New Beginnings

By 6 January 2023 No Comments

January tends to be the time of acknowledging losses, commemorating victories, and setting goals for the coming months and years.

The custom of making New Year’s resolutions originated with the Roman god Janus in 153 B.C. Janus had two faces, one peered backward to see the past and the other looked forward to view the future. The Romans employed this symbolism as a means of asking for forgiveness for past mistakes and as a method to promise to improve both the present and the future for everyone. Today, we continue this tradition by making resolutions to give up bad habits and take up good ones.

At RIE Solutions, we consider the beginning of a year to be the ideal blank slate when it comes to planning and goal setting. The start of a new year brings a lot of energy and a focus on deliberate reflection. It’s a sharp pause, made even more effective by the perception that time in general is moving more slowly than usual.

Where does it leave us, though, as the months that follow January quickly pass and the initial excitement wears off?

The next 11 months are frequently spent getting caught up in the daily workload, which can make it challenging to stay aligned with our true goals and finding the will to work towards them.

The answer is to embrace the sense of a fresh start at the end of each month or at least quarter and schedule time for contemplation on a regular basis.

Reflection = Key

According to a report by Harvard Business School, reflection not only boosts productivity but also confidence in our capacity to accomplish goals.

Consider reflection as a “progress report” that gives you the chance to assess how you’re doing and how you’re feeling and use this information to determine your next course of action. It will help you understand how you and your business have changed over the last month/quarter/year and the positive and negative behaviours you have adopted. Like Janus, look back to look forward. What should be let go of that doesn’t serve the business anymore? What should be renewed? What should be initiated? What are the likely challenges? Looking back on past challenges, how will the business address the future ones?

By the end of the year, you may find that you haven’t achieved all your objectives, but you’ll undoubtedly have met many of them. By reflecting on what went well and what could have gone better, you will set even better goals for the following year! (We are often overly ambitious with our plans).  

To help you kickstart 2023 by focusing on the right goals, we are sharing a powerful tool that every business owner and Practice Manager should be using!


We are sharing this free tool, as we believe that it offers an excellent structure for every financial planning firm to reflect on the overall performance of their business. By being honest with yourself and contemplating on your answers, you will be able to identify the key areas that your firm needs to focus on over the coming months and years to achieve success. 

When completing the questionnaire, if you are scoring between 8 to 10 points, it means that you are doing really well. Great work, keep it up!

If you have lower points, see it as an opportunity to identify underlying causes of lower scores and improve your business practices.

Based on the results, set achievable goals and deadlines. Later, say in 3 to 6 months, try this business fitness questionnaire again and see how much things have improved!

One area that we see many firms struggle, which is critical for running a successful business, is effective communication. Here are some of the things that we hear on a regular basis:

The list goes on…

When responding to the communication-related statements in the Business Fitness Questionnaire, reflect if any of the above points resonate with you, before giving yourself full marks. And, don’t forget that your perception may be very different to that of other team members, so it’s important to involve others and compare the scores.



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