Using Goals As a Tool
By Kevin Amolsch
I know, I know… I told you and myself that I was not going to do this but I just can’t help it. Goals are more important than you might realize. It is simple, when I make goals and use them as a tool I make a lot of money, when I don’t, I don’t make a lot of money. You will not be as successful as you could be without using this essential tool. If you are happy with mediocrity, please don’t waste your time reading this article.
We have all heard about writing SMART goals. I will go through the definition of a SMART goal with you briefly and then explain how to use it. SMART is an acronym for:
Your goal needs to be as specific as possible. If you want to do a certain number of deals or make a certain amount of money, state how exactly how many deals or the exact dollar amount that you want to make. After you have your goal you need to trace back to understand the action items you need to take to get there. For example, if you want to do one deal a month and you know that you need to make 30 offers to get one deal, you know that you need to be making about 8 offers a week. WRITE IT DOWN. When you are clear on what you want you can be clear on the path it is going to take to get there.
If you can’t measure your goal how will you know if you obtain it? You need to be able to measure it so you can manage progress and make corrections as you go. Measuring a goal needs to be specific. For example, do you know when you have hit 50% of your goal? If you want to do 12 deals in 2012 and you hit 6 then you know you are 50% there. I see people make goals like donating more money to charity or spending more time with their kids. Although making the world a better place or being a great parent are commendable, they are not SMART goals. Instead your goal could be: “I watch 3 of my son’s soccer games a month.” Or “I donated $3,000 to cancer research in 2012”.
Have you ever heard someone say “I want to shoot for the stars and hope to land on the moon?” Although I agree that shooting for the stars and falling a bit short is better than shooting the top of the light pole, I don’t agree with setting goals so big that you don’t believe you can get there. Your mind is so powerful that if you don’t believe you can attain the goal, it will be like the goal is not even there. Instead you should shoot for a lofty goal that you have a chance to reach and reward yourself for hitting benchmarks and convince yourself that you can reach it. Last year I had a goal to reach a certain income level and if I hit it I would buy my wife and I ATVs. It is OK not to hit your goals; however, you need to at least have the chance to hit them for them to work.
Most gurus will tell you the “R” stands for realistic. If you are one of those and can tell me the difference between realistic and attainable, please call me or send me an email. I cannot figure out the difference to save my life. I prefer “rewarding”. Your goal has to be rewarding for you! Don’t set your goals for anyone else or for what other people or the “industry” says you should do. It needs to be something that you really want, I mean REALLY want. This is your big why and what drives everything you do. For example; you may want to make $300,000 this year, but why. Your goal may be $300,000 this year which is great but you also need to understand why you want that. I cannot stress enough the important of this. Write down reasons. For example; you may want to make more money so you can travel with your family, donate, take care of someone you love, buy a bigger house, etc. Just like your goal it is good to be specific; to travel to a different county each year, to buy a specific house. Dig deep and let it be emotional. One of my big “whys” is that my dad raised me and my brother and sister as a single parent. He sold things, worked late nights and did whatever it took to raise me and provide a great childhood. Now he is getting close to retirement but can’t retire because he did not save enough. I want to help provide him income so he can retire.
Finally you need to set a time to your goal. I will make $300,000 by the end of 2012. If you don’t put a deadline there is no motivation to get it done.
If you have SMART goals, you are ahead of 90% of people and you make more (or soon will) than 90% of all people. But just setting your goals is not enough, you have to manage them. The key is in review and repetition. You need to review them at least once a month but I would say it is better to review them once a week or even once a day. I have short and long term goals and I rotate through them and repeat them to myself every day. I tell myself that I have already achieved the goal. These are called affirmations and they just flat work. If you are committed to your goal and stay committed to your affirmations, you will see results. There are many great books written on affirmations, including the Secret, [http://www.thesecret.tv]http://www.thesecret.tv, which I strongly recommend you read. Reading a book about affirmations would be a great SMART goal.
I have four goals, some short term and some long term. They all over lap but there are distinct differences. Each day I choose one goal and I say it to myself out loud for one to two minutes. I probably repeat the goal 50 or 60 times during those two minutes. It sounds like a lot but it only takes a minute or two a day. The way the goals are written and repeated are as if they were already accomplished. For example a goal might be “I am currently making at least $10,000 per month in passive income.”
I want to stress that this stuff works if you let it but it is not easy and it takes commitment. If you start skipping days and not doing your affirmations you probably won’t accomplish your goals. It is probably a good idea to put the goal on the bathroom mirror where you see it every day or set a reminder on your calendar.
It is also not a bad idea to understand your big “why” and put reminders around you. Maybe have a picture of your family on your desk.
Here is to making 2012 the best year you have ever had!!
For the last 8 years Kevin has been involved with real estate. His company, Pine Financial Group, Inc, is the premier hard money lender in Colorado. http://www.pinefinancialblog.com/
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