In recent weeks, Beyond Insurance has received numerous calls from agents and brokers asking for tips for staying on track and keeping their resolutions. In most cases, the well-intentioned agent or broker has set goals but stopped focusing on them as their daily activities get in the way of their highest priorities.
To achieve success in 2022, try harnessing the power of the “fresh-start effect.” Discovered by researchers at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, the fresh-start effect shows that you are more motivated to work on your goals on days considered “turning points” or “transition days.”
For many, a turning point day is a day at the beginning or end of the week, a birthday, a work anniversary, beginning of a new client relationship, or the end of a quarter. These are days that you view as a chance to leave your old self behind – that person buried in distractions, interruptions, and insignificant projects – and transition into an energized, productive professional who is laser-focused on specific achievements.
How can you use this new research to impact your own goals in 2022?
- Start by filling out your agency’s annual goals worksheet or creating your own, using SMART goals (5 Essential Steps to Creating and Attaining Your Goals | Beyond Insurance).
- Mark your highest priority goals – those that will have the highest return on your investment of time.
- Schedule the days that seem like transition points for you.
- On the next transition day, think carefully about your high priority goals.
- Recognize that this day is an opportunity for a new beginning.
- Visualize a new beginning or fresh start on a transition day. Challenge yourself to tackle your highest priority and begin achieving your goal.
You will be much more likely to accomplish your goals when you feel empowered to embrace your “new self” and see your potential for success. When you perceive that you have a new beginning, you will get a motivational boost to pursue your highest priority goals. All you really need to do is recognize that your transition days are opportunities to refuel and refocus.
If you get discouraged, think about the late competitive swimmer, Canadian Jaring Timmerman: he started swimming at age 79 and swam 50 meters twice a week to train. On Jan. 25, 2014, he set a new world record as a Masters swimmer – at the age of 104!
When doctors told him to stop because he had torn ligaments in his shoulder, he just changed his stroke and kept going.
His son said, “I think always having a goal and helping him achieve something probably has given him longevity.” Jared put the fresh-start effect into action and demonstrated that there is nothing more rewarding than having a vision, setting a goal to reach that vision, and focusing in to make the vision a reality.
Whatever your goals are for 2022 – filling the prospect pipeline, higher new business hit ratio, client and center of influence referral harvesting, greater organic growth – you cannot achieve these goals if you never take action. When you use this simple fresh start effect, you will accomplish your goals more readily and put energy and fun in the business.
Happy fresh starts in 2022!