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While many would agree that the past year has gone by so fast, we cannot deny that it hasn’t been kind to everyone. It has brought on a rollercoaster of events that challenged the way we run our business and our lives. Everyone felt that it was a tough year, and it left many of us feeling uncertain and overwhelmed by the constant changes. However, whether the challenges were big or small, let’s not forget that we are here and have successfully made it through 2023.

So, let’s all take a deep breath and give ourselves a pat on the back for making it this far. It may have been a rough year but now another chapter awaits us, and it’s the perfect time to reset and remind ourselves that financial freedom is not a far-off dream. By starting the year with the right approach, it’s always possible to take a step closer to our goals and achieve financial freedom.

The advisors at MRA Advisory Group can help. We’ll meet you where you are and work with you to craft a financial plan you can live with. We offer complimentary 1st meetings with our advisors, so schedule a meeting today and let’s get to work!

Step 1: Evaluating your current reality

The very first thing to consider is your current standpoint. Your status quo. Where are you currently at? What’s your current reality? Learning where you are right now, financially, gives you a good look at your advantages and disadvantages. It reveals what you lack, and it reveals what cards you are able to play. This allows you to get an idea of the current structure of your financials.

If you haven’t been able to evaluate your financials, it’s time to put a process in place wherein you’re constantly reviewing your financials. What does it cost to run your life and your business? What does it cost to break even? What’s the absolute dollar amount that you are spending? Are you getting returns on those dollars being spent for the most time? Do you have a strict budget ? Are you focused on revenue targets? Are you focused on profit targets?

Once you get clear on these things, and when you know exactly where you are financially, it changes the way you look at your business. It allows you to see the bigger picture of your finances and gives you a better understanding of what needs to be done. This step is necessary as it becomes the basis of what your plan for the year should look like.

Step 2: Starting with the end in mind

Have you ever wondered why we rarely manage to fulfill our New Year’s resolutions? A big part of the reason is that we don’t have a clear vision or destination in mind. We simply list random goals that we want to start doing and forget that our goals should have a purpose. They should lead us somewhere and not just be a mere item on our list. You don’t want to start doing things and hope that they will lead you to the path of success. Instead, we need to approach our goals with a clear and specific vision of what we want to achieve.

Where do you want to be by the end of the year? What results do you want to see?

We should be in a headspace where we have a specific end in mind. This mindset alone allows us to create a path and a structured plan towards our goal. So, from this point forward, we should set a target of what specific number of dollars we want to achieve for the year. Having a specific target provides clarity and makes it easier for you to strategically customize a plan that fits your vision.

“Shall we not, like archers who have a mark to aim at, be more likely to hit upon what is right?”

― Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics

Step 3: Building your plan

Now that you have established a starting point and an end goal, you should be able to create a plan that can lead you to your destination. A structured plan provides a clear roadmap of what actions you have to take for the year to reach your target. Many people fail to follow through with their plan because they tend to make it too complicated and unrealistic. Placing too many activities will overwhelm you and spread you too thin to be able to make real progress.

Do not swallow more than you can chew. Keep it simple and realistic.

Remember that a plan is a tool that’s supposed to help you progress easily. So forget about the unattainable ideas, and start by breaking down your yearly target into small manageable pieces . It is important to create milestones for your plan on a quarterly, monthly, weekly or daily basis. This will allow you to take challenges one step at a time and keep your progress at a steady pace. With a plan in place, you’ll know exactly which steps to take, eliminating guesswork and providing you with a powerful tool to strategically move closer to your goals.

Step 4: Setting your plan into motion

“Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world.”

-Joel Arthur Barker, The Power of Vision

Imagine being a sailor with a map, but you choose to stay at the harbor instead of setting sail. The map is worthless unless you use it to navigate the seas. Similarly, your plans are only as good as the actions that follow them. Articulating your plans into reality requires more than just effort. It requires immense commitment from you. Many people do not fully understand what it means to be committed to the plan. Being committed is not just simply being able to follow through the steps. It means that you are willing to be consistent, willing to put in the work and willing to make yourself accountable every step of the way.

When you look at people who are consistently achieving their goals, you see that it’s not the big achievements that make them different. It’s their commitment to their plan and their process.

In essence, commitment is falling in love with becoming the person who does the work — to be able to have the passion to step outside your comfort zone and fall in love with the grind. All of these factors are essential ingredients for a successful execution.

Step 5: Going above and beyond

As you venture on your journey towards financial freedom, it’s crucial to understand that the path isn’t always linear. Change is the only constant in life, and this applies to your financial journey as well. Economic conditions shift, personal circumstances evolve, and business landscapes transform. It’s not a question of “if” these changes will happen, it’s a matter of “when.” Therefore, going above and beyond must involve anticipating these potential shifts and creating a strategy that would allow you to be flexible enough to adapt .

Be sensitive to understanding external factors, remain vigilant about changes in your industry, and continually update your skills and knowledge to stay relevant. Always remember that prevention is better than cure. Investing in yourself and making sure that you’re prepared for any changes is never a wasted effort. Sometimes, going above and beyond with your plan can be the difference between success and failure.

So, as you embark on this journey, remember that you have the power to shape your financial destiny. It’s your year to thrive, achieve and create the life you desire. Embrace it with confidence, and let your pursuit of financial freedom be a source of inspiration and empowerment in all aspects of your life.

Here’s to a year filled with financial success , personal growth and the realization of your dreams. The future is yours to create. Keep making it happen!

Advisory Services are offered through MRA Advisory Group, a Registered Investment Adviser. This information was developed by Broadridge, an independent third party. It is general in nature, is not a complete statement of all information necessary for making an investment decision, and is not a recommendation or a solicitation to buy or sell any security. The investments and strategies mentioned may not be suitable for all investors. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Nothing herein, nor any attachment, shall be considered to constitute (i) an offer to sell, nor a solicitation of an offer to purchase, any security, or (ii) tax or legal advice.

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