Simple Strategies for Setting and Reaching Your Goals
In my last article entitled, Generate Ultimate Success by Knowing Exactly What You Want, I talked about the importance of knowing exactly what you want in order to have any possibility of achieving success in this lifetime.
Once you know for certain what it is that you want, it’s time to go about getting it! Knowing what you want and setting your goals is one thing… reaching your goals is another matter entirely.
Write it Down!
I highly recommend that you WRITE DOWN YOUR GOALS. Sit down and think of what you want and what you hope to accomplish during your stay here on earth. Remember that tomorrow is not promised therefore you must make the most of TODAY.
When I was 18 years old, my Uncle Miles shared with me a strategy that helped me stay focused through the years, until my goals were accomplished. Here’s what I recommend you do: Take out four sheets of notebook paper. At the top of your sheets, write down the following headers, one on each sheet:
- SPIRITUAL GOALS
- MATERIAL GOALS
- PERSONAL GOALS
- CAREER GOALS
On this sheet, write out all the goals you hope to accomplish pertaining to your spiritual life, and by when you hope to accomplish each goal. This information should include things like where you plan to attend church, particular ministries you would like to be involved in, how much time you will dedicate each day to Bible study and prayer, etc. For me, my spiritual goals are the priority of the 4 goal categories.
(If you are not religious, consider this a section to note how you want to improve your mindset and the relationships around you. How much time will you dedicate to your community involvement, for example? What changes would you like to see?)
On this page, list all the goals you hope to accomplish pertaining to material goods and when you hope to accomplish each of these goals. Your material goals should include information such as where you will live, what type of house you will live in, what type of car you will drive, how you will dress, etc.
Detail all the goals you hope to accomplish pertaining to your personal life and when you hope to accomplish each of these goals. These goals should include how often and on what days you intend to exercise per week, how often you will take vacations, how often you will visit relatives and friends, your desired weight, the image you hope to portray, etc.
On this sheet, write out all the goals you hope to accomplish pertaining to your career life and when you hope to accomplish each of these goals. This information should include how you will structure your business, where you see yourself in 5 years, 10 years and 20 years. You will also want to list the major career achievements you will fulfill, etc. It is not important that you write your goals down in the order you wish each goal to happen. Write down the goals you have as they come to mind. For me, I shoot to keep my goals realistic; however, I realize that anything is possible and attainable with God, provided that it’s within His will for my life. Remember that you can always tweak your goals later on, but you must have some specific goals to begin shooting for!
Try to keep most of your goals relatively short-term, i.e. within the next 3 to 5 years. You may write a few goals that are long-range, but keep these somewhat vague.
Once you have taken the time to write out all of your goals in each category, ask yourself: “Why is this goal important to me?” In other words, “Why do I want this?”
Your Personal Measuring Stick
You really never know where your real estate career (or life) will sweep you, however by having written goals, you will be able to gauge whether or not you are on or off track. Goal-setting acts as a measuring stick. Think about it – if you don’t know where you are going, how will you know when you’ve arrived? How will you know when you’ve veered off the road? As Lewis Carroll put it: “If you don’t know where you’re going, then any road will lead you there.”
All of these goals can be altered as you go along, however, they still must be written out as a foundation to begin shooting for. If a marksman begins shooting without a target, how will he know when he has hit the bulls-eye? When goals are written or typed out, and perhaps pinned on the wall or on your desk, they serve as a constant reminder to the direction in which you are headed. The most successful people in the world write down their goals. Also, setting your goals will activate your subconscious mind, and it too will begin to work on helping you accomplish your goals (even while you sleep).
Most importantly, I want you to completely understand that You Must Be Absolutely Convinced About the Goal You Set. If you are not convinced about your goals, then your mind will never get on board to help you achieve them.
Your Worst Enemy and Your Best Friend
I had an agent come to work for me once, and I asked him the question I ask anyone who is looking to join my team. “How much do you want to make a month?” He pondered the question for a few moments and then shyly retorted, “$10,000 a month.” At this I reeled my head back, wrinkled my forehead in amazement and said with vigor, “$10,000 a month!? That’s a lot of money. Wouldn’t $5,000 be all right?” He looked at me and then looked away. He thought about it for about two seconds. Now guess what happened during that two second pause?
Yep, he settled for less. “Well,” he responded, “$5,000 wouldn’t work, but $6,000 would be all right!” He basically gave himself a $4,000 pay cut during a three-sentence conversation. Two seconds was all it took for him to cut his pay by 40 percent. Mind you, I didn’t give him a pay cut, he cut himself. All I did was sufficiently challenge him so that I could find out if his mind was on board with what he said he wanted. If your mind is not on board, you will never achieve your goals.
When it comes to getting what you want, who is your worst enemy? And who is your best friend and closest ally when it comes to achieving your goals?
The obvious answer to both is YOU.
As you already know, when it comes to achieving what you want in life, you are your own worst enemy and you can be your own best friend. Blaming others for your lack of success is a futile undertaking. Your own mind will develop every scheme imaginable to derail you and to lead you to failure, and it generally doesn’t need anyone else’s help! You will sabotage your own success if you do not take the reins early on.
Eckhart Tolle put it correctly when he said that “The mind is like a little child.” That’s why the Bible teaches that we must both tame the mind and renew it. You are the master of your mind, it is not the master of you.
