PropertyBrain helps real estate professionals work smarter through the implementation of tools and learning. Our goal is to help you grow your real estate business and increase your income.
It's the time of year when so many of us sit down and come up with goals, dreams, and plans for the year. But often, we get to the end of the year, and we look back on those goals, and they're nothing more than a distant memory.
So in this blog post, I want to talk about four things that you need to do to take the goals that you set here at the beginning of the year and actually turn them into success by the time we get to the end of the year.
If you would rather watch a video, than read this post, you can watch the video below:
Now, first off, this post is not going to be a deep dive into goal setting.
So many of them are great, and there are many variations.
I'd encourage you to find one you believe in, or a person you follow that you believe in, that talks about goal setting, and find a course or a resource or something like that.
In this post, we'll focus more on what you do after you set the goals to take you from where you set the goal to the actual attainment.
Now really quickly, before we do that, we're going to jump in and do a speedy goal-setting overview in case you don't have a resource or haven't found one yet.
Often the resources you're going to find that talk about goals will talk about an acronym called SMART.
Setting SMART goals is something that I believe in.
It's something that every time I set a goal, I try to set a SMART goal.
SMART is an acronym for specific, measurable, actionable or attainable, realistic or relevant, and time-bound.
For example, let's say we're setting a goal like “I want to make $500,000 this year.”
That goal would fit well into the SMART framework.
Specifically, we've set an actual number.
It's measurable that as we go through the year, we can see did I or did I not hit that goal.
It's actionable or attainable because I can go out and make money, and therefore it is actionable.
Is it relevant? It is relevant. It's about a business goal. I'm setting a business goal when I'm putting an income into it, and therefore it is relevant to my career.
Lastly, it's time-bound. I've said I want to do it in the next 12 months or this year.
So that would be a SMART goal.
This is just one example, but you should be setting goals in every area of your life. You can't just set business goals because you're more than just a realtor or more than just a real estate professional.
You have other areas of your life - whether it's your family, your relationships, your spiritual life, your physical health, your contribution to the world, etc.
You need to set goals in each one of these categories.
That being said, you don't want to overwhelm yourself by setting too many goals.
Typically it's recommended that you set around one to three goals, per area, with a total of around ten goals.
By doing that, you're giving yourself enough goals that you're going to be challenging yourself in all areas of your life. But also not too many goals where you're going to be overwhelmed to the point that you can't take action.
Alright, so now that we've done a quick overview of goal setting, using SMART goals as the framework, let's talk about the four things that you need to do to actually make them a reality by the end of the year or by the end of whatever timeframe you set with each goal.
The first thing you need to do, is you need to keep them top of mind.
Now, this, in my opinion, is probably the most important thing. This is because so many times when you set a goal (when you sit down and you come up with this grand plan here in January - maybe you did it in December, or perhaps you're going to do it here in February as we move forward in the year) you come up with this vision that you want to achieve.
You get so excited, you're fired up, and ready to make it happen!
And then the next month happens.
As we work our way through the year, many times we forget about the goal. It's something that you are no longer focused on.
The number one thing you can do to take a goal that you set and make it a reality is you have to keep it top of mind.
There are a couple of ways to do this, but generally speaking, most people that talk about goals would recommend that you write them down. I'm a big believer in that.
Here are two ways you can do that:
Now, I personally believe in writing them down at least once every day, and many goal or business gurus would say that you should actually do it more than once per day.
They should be the first thing that you see in the morning.
They should also be the last thing you see at night.
While I'm not good about making sure that it's always the first thing I see and always the last thing I see, I do try to ensure that I'm seeing my goals every morning and every night.
I would encourage you to do the same thing.
There are resources that say the impact on the brain when you write something physically is more than when you type it into a phone or type it on a computer.
If you're a person that likes to write, I'd encourage you to get a journal and physically write them down every single morning and every single night.
If you're more like me, and you're a little bit more of a tech nerd, I would encourage you to put them on your phone or do it on an iPad. Sometimes I actually write them on my iPad to combine the tech and the motion of writing.
Pick whatever method you think will be most likely for you to follow through with and put into place.
It's really important what I just said there...
Pick the method that you think you will most likely follow through with!
If you're like me and don't like writing, you most likely don't have pens and paper sitting around, so if you picked the method of physically writing your goals down, you would likely fail to follow through.
