Set New Goals for a New Year

Creating a meaningful and pleasurable life should be a goal that goes hand in hand with having a satisfying real estate career.

December 1, 2001

Remember this conversation between Alice and the Cheshire cat in Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland?

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to walk from here?” asks Alice.
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” says the cat.
“I don’t much care where,” says Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you walk,” replies the cat.

Real estate salespeople without specific goals are like Alice: They don’t know what road to take to reach personal and business success.

The start of a new year is a great time to review and set goals. As you head into 2002, the following guidelines will help you chart your course of action.

First, determine who should be involved in helping you set your goals. Group members may include your family, your sweetheart, or your manager.

If you’re a new salesperson, I suggest that you include your manager or admired mentor. And the family is a must; otherwise, you may be working against the ideals your family hopes to preserve. If you’re a seasoned sales professional, I suggest you include people from your intimate circle, who’ll not only support you but also influence your progress in a positive way.

Make sure your written goals are specific and closely tied to the things in your life you’re most passionate about accomplishing. For example, if your goal is to travel with your spouse and stay at five-star golf resorts, write down a location that really excites you both. When you’re in the middle of a heavy prospecting schedule, the “E factor” (emotional factor) will get you up in the morning. Knowing you’re making progress toward a fun goal makes stuffing envelopes much more palatable.

But be realistic when setting goals. If you don’t have a prayer of achieving a goal, why set it? Remember that goals are meant to motivate you. If you’re unrealistic (sometimes a rookie’s downfall), goals can discourage. Don’t give up on what could be the perfect career for you, because you set your goals too high and didn’t give yourself enough time to build a successful business.

Another mistake to avoid is to set inflexible methods of achieving goals. Create specific personal and career goals that clearly define activities to accomplish, but don’t limit your flexibility and creativity in how you’ll accomplish them. For example, set up your prospecting activities around your children’s schedule to make the most of your time while they’re in school. Design a workout plan that can be altered and still be fulfilled if a sudden emergency arises at the office.

Once you have a list of goals, develop a procedure for monitoring them regularly. Adjust the goals as circumstances dictate. If you fall behind, make sure your goals are realistic and exciting for your particular stage in life. If you find yourself suddenly falling behind, reassess your goals to ensure they’re still realistic and exciting to you. Winning top producer awards might have been a great motivator for you five years ago but may not do the trick today.

Doing an impeccable job and getting consistent referrals may be what keeps you in the game now. The extra push to succeed financially may come from the overall enjoyment you derive from your lifestyle.

Creating a meaningful and pleasurable life should be a goal that goes hand in hand with having a satisfying real estate career. Start lining up your goals now, and this time next year you’ll be grinning like the Cheshire cat!

Danielle Kennedy is a consultant and speaker on real estate sales and marketing topics. She is the author of three books, How to List and Sell Real Estate,Seven Figure Selling,and Workingmoms.calm: How Smart Women Balance Career and Family.

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