Remember that the brain is lazy. It will always settle for the minimum standard. When the goals that you set seem arduous, you will look for ways to ease the burden, typically by lowering your standards (reducing your goals). However, I have observed the flip side of this is also true. If you push past the pain you will achieve the pleasure. In other words, if you persevere even when the journey becomes unbearable, your mind will eventually get on board with your goals. Your mind will realize that this time you are quite serious about achieving your objectives. That is the point at which both heaven and earth will begin to move to assist you in reaching your objectives. Your mind will not only get on board with what you are doing, but it will invent clever and exciting ways to make your journey easier and more successful.
Ever gone on a new diet?
If so, you have already seen this principle at work. Some years ago, I became convinced (actually my wife Josie convinced me) that I needed to begin eating healthier. For me, that meant that I needed to incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables into my diet. But there was one big hurdle that I had to overcome: Alas, I don’t like fruits and vegetables! I must shamefully admit that I generally crave cheeseburgers, pizza, tacos, pancakes, donuts and the like. So, while my brain seems to crave the wrong kinds of fuel, I know that bad eating is detrimental to my health and wellbeing. Nevertheless, the idea of sticking a leafy green substance into my mouth, having to chew repeatedly, and then having to swallow was not something I could fathom, so I came up with the clever solution of blending. I found that although I couldn’t eat kale outright, I could blend it up and gulp it down almost before my tongue knew what hit it.
I developed an organic concoction of kale, spinach, celery, apple, carrot, walnuts, sprouts and blueberries, mixed with just enough water to make it drinkable. Pulverized by my BlendTec, the mixture has become my go-to formula for “eating” my daily supply of fruits and vegetables.
When I first started with the green drink, however, my mind really started playing tricks on me. It seems that my mind was hard at work engineering my downfall. My brain would tell me things like: What in the heck are you doing now, son? Have you gone crazy? You know you want a cheeseburger!
Thankfully, I have learned not to allow my feelings to tell me how to feel. I found that I constantly had to check and correct my subconscious mind: No, we are not doing a cheeseburger today, buddy! We are rollin’ with that green drink! As wild as it may seem, it felt like I was fighting against myself! This self-dialogue went on for many weeks. Every time I would begin putting my daily green drink together, my mind would challenge me thusly.
In time, however, my subconscious mind began to realize that I was quite serious about this new commitment. Eventually the dialogue from my subconscious mind began sound like this: Wow dude, you’re serious about this green thing, huh? Well I guess it’s not that bad after all. I still would prefer some tacos, but I guess it could be worse.
Fast forward six months after I began consistently blending. Guess what the dialogue from my subconscious mind had changed to? Now my mind was screaming: Green drink, green drink! Gotta have that green drink!!! Come on, man… let’s get that green drink already! At which point I would glance down at my watch and gently and lovingly tell my mind, Dude, you need to chill. We still have another hour to go before you get your green drink. Calm down buddy – you’ll get it soon enough!
My journey with the green drink illustrates how the mind works. When you originally move forward in any endeavor, your mind will seemingly attempt to sabotage your efforts to achieve success. As you push forward and your mind ultimately becomes convinced that you are serious about succeeding this time, it will get on board with what you are doing. That’s why you cannot allow your feelings to tell you how to feel.
Resistance, Acceptance, Assistance
I am no neuroscientist. Even those who study the mind on a daily basis have only scratched the surface of understanding the complexity of this incredible organ. I can, however, tell you what I have personally experienced after training tens of thousands of individuals, and what I have seen in my own life. The mind seems to follow a three phase pattern of resistance, acceptance and then assistance. You will generally see the pattern show up when you take on a new endeavor.
During the initial resistance phase, the mind throws a fit, and it fights against you. Then, during the acceptance phase the mind reluctantly and begrudgingly goes along with your plan, typically murmuring the whole time. Finally, the mind moves on to the assistance phase, where it gets fully on board with your vison and empowers you to succeed. Just pay close attention to your mind the next time you begin to take on any new endeavor. It will generally follow this pattern.
The more you are aware of this process, the faster you can get through it. I have seen some agents get stuck in the acceptance phase for many years! Perhaps you got thrust into a real estate career out of necessity and haven’t entirely embraced your profession. You aren’t living up to your full potential. On the other hand, I know many agents who are in the assistance phase, and they seem to be listing magnets. They have maximum positive energy, and listings just seem to magically float to them!
The truth is, the mind is resistant to change.
Of course you are excited about focusing your business on listings and becoming a Listing Specialist, but perhaps you are also a bit apprehensive about what the future may hold. That’s only natural. Soon your excitement will fade into the reality that you have got to start generating business and getting leads. Hard work follows, and your mind begins to throw you doubts: Are you sure you want to commit to this? This is hard! Your mind will try to talk you out of it, once it sees that big changes are on the horizon. As you continue to plug away toward success, your mind will reluctantly go along. Oh well. I guess we have to make these dang calls to generate leads. Sheesh. Oh, well… let’s get started. Finally, when your actions become habits, your mind is pushing you out of bed… Come on, let’s go! It’s time to prospect! Gotta set some appointments today!
Mastery is achieved through time on the task over time. Sadly, many agents don’t stay on task long enough to get past the resistance phase, so they don’t reap the long-term rewards that come with having their mind fully on board and supportive of their endeavors. The assistance phase is the zone where success is possible. Tragically, many agents quit digging just 3 feet before they strike gold.
I encourage you to leap forward and embrace the destiny and success that awaits you!
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