I have my phone, an iPad, or my computer with me at all times. So choosing the technology method makes it more realistic that I achieve my goal of writing them down every morning and every night.
Some other things you can do to keep them top of mind:
The goal is just to keep them top of mind so you're seeing them repeatedly, every… single… day.
Now I said the first one was the most important, and I do believe that, but this one is probably going to have the most impact on the extent of what you achieve.
The reason for that is because of this saying:
Our thoughts become our actions, our actions become our habits, and our habits become our outcomes.
If you can take a goal and break it down, and turn it into habits that you can take action on every single day, you're far more likely to achieve the outcome that you desire than if you just focus on the goal itself.
Did you know that if you make a 1% improvement every single day, it can have a profound effect over a year?
Mathematically, if you look at the number 1, raised to the 365th power, which means it's compounding itself daily, the result is still 1.
1^365 = 1
You haven't lost any ground, but you have made no progress.
However, if you look at 1.01, which would be a 1% improvement, raised to the 365th power, you get a result nearly 38x times greater!
1.01^365 = 37.8
This means that just by making a 1% improvement every single day, you actually end up with a result 37.8 times greater than if you hadn't made that 1% progress every day.
When breaking down your goals into habits, it is essential to realize that you don't need to make massive momentum every single day.
Even a tiny habit that you can repeatedly do, whether it's every day or every week, or every month, can provide a much more significant result at the end of the year due to the compounding results of all of those actions that you've taken over the last year.
One of my mentors, Ed Mylett, has a great book out called The Power of One More.
If you haven't read it, I'd encourage you to go to Amazon and pick it up or listen to it on Audible.
It's one of the best books I've read in the last couple of years, and the reason why is because the overwhelming theme of the book is this idea of improvement, or ‘doing one more’.
When you take these goals and create habits out of them, I encourage you to apply that theme to your goals. Take a step back and ask yourself, how can I improve? How can I do ‘one more’?
An example of this will be if you're going to make five prospecting calls per day, make one more.
If you're going to go on three listing appointments per week, try to go on one more.
If you're going to generate leads each day, try to generate one more.
Turning your goals into habits is powerful, but now we're supercharging it by pushing ourselves to do just a little more.
If you do this at the end of the year, you're going to realize the fantastic effects of compounding.
Now that we've discussed the point that you need to take them and turn them into habits, how do you do so?
I like to work backward.
You need to break the goal down and work backward from the end to get to the habits you can do today.
Alex Hormozi actually talked about this recently in a video that I thought was great.
On his Instagram, he posted a video about how creating goals is not a good way to go about it, but actually, creating habits is extremely important.
His reason for this was because he says, “the only things that you can actually control are the actions and activities that you partake in”.
I think that's so true. If you sit there and say, I have a goal to make $500,000 a year, but you don't come up with any activities or actions that you can today, the reality is whether or not you achieve that goal has more to do with luck than with planning.
That's not a good way to set and achieve a goal.
So let's look at an example of how to work backward and break a goal down into actionable habits.
Let's say you have a goal to sell 100 homes this year.
Then you need to take a step back and say, okay, what do I need to do to sell 100 homes?
For every agent, that's a little bit different. Maybe you're going to say you mainly do buyer leads. So you need to have one hundred buyers that you close this year.
Or maybe you focus almost solely on sellers, and you need to have one hundred sellers that you close.
In that scenario, you may know that to get 100 sellers, you will need to go on 300 listing appointments.
So let’s break it down…
Goal: Sell 100 Homes
*These numbers may or may not be applicable to achieve this goal; they are only being used for demonstration purposes.
Whatever it is, you need to take that end goal and work backward to sit there and say, here is my new habit.
My new habit is I'm going to make five phone calls per day.
My new habit is I'm going to prospect for 30 minutes per day or I'm going to prospect for an hour a day.
I'm going to reach out to this many people in my network per day.
Once you've broken your goal down from the 50,000-foot level to the 5-foot level, you're going to have a plan of action that you can take each and every day or every week to be able to achieve the goal at the end of the year.
You're creating habits that can include those 1% improvements.
It's the idea of ‘death by a thousand cuts’.
If you're at 0 sales and want to get to 100 sales, it's really hard to bridge the gap if you only focus on the end result of the goal.
But if you know that all you have to do is make five phone calls per day, go on one listing appointment per week, and do three other things, it becomes a lot easier to actually see a path forward to get to the outcome of your goal.
