Make 2020 a SMART Year

January 14, 2020

Happy (belated) New Year! Did you set a New Year’s resolution this year? Have you already broken your resolution? According to Ipsos, a market research company, 38% of Americans planned to have a New Year’s resolution in 2020. Unfortunately, 80% of resolutions are typically broken by the middle of February. No worries – It is never too late to set new goals or reset the goals you set on January 1st.

Every January for the past 20 years, I have set goals for the New Year and I have had many years where I fell short of my goals by mid-February. However, the past few years I have been more disciplined in my goal setting and have built a better process when setting my goals. I have found over the past decade that when I write my resolutions down on paper and hand them over to my wife, I am far more likely to hit my targets as Susan holds me accountable to my goals. This is very consistent with a goal-setting study conducted by Dr. Gail Matthews of Dominican University. She found that you are 42% more likely to achieve your goals by writing them down.

In order, to organize my thoughts in setting my goals I have found the SMART goal process to be very helpful in writing my resolutions down. The SMART acronym is:

Specific – Goals that are specific in terms of who, what, why, where, and when are more likely be met.

Measurable – Without a scoreboard, it is hard to win the game.  Be sure that you can measure your goal and progress toward the goal.

Attainable – Be realistic when setting a goal. Most new year’s resolutions are not achieved because the goal is too far-reaching.

Relevant – Be sure the goal fits into your long-range vision for what you are trying to accomplish.

Time-Based – Set a date for achieving your goal and work backward from that date to set milestones along the way.

Below is an example of SMART goals that might help you as you set your 2020 Goals:

Specific – I will acquire three new clients for my insurance agency.

Measurable – My progress will be measured by how many new clients I sign while maintaining all of my existing clients.

Attainable – During my annual reviews with existing clients, I will ask satisfied clients for referrals. I will host monthly educational seminars for current clients and prospects.

Relevant – Adding additional clients to my business will allow me to grow my business, increase my revenue, and offer additional services to existing clients.

Time-Based – I will have three new clients by the end of the first quarter.

This year find someone you trust who will hold you accountable and act as a coach to help you reach your goals – you will be surprised with the level of success you have. Make the year 2020 a SMART year and set your goals now.

BDF’s Commercial Insurance Practice Group understands equity compensation and the valuation of a business and uses this knowledge to help insurance professionals develop financial plans while minimizing tax bills. Whether working with a producer or business owner, we focus on one’s individual goals, family involvement and living a full life.

Jim King, CPA, CFP® is an owner and wealth manager at BDF where he leads the Commercial Insurance Professionals Practice Group. He uses his understanding of the insurance industry to help insurance professionals maximize their prime earning years, develop a discipline around saving those earnings and put a plan in place to best utilize assets. His focus on creating financial blueprints for his clients has earned him recognition as a “Five Star Wealth Manager” by Chicago Magazine.