a difficult time knowing when you have arrived or if you are on track. For example, setting a goal of: “I’m going to get healthy this year” is certainly a great goal but without breaking it down further will be difficult to track. Additionally, it will be far more likely to be achieved since it is not specific. A different goal along the same lines might be, “I am going to exercise 5 times per week, limit my fun eating to one day a week, and lose 10 pounds”.
5) Be open about your goals – Sharing your goals with others may be a difficult thing to do some time. I get it, it commits you. It opens you up to the possibility of admitting failure if you don’t make it. You might be embarrassed about your goals. I know it can be difficult but at the same time it can be liberating. You are not alone in your goals. Many of the people around you will have similar goals or will be your cheerleader along the way. They can help to motivate you, keep you on track and share in the celebration of your accomplishments. You don’t have to do this alone.
Let me leave you with my final piece of advice on setting goals for yourself. Push yourself, take chances and do something outrageous. As far as we know, we get one shot at this life so make every year count. Starting early is also important. If you lose a couple of weeks you may be able to make it up over the course of the year. Losing a month probably means you will not achieve your annual goal and certainly not if you lose a quarter. Take advantage of the opportunity today. You will feel much better for it.
As for me and my goals for the year, family and health are right at the top of the list. In September we welcomed my daughter Jayelle to the world. She has changed my life and solidified my priorities. I want to make sure that I enjoy the moments with her and to be present. I hope to take her on her first family vacation later in the year, pandemic permitting. I also want to focus more on my health and fitness this year. I have always been active, but I have put on some weight through the pandemic and also through the inconsistency of my workouts since my gym was closed and Jayelle was born. I will lose 25 pounds this year. From a professional perspective I plan on further establishing my personal brand and along with that our company’s brand. I want us to become known for creating the best client experience in our industry and likewise the best employee experience for all our stakeholders. As for contributions to our community, I have always been passionate about helping people to live better lives and, helping them to create memorable moments. It is the driving force behind our brand campaign “Be More” which if you have not seen the advertisements yet, stay tuned. This year, I intend on focusing some of my community work and contributions towards this as well and supporting organizations which create memorable moments for children and for people at the end of their lives. I am not sure if there is any greater gift than that.
-Grant White, CIM®, CFP®
Grant White is a Portfolio Manager/Investment Advisor at Endeavour Wealth Management with Industrial Alliance Securities Inc, an award-winning office as recognized by the Carson Group. Together with his partners he provides comprehensive wealth management planning for business owners, professionals and individual families.
This information has been prepared by Grant White who is a Portfolio Manager for Industrial Alliance Securities Inc. (iA Securities) and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of iA Securities. The information contained in this newsletter comes from sources we believe reliable, but we cannot guarantee its accuracy or reliability. The opinions expressed are based on an analysis and interpretation dating from the date of publication and are subject to change without notice. Furthermore, they do not constitute an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any of the securities mentioned. The information contained herein may not apply to all types of investors. The Portfolio Manager can open accounts only in the provinces in which they are registered.