What better time to reevaluate your career, business, health and work-life balance than at the start of a new year?
However, it’s easier said than done – after all, 25% of people give up on a goal within a week, and 65% within a month. Yet identifying what you want to achieve and setting goals accordingly is the key to feeling motivated and in control in any area of your life.
Having owned and run various types of real estate businesses over the 46 years of my working life, I have achieved some big goals. As we arrive at the start of a new year, I’m sharing some of my thoughts on goal setting to encourage you to think about your real estate goals for 2019.
Why set goals?
At the start of January, the real estate industry takes a well-earned break and we have a rare moment to reflect on our progress to date. Even just a ten-minute brainstorm with a pen and piece of paper over the holidays can get your year off to a promising start.
The benefits of setting goals are well talked about. Planning for the future will give you an improved focus on what matters to you, greater clarity in decision making, and increased motivation.
As you work towards your goals you’ll also gain a sense of satisfaction, because you are driving your own agenda, not simply responding to what life throws at you. It’s powerful stuff.
Start with your ‘big picture goals’
What kinds of goals should I be setting?
Clarifying your big picture goals will give you a sense of purpose and also encourage you to say no to less important things that take time and energy away from your primary goals.
Ask yourself, where do you want to be in five years? Or at the end of this one?
If you find yourself with a huge list, categorise your goals to prevent overwhelm. Categories may include; work, family, friends, health and wellbeing, finances and creativity.
Once you’ve done this, you’ll have a better idea of where you are going. Feel free to remove a few at this point, if your list is too long. Realistically, between one and five big goals is a good number to work towards over the course of a year. These ‘big picture goals’ become the driver for smaller, weekly milestones.
Let’s say, for example, that your real estate goal is to establish your own agency in two years’ time. A ‘big picture’ goal like this will dictate many of your daily decisions, from financial choices to where you live and how you conduct your real estate career.
Perhaps you need to build up your local reputation now in preparation for going it alone. With that in mind, you can break this goal into smaller tasks, such as developing your own agent website and contributing commentary to local media publications.
Creating SMART goals
When creating your goals, the SMART acronym will help you define them further. Each goal you set should be:
The more specific your goal, the greater the likelihood you’ll achieve it.
Be really clear about what you want. So if you have a vague goal, such as; I want to be more organised this year and focus on generating more listing opportunities, try being more specific for a better outcome. For example, you could add by finding a virtual assistant to take administration tasks off my hands.
How will you know you’ve achieved your goal? The best goals are ones that have a clear outcome.
Identify goals that you know you can achieve and that really matter to you.
Part of actually achieving certain goals may be abandoning some of your less valuable ideas to allow you to really focus on your key aspirations and income generating opportunities.
People who set goals tend to be more successful, and you will give yourself a better chance of actually achieving them if you map out your process in advance.
Be realistic about what you need to do to achieve your goals and look for ways to make your work easier.
Who can help you? Will investing money in a course or some professional assistance get you there faster?
The trick here is to identify where you want to be, and then work backwards, being realistic about how much you can achieve within your allocated time and exactly what you need to do and who you need to engage to help.
Placing an end-date on your goals will motivate you and keep you accountable, particularly if you make your goals public.
Your time frames can be long or short – from one day to five or even ten years. If you’re working on something over a longer period of time, 90-day blocks are a useful framework to help you plan your time and measure your progress.
How do I stay motivated?
If you’ve set yourself up with only the goals that you truly care about, and you’ve mapped out a realistic plan with a set deadline, you have given yourself the best possible chance at achieving your goals.
It’s also important to enjoy the journey, otherwise, what’s the point? While goals are valuable, so too is the focus and sense of purpose that comes from working towards what you really want. But, don’t be so focused on your endpoint that you forget to stop and look around every now and then along the way.
Here’s to a prosperous year. Good luck!