If you were going on a trip, you would map out where you need to go. If you just got in the car and started driving, you may end up there, or you may not - you could end up somewhere completely different.
But if you sat down and had a map and a plan to get somewhere, you're far more likely to achieve your goal of getting there, within a specific timeframe, than if you just sit down and hope for the best.
Once you've broken your goals down and come up with some actions, it's essential to realize that you may have a bunch of different actions to take. And sometimes, they may even conflict with each other.
The critical thing to ask yourself is, which of these is the most important to take action on today, right now, or this week, and focus on that one first.
It's also important to realize that as you move through the process of your goal, you may find different things that you need to do. Or you may realize that something that you thought you needed to do at the beginning is not getting you the results that you want. You may have to reevaluate the goal and come up with new habits.
However, at the start, you need to come up with whatever the habits could be, and you need to focus on which one has the most impact.
There's a great book that many of you probably know called The ONE Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. In that book, they ask, “What is the one thing that I can do today that will make everything else easier or obsolete?”
If you apply that to a goal, let's say it's the goal of selling a hundred homes and you ask, “what is the one thing I could do today that would make everything else easier or obsolete?” you will more easily be able to identify the habits you should create.
Maybe the answer is that you need to generate 50 leads today.
Then everything else becomes easier. You can call on the leads if you have the leads, and you can go on the listing appointments if you’ve called on the leads because you have the leads.
Getting the leads was the first step, making everything else easier or obsolete.
When you're creating habits, you need to focus on the most impactful thing you can do today and then reevaluate it at least on a weekly basis.
Each time you review it you should ask yourself if the habit you’ve created is something that supports your goal and is still the most important thing that you can do each day to make sure you achieve that goal in the future.
This is one of the things most people forget to do in the first place, and it's one of the most powerful things when it comes to whether or not you achieve a goal.
The reason is that if you don't have a great why, at some point when things get tough, or you're tired, or you don't want to do it anymore, or you doubt yourself, you're going to throw in the towel.
If you have a goal to sell one hundred homes per year, and it's just because you picked a hundred randomly when things get tough, or you want a vacation or whatever, you're going to compromise that goal, and you're not going to be willing to work as hard to achieve it.
It's extremely important to have a powerful WHY behind the goal!
It has to be something that matters to you. It doesn't matter what that reason is.
Maybe you want to sell a hundred homes because somebody you work with sold a hundred homes last year, and you were jealous that they hit that number before you.
It could be as simple as that.
Or maybe selling one hundred homes allows you to be within a particular segment of the real estate population.
Whatever the reason is for you, you need to have a reason.
Let’s look at the goal of making $1,000,000 per year. If the reason for the goal is just that you want to make a million dollars, you will likely realize that the WHY is not powerful enough to push you through. It’s not meaningful.
Now you may think earning a million dollars sounds pretty inspiring to me. And you may be right in the short run. But for most people, the goal of that level of money, or any level for that matter, is not powerful enough.
There is always a higher income level; the closer you get to it, the more likely you will be to move the goal. There is always someone below you, looking up at you, setting your current level as their goal.
So I would encourage you to not set your goals on money just for money's sake.
Or a number of transactions, for numbers' sake.
Instead, have a reason for it.
What does it allow you to do?
Does that allow your spouse to stay home and be a stay-at-home parent with your kids?
Does that allow you to fund college savings?
Does it allow you to take more trips?
What does it allow you to do?
If it's really meaningful to you, in those times where you don't want to make one more call, or you don't want to go on one more listing appointment, or you want to take the week off because you don’t feel like working, the WHY will help you push through those moments and stay on track when most people would throw in the towel.
Once you have your WHY, it's imperative to write it down.
I don't believe you need to write it down every day like you write down your goals every day. But I do think you need to at least write it down at first, and you should review it at least once a week, or once a month, to make sure that not only is it the goal staying top of mind, but that the WHY is staying top of mind as well.
As I said, it's in the moments where you're struggling, or where you feel like you want to give up, or you want to say I didn't need that goal or whatever that the WHY will power you through and let you do that one extra thing you need to achieve your goal.
It's also important that when considering your WHY, you figure out whether or not the goal is something that will interfere with other goals.
Let’s say you set a goal to make a million dollars this year, and your WHY was that you want to give your family the best life possible.
