Tips for Achieving Your Goals in 2014

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This is the time of year when most people start talking about their goals for the upcoming year. I am a big believer in setting goals, but only if you have a plan to achieve them. Most folks are good at writing down what they want to achieve. It’s the implementation part that they don’t get right.

Looking Back

The first part of goal setting involves looking back at the past 12 months and making a brutally honest evaluation of the “good, the bad and the ugly” as they say.  Look at both your business and your personal goals. How did you do?

If you can say had a successful year achieving your goals then I’m really happy for you.  But the reality for most people is that they didn’t achieve everything they set out to achieve for this year. The good news is that you are probably still ahead of 75% of the people out there that didn’t even set goals.  But now is the time to figure out why you fell short.

Ask Yourself These Questions:

  1. Did you have a clear, concise plan for achieving your goals?  Everyone needs a roadmap to get from point A to point B so if you skipped the part about creating a plan, there’s your problem.
  2. Did you have a plan, but somehow the execution of that plan fell short?  Figure out what the problem was and get back on track.
  3. Do you have bad habits or destructive behaviors that you need to get rid of?  Once again, it’s time to be brutally honest. Here’s the thing; you first have to “own those bad habits and behaviors” before you can actually change them.  This is a simple process, but it’s not always easy to come clean (even to ourselves) and actually make the changes.

Planning for Success

Write down your 3 to 5 big goals for next year.  It’s important to really nail down your “why” here. Why are they so important to you?  How will your life change as a result of achieving your goals?   Once you have that figured out, then it’s time to figure out the “how”. How will go about achieving your goals?

Here is what I believe is the secret to achieving your goals; a great big wall calendar.  That calendar will become your brand new accountability partner.

Some folks might be saying, “I’ll just make a list in my computer”.  That might work for some people, but it just won’t work for most of us. The reason is that we need to see those goals right in front of us every single day, so the best place for your calendar is right over your desk or workspace.

Related: Why Making Big Goals Will Make You More Successful

The Secret to Achieving Those Great Big Goals

While it’s fun making those big awesome goals, it’s not always as easy to achieve them.  They can seem overwhelming once the initial excitement slips away. But it’s actually pretty simple if you just take you goal and break it down into bite sized chunks.

List all the steps you need to take then schedule them on your calendar.  The act of looking at that calendar every single day helps you to take consistent action and makes those overwhelming goals suddenly seem manageable.

Here’s an example. Let’s say you want to start a direct mail campaign this year; that is your big goal.  If I were to list all of the things I needed to do to implement my direct mail campaigns it might look something like this:

  • Decide on which niche(s) I want to market to
  • Determine where to get a list
  • Buy the list
  • Determine whether I will do the mailings or outsource them
  • If I will be doing my mailings, decide on a database to use for storing my contacts. I will use this for printing my direct mail pieces too.
  • Purchase a database if I don’t already have one
  • If I want to outsource my mailings, I will need to research some mailing services and contact them
  • Put the list into a database in order to do the mailings or upload it to a direct mail service
  • Set up systems to track my mailings
  • Set up a website to drive traffic to if needed

Goal setting is like just about everything else. For the  best results, you need a roadmap.

Have you laid out your goals for the new year?

Photo: Bugdodger

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About Author

Sharon has been investing in real estate since 1998. She owned and operated a successful home inspection company for 17 years. In January of 2008 she took the leap of closing her business to become a full time real estate investor.

18 Comments

  1. Nice post Sharon! Goals are extremely important. I think one of the most important things to do is to revisit your goals throughout the year. If you forget what they are, they don’t do much good. I try to review my big goals weekly.

    • Hey Mark –

      I agree completely. It’s good to just hang them up over your desk and look at them daily if possible, but surely at least weekly. I believe that your subconscious takes over when it is constantly reminded of what it should be helping you with.

      Sharon

  2. This year in 2013 i was all over the place. in 2014 I will become more focused on tracking my progress and success. 1 of the things i will focus on is more employment to get more money together to help with marketing and outsourcing my mailings. Great Article.

    • Gerald –

      I think a whole lot of folks feel the same way. In some ways 2013 was kind of like “Friday the 13th” the whole year. Put it down on paper and decide to make it happen. You will never be sorry you outsourced your mailings.

      Sharon

  3. This is part of a longer article I shared with my clients:

    I hope you have heard of “SMART goals.” SMART is a mnemonic for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-oriented. You can find a complete description here

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMART_criteria

    In the business world, goals are easier to set and to quantify. “I will earn $200,000 this year.” Once you have that goal in mind, the next step is to break down the (actionable) steps needed to achieve that goal. “To earn $200,000, I have to earn $16,667 per month. That requires that I close one deal per month. To close on just one deal, I need to have five deals in the pipeline …. ten is better. To have ten in the pipeline, I need to stay in contact with my hot and warm prospects and cultivate 20 more warm prospects THIS MONTH.”

    Once you have these intermediate steps in place, WRITE THEM DOWN. As a friend told me, “If it is not WRITTEN, it is not a GOAL.” Share that goal with someone. Charge that person with asking how you are progressing towards your goal. Be honest with that accountability partner and with yourself. Track your results. Does it take 10 phone calls to find an interested prospect or does it take 50 calls?

    If anyone would like the longer article, just ask.

  4. Great article Sharon! I couldn’t agree more with your advice for goal setting and leading a balanced life! I’ve actually created an entire system that helps you set goals and achieve them, that is based on principles that are very similar to what you’ve described in this article.

    Keep up the great work!

  5. I need to revamp my goal setting/reviewing process for next year.
    Was definitely less focused than I want to be most of the year.

    One of the biggest things is you are spot on about writing it down and having it in your face.
    I have tried some computer or phone stuff and it isn’t the same. Some are very useful in ways, but not great for this stuff.

    • Shaun –

      I need it “in my face” and I think if most people were truthful, they need that too. It’s just too easy to lose your focus otherwise. In some ways 2013 was like one big “Friday the 13th”. Here’s to all of us regaining our focus in 2014. Happy New Year.

      Sharon

  6. Wave –

    That is definitely one of the most aspects of all. Good intentions are great, but if you don’t take action you will be in exactly the same place 12 months from now that you are today,

    Sharon

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