As Stephen Covey said, “I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.”
January heralds in the beginning of a new year—with new possibilities, opportunities, and challenges. I don’t believe new year’s resolutions are inherently bad, but I feel they often lead to a “right now” kind of mentality instead of a long-term plan. A diet, for instance, is not about the next four weeks; it’s about the decisions you make consistently over time. Strategic planning around clear goals, accountability for the outcome, and congruent goals make for success.
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3 Steps to Set 2018 Goals You’ll Actually Want to Tackle
1. Set a goal you can get fired up about.
A diet or nutrition plan has to be created around your lifestyle, your health needs, and something you actually like to eat. If you plan your entire success around something you don’t like, there is not a good likelihood you will stick with it. No matter how much you might tell me lima beans are nutritious, I still think they are disgusting. There is zero chance I’ll them, no matter their benefits. On the other hand, if you tell me I should eat steak and vegetables, drink my morning coffee, ingest lots of water, and treat myself to a tasty glass of red wine with dinner, then I’m in! (This is not far from my actual diet, in case you were wondering.)
The same could not be more true for your business goals. I have learned the hard way that if you have a great goal but it’s not something you like or want to do, then you won’t do it. For example, my skills and abilities (and interests) don’t line up well with something that is repetitive. I like to find big problems, create and ruminate on big ideas, and talk—which is why I love my role as CEO.
Related: 7 Questions to Help Make Your Financial or Real Estate Investing Goals Reality
Let’s say I set a goal that had me completing a task over and over. The likelihood of me having great success would be very low. On the other hand, if I set a goal of coming up with a new idea every few weeks—specifically focusing on how it would impact our business and who would be responsible for that new initiative—then I could really sink my teeth into that problem.
To be clear, I am not saying that you can’t sit in a seat doing a job you don’t like. But from a long-term standpoint, you are not setting yourself up for success. You will be a lot more likely to give 100 percent to something you are really excited about.
2. Make sure your goal is ridiculously simple to understand.
If I have learned one thing over the past few years in business, it’s to have one clear objective and be relentless with it. If you have 50 initiatives to go after, track, understand, and influence, you are going to have nightmares (or sleepless nights). No one can keep that much together.
Success comes down to how clear and simple the goal is—and how clear you are on laying it out for yourself and your team to execute.
- This year we will sell 10 houses.
- Our team will add one new active buyer to the wholesale list every week.
- I’ll add two new rentals to my passive income portfolio every year for 10 years.
- Our team will net $20k in profit this month—and every month for 12 months.
- We will hire a new acquisitions person, with this specific job description and these specific metrics.
With a clear and simple goal also come simplicity and ease in explaining and quantifying it. With 50 different metrics, you would spend an unreal amount of time just trying to gather all that data—then trying to decipher all the numbers and understanding what the information is telling you.
3. Be careful that your short-term goal works with the long-term plan.
Yep, that means you need a long-term plan. Let’s say your long-term goal is to retire from your corporate job. Then what do you need to clear a month in passive income? Then how many houses do you need to buy to achieve that? Where do you buy your houses from, and who is managing them if it isn’t you?
Related: How My Journal Transformed My Productivity and Goals for 2018
I love how the book Traction lays out goals by quarter, year, 3-year, and 5 or 10-year time periods. Doing this will help you think in terms of both the short-term and tactical problems, as well as the 5 or 10-year “big, hairy” goals that you set down the road.
Don’t overcomplicate it. Don’t allow others to influence your ideas negatively. Work through your ideas, have a clear plan, believe in it and in yourself, and execute. Have a plan that you are excited about. Work on it, refine it, and consistently review your plan. You will gain clarity on what is working in the day-to-day and where you need to tweak or change to end up where you want. It’s simple.
The time is now. Review the goals and plans you have. Work through them confidently and to completion. Review the end game you are looking for long-term. And go get after it.
What are your 2018 goals? How did you set a plan to get there?