Last week I received an unexpected email from Patrick Canion, a financial planner who I had the pleasure of working with nearly 30 years ago in Perth, Australia. At the time he was a young sales manager for National Mutual and, over the past 27 years, he built his own financial planning practice to a level where it was recognized as the best in Australia. Last year he sold his practice and now lives in Geneva “…and the catalyst to this message is that as a consultant/mentor I’m passing on the goal-setting process you taught me” was what really soothed my soul.
What a flashback! And what a blinding glimpse of the obvious. As western civilization has effectively been shut down, everyone – you, me, and your next-door neighbor to the contrary – has extra time on their hands. This creates the ideal window of opportunity to develop a habit of the goal-setting process that impacted Patrick’s career to the extent he’s passing it along.
I’ve been writing, coaching, and speaking about this process for the past 40 years. If you’ve been in contact with me in any way, you’ve likely been exposed to my thinking on this topic. Sadly, very few people, students or adults, practice any type of regular goal-getting exercise, much less develop it into a habit. Most financial advisors might review their business plan periodically, which is better than nothing, but it’s not a goal-getting habit.
And, as you’ve probably already deduced, they don’t teach any of this in school (and yes – you can pass this on to your children – it’s the ultimate gift).
The secret is regularly engaging both the conscious and subconscious mind in your goal-setting process. This means it’s more than simply discipline and hard work; it involves consciously writing down your goals, breaking them down into fixed daily activities, and being able to program and fertilize them in your subconscious mind. Whenever your conscious and subconscious are in alignment, working together, you’ve tapped into the human species’ most powerful force. What’s remarkable about all of this is it’s available to everyone.
Let’s use our extra time and tap into this powerful force …
***You need to commit 10 – 15 minutes a day (3 – 5 days a week) to this exercise in order for it to become a habit. All you need is a spiral notebook to serve as your goal log. For instructional purposes, I’ve segmented the exercise into conscious and subconscious components.
- Write down your long-range (5-year) goal as an affirmation (as it already happened), such as “I have the top financial planning practice in North Carolina, with 5 financial planners managing $4 billion in client assets.”
- Write down your 1-year goal (a stepping stone to your 5-year goal) as an affirmation, such as “I acquire $250 million in new assets, hire one financial planner, and get invited to our firm’s top producer recognition meeting.”
- Write down your upcoming daily routine as affirmations:
- “I have meaningful conversations with 5 top clients.”
- “I uncover 2 new opportunities.”
- “I am introduced to 1 affluent prospect (virtual introductions count).”
- “I have a meaningful conversation with 1 COI.”
- “My office delivers/sends 2 care-packages to clients.”
- Create a pictorial of your long-range goal success: your dream office building, your dream home, second home, etc.
- Visualize your goal-getting journey:
- Look at your goal pictorial
- See yourself living your dream (long-range goal success)
- See yourself achieving your annual goal.
- See yourself successfully executing your upcoming daily routine.
Now comes the hard part; executing this drill either before retiring in the evening or in the morning when you awaken. Not only are you going to visualize your goals and your upcoming day but you’re also going to rewrite them in your notebook before visualizing.
I get it – write out the same long-range and annual goals every day?! That’s right. Remember, this is all about getting your conscious and subconscious mind aligned into that ultimate powerful force working on your behalf. Rewriting your goals as part of this exercise activates your subconscious mind, in effect, it’s sending a subliminal message.
After this conscious act of rewriting your goals, looking at your goal pictorial for a few moments, then closing your eyes and visualizing, 10 minutes or so, what you’ve just written, will fully engage your subconscious mind into achieving your goals. Develop this into a habit and this powerful force will be your differential advantage.
You are programming your mind, conscious and subconscious, every time you participate in this goal-getting exercise. We are the only species on the planet capable of activating this powerful force – it’s the highest impact fixed daily activity any person can execute.
Remember – share this with your children so they too can benefit from this powerful force.