The final stretch of the year is the best time for LOs to do an assessment of both where they are, and where they want to be. Taking a look back over the last four quarters can give you some valuable insight to apply to the year ahead. If you want to step confidently into the new year, ready to make new strides, being prepared is imperative. With just a few days left in 2021, you have the perfect opportunity to start that preparation. If you want to take full advantage of the waning days of the year and give yourself a running start for 2022, here are some things to keep in mind:
Conduct a Review
We can’t effectively prepare for 2022 without including a look back at 2021. Conduct a thorough overview on everything from the average length of your loan-cycle to the strength of your content marketing and social media presence. Do you have metrics in place to track these? When you consult the numbers, you give yourself the most accurate data to best assess the year. Beyond the hard numbers, it’s also useful to think about your goals, achievements, and challenges for 2021. Finding out where you struggled, where you thrived, and everywhere in between, will help you identify where you need to direct your efforts in the new year.
Set Clear Goals
Once you’ve identified the areas that need your attention most, along with the things you want to achieve, it’s important to turn those into clear goals. This makes them more concrete and will help to hold you accountable. I wrote recently about setting effective goals, here. The more clearly you can define your goals, the better. They don’t have to just be long-term goals for the whole year — setting weekly, monthly (quarterly, etc.) goals is equally important. Having some of this spelled out before January 1, will ensure you step into the new year on your best foot.
Set Clear Boundaries
Loan officers are generally busy day to day. It can be a balancing act of prospecting, marketing, clients, paperwork — the list goes on. Take advantage of the holidays to pause and see if you need an adjustment. Do you give yourself enough time to recharge and reset? Do you allow work to regularly affect your personal time? Having boundaries in place is invaluable. They assist you in staying productive, staying focused, and able to function at your best. While the work/life boundaries are important, setting some in-office boundaries is equally helpful. For instance, this is a good time to identify common distractions and implement some safeguards to reduce them or erase them altogether. While some may be inevitable, the others can be dealt with if you’re aware of them
If being prepared is the first step, accountability is the next. We need to stay connected to our goals and commitments as we move forward. I’m sure we’ve all made a New Year’s resolution at some point that was forgotten by February. To avoid this, you need a strategy in place that holds you accountable. When you give yourself a game plan, you create a framework to guide you through the day-to-day and week-to-week.
As we transition into 2022, set aside some time to check in on how you’ve been doing and to identify where it is you want to go. It’s a time to assess your trajectory and course-correct if necessary.
If you’d like to talk more about having a phenomenal 2022, or if there’s something else I can be of assistance with, please reach out. I’m always happy to block off some time to connect. Also, if you’re considering a move, we have some terrific opportunities for loan officers, sales managers, and branch managers that I’d love to discuss with you.
VP – Retail Market Leader