January is always a great month, optimism for the new year, endless possibilities, and new goal setting for which there are no boundaries. Sadly, before January ends, most optimism, possibilities and goals have dried up in the deep winter cold (for those that experience winter cold). It happens year after year, and for 90% of the population, its the same old story. How do you make the changes? How do you reach your goals? How can you become a better person, Realtor, Mortgage Broker, well, we attempt to answer those questions in this post.
January for most, is a time to have a fresh start, to change who you were in the previous year. For me personally, I don’t need a calender year change to make change, because I know how to set goals, and reach goals. It’s what separates the successful from everyone else. Studying successful people always brings me back to the same result, they have charted a path, set their sights on it and began the journey towards the end goal. All future pathways begin with the same thing, a reflection of the past. If you don’t know where you came from and where you have been, how will you ever figure out where you are going. Reflection doesn’t mean to dwell on past failures or losses, or to only remember good times, it is the perfect learning tool. Your past teaches you about what you have done, what worked, what didn’t work, and how you reacted to a particular situation. Your future is simply determined by how well you adapt to the past. What I mean by that is if you are continually in debt, and you now begin to reflect on your past and say, why did I get into debt, and you don’t learn and adapt from that reflection, you will most likely continue to be in debt. If you truly reflect and be 100% honest with yourself and say, I was in debt for over spending, not adapting to my income, not creating a budget, and you see how easy it is to change simple things, you will begin to see changes in your future. Your future life is determined by the actions you take today, that’s it, it’s that simple. If you want change, then make change happen with your own decisions.
Once you have reflected on where you have gone wrong or right, and how you want to adapt to those situations. You will then need to set out goals to help you guide you through your new choices. Goal setting is probably the single most important thing you can do in your life. It will guide you when you need guidance, it will support you when you need support, and it will help you attain a life that you would otherwise not be able to attain. Goal Setting is simple, or should I say S.M.A.R.T. If you follow these 5 rules, setting and attaining goals is easy. Each and every goal in your life should have these 5 characteristics = S.M.A.R.T. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time Specific.
Specific = Make sure your goal is not generalize, for example, your goal is you want to be out of debt. That is too generalized. Be Specific, I want to pay off my credit card debt, my student debt, the $50 I owe my mom, I want to pay off my mortgage in full, etc. Same thing with weight, don’t make your goal “to lose weight” make your goal, I want to lose 12 pounds.
Measurable = Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal you set. If you want to lose weight, let’s say 12 pounds this year, you know that you will need to lose 1 pound a month, you can measure 1 pound per month and know if you are reaching your goal or not.
Attainable = In Real Estate, this is always a tough one, I speak to so many Realtors in interviews, and one of the questions I ask is how much did you make last year, and how much do you want to make this year. It surprises me how many Realtors answer with a low number first, then an astronomical number that isn’t attainable even if you were the top Realtor in the world. I am not saying to dream big, and think big, because I want you to, but for your goals(there is a difference), they should be attainable with a stretch, that area of “you’re not sure you can get there, but you possible can if you worked really hard towards your goal.” And it works both ways, don’t make your goals so far out that it is impossible to reach your goals, and don’t make them so attainable that you have reached your goal before you finished reading this article.
Realistic = To be realistic, a goal must represent an objective toward which you are both willing and able to work. If your goal isn’t realistic, either too high or too low, you won’t be motivated to work towards it.
Time Specific = A goal should be grounded within a time frame. With no time frame tied to it there’s no sense of urgency. If you want to lose 10 lbs, when do you want to lose it by? “Someday” won’t work. But if you anchor it within a timeframe, “by May 1st”, then you’ve set your unconscious mind into motion to begin working on the goal.
Now that you have set the goals, and know how to reach them, we need to cover the basic areas of your life that you should make goals for. And they are Financial, Business/Career, Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual/Family.
Financial = Money, Investments, Savings, Debt, whatever your financial world revolves around, you need to focus on that, and create a goal to either get out of debt, or to attain more wealth then you had before. The big one is people always ask me how do I make more money. I always ask, what is your definition of more. If you made $1 more then you did last year, that is making more money, you need to get specific.
Business/Career = For most people, your career is what defines you, and that’s okay if you want it to. There are many entrepreneurs who want to run their own business, or improve their existing one. This is the area of your life that you really need to take some time to reflect on, it takes up approx. 1/3 of your life.
Physical = This is your outwards appearance, your social being, your social interaction with the world, how do you want the world to see you, how do you feel about the way you look, if you don’t like the way you look, change it, set a measurable, attainable goal and go after it, take action.
Emotional = This is your inner self, how do you feel about yourself from the inside, is there something that is holding you back that is giving you insecurity, is it just in your head? Become an emotional powerhouse, know that who you are inside is more important then what you look like on the outside.
Spiritual/Family = I lump these two together, not to take away from one of the other, but not everyone on the planet is spiritual, and not everyone on the planet has or wants a family.
Now that you know how to set goals, and now that you know what areas of your life you need to focus on and set those goals in, do yourself a favour, take 1 hour out of your day to reflect on, even write down how those areas in your life were in the past. Then take 1 hour to really nail down 5 specific goals for each area, and from that, I wish you a great 2012, and good luck with becoming a better you!