But then you break down the goal, create your habits, and you realize that you're going to have to do things that take away from your family.
If the true WHY behind the reason for a million dollars is to support your family, or be there for your family, or give them the life of their dreams, the habits that it's going to take to get there might show that you are actually not going to achieve the true goal which is based on your WHY.
And therefore, you may want to revisit that goal and say, is there a better goal?
So it's essential to have the why, but it's also important to realize whether or not the why supports the original goal and the goals in other areas of your life.
I can't stress this one enough. This one is something almost nobody does. If you already do it, congratulations. I'm really happy you do, and you should keep it up. But for most people, this is something that they forget about.
They set a goal, and even if they break it down into habits or they have a WHY behind it, most people never end up tracking it until the end of the year.
Maybe you set a six-month goal and said, I want to sell 50 homes in the first six months, I want to sell ten homes this month, but then you don’t track it actively.
I'm a huge believer in the saying, "What Gets Measured, Gets Managed!"
If you are constantly tracking your goals, you have a much easier time realizing whether or not you're on track, whether you're going to fall short, or maybe you're going to surpass the goal.
It also lets you figure out if you need to revisit that goal and adjust it based on what has happened.
For example, let's look at the goal to sell a hundred homes per year.
You need around eight sales per month to sell a hundred homes per year. A little bit over eight sales per month.
So if you track it, did you sell 8 homes in January?
By February, had you sold 16 total homes?
Now there are aspects of it, especially when it comes to home sales, that might be a little more seasonal.
For instance, you may sell a lot of homes in May, June, and July. Or you may sell a lot of them in the fall, something like that.
Everyone's business is different. It's dependent upon what you know to be true in your business.
But ultimately you need to sit down and figure out how you can track your goal.
If my goal is to sell a certain number of homes, I need to monitor it constantly.
Am I on track?
Am I ahead of pace?
Am I behind pace? And if so, do I need to revisit this goal and/or revisit my habits and my actions to make sure that I achieve my goal by the end of the year or by the end of whatever time frame the goal is?
If it's a number of dollars, it's easy to track. If it's transactions, it's easy to follow. If it's, you want to help 30 families, or you want to connect with 500 people, etc.
Generally, I find that when you set goals with some form of numeric component, it makes it much more specific and easy to track.
There are a lot of different ways you can do this.
You can track it in a spreadsheet.
You could literally write it down every single day when you're writing down your goals.
If your goal was to sell 100 homes, and you're currently at 6 sales, you could write six next to it so you know where you were on that day. And then maybe next week you are able to write down 7 homes, and three weeks from now, you're at 10 homes.
However you choose to do it, I would encourage you to track it in some form or another.
Just like the goals you have on top of mind, by keeping them written down and visible, I'd encourage you to make whatever method you use to track it visible.
It doesn't necessarily need to be reviewed every single day.
Most times, you're not going to need to track something every day, especially when it comes to homes sold yearly. You don't necessarily have changes every single day.
You might need to track that goal maybe once a week, or perhaps it's once a month.
Other goals you might need to track every day. For example, if it's a health goal or a personal goal.
Did I do a workout today?
Did I spend time with my children today?
Did I do X today?
In the case of goals like that, you might want to track those every single day. But for other goals, you might want to track them weekly.
You should at least look at your tracking metrics once a week so that they can stay top of mind.
If you don't look at your bank account for weeks, and then you open it up, you're like, oh my gosh, what happened here? You wouldn't be nearly as surprised if you logged in every day or every couple of days, but if you log into your bank account three weeks down the road, you might be surprised where you're at.
Sometimes it's good. Sometimes it's terrible. But you're most likely going to be surprised because you just didn't keep it top of mind.
Alright, so we've talked about the four things that you need to do to make sure you take your goals from a vision to success at the end of the year.
And those four things, as a recap, were that you need to:
If you haven't set your goals yet, I will encourage you to sit down and come up with them now!
If you don't have a framework, follow the SMART framework we discussed at the beginning of this post, set some goals, and then take these four steps and find a way to implement them in your goal planning.
If you've already set your goals and you've got them written down and all that, I'd encourage you to just take these additional four steps and figure out how you can implement these as well so that hopefully by the end of the year, we're all looking back and saying 2023 was a fantastic year and we were able to take the vision for our goals and dreams and turn them into reality.