I don't think I know anyone who does make at least one new year's resolution. I know I'll have one or two this year that I need to actually try to accomplish. When you're self-employed, your day to day tasks are basically resolutions that you absolutely must accomplish in order to stay on track. In some ways, running a business each day is similar to a new year's resolution. Most things throughout the day are things that I don't really want to do, but I don't have any management to hold me accountable, so I must hold myself accountable. Many of the tasks I set for myself throughout the day are really set by others (clients, lenders, attorneys, etc.) and I absolutely have to complete these things for my clients and my businesses in order to finish the deal. With real estate, these deals usually take a month or longer from contract to close (unless you're an investor paying cash for an acquisition) and require resolute diligence in order to keep all of the pieces attached. I pride myself in completing all of my tasks, finishing many things before necessary and preparing to complete coming tasks more efficiently. I have developed my own habits, patters and systems to do all of this to the best of my ability (which can be hard since I'm a one man show). What I intend to do with my new year's resolutions is apply the same behavior and patterns to conquer them! And here are 4 tactics to help you do the same. These tips come thanks to BiggerPockets' article "4 Steps to Hold Yourself Accountable to the Goals You Set for 2017." I know I get a lot material from BiggerPockets and that's because I spend a lot of time there networking and reading up on real estate and real estate investing!
- Make a Vision Board
I know this sounds hokey, but it really does make a world of difference when you have something tactile to see every day that reaffirms your goals and motivates you. Most folks that are at the head of the pack have some kind of visual reminder that keeps them motivated and on track. I've been to plenty of seminars where it is encouraged to make a vision board or something similar. I must admit that I don't make any type of collage myself, but there are lots of different vision boards you can make that require less crafting. Just Google vision board alternatives and you'll see a lot of options. One thing I've done is set the background on my computer or phone to a photo of something that reminds me to stay on target.
- Write Down Your Goals
This one is much easier for me. It makes a huge difference when you take the time to write out your goals. Writing your goals helps you to prioritize them and actually think about the heft of each goal and how to achieve it. Most productivity gurus recommend that you write weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly, 5 year, 10 year, 25 year, 50 year and lifetime goals. The goals from a year and up will stay pretty static. The weekly to quarterly goals will need to be changed as you reach those dates, which will motivate you to complete them and refresh those goals with new ones that will help you reach your later goals. This is something I try to do often, but do fall behind maintaining. Rather than a vision board, I will bullet point my goals, print them and place them somewhere that I will see them often. This is a type of vision board for me because I know what the ultimate goal is when I reach the larger goal milestones.
- Find a Mentor
This is a very important one. I think of lot of people misinterpret what it means to find a mentor. A mentor doesn't have to be like a Mr Miyagi. He/she does not have to dedicate hours and hours of each day to help you succeed. You do not have to be eternally indebted to this person, but you will want to reciprocate the time and effort with returned consideration. Once you've identified your goals, you should be networking with other individuals that have succeeded or are on the way to succeeding in your field. Once you've shown your face enough and have started to show your value, you'll begin to make friends with successful folks in that field. Eventually, these folks will begin to help you learn how to succeed and better yourself by using their methods or sharing things that have helped and hurt them along the way. Just having colleagues that are further along in their career who are willing to help you succeed are your mentors. I personally can think of a dozen mentors that I've found over the last few years. Many of these folks I see on a weekly basis and many I haven't spoken to in months. However, they are always there to answer my questions and help me succeed. Likewise, I am always available for these folks. They know I'm always available to help them in areas that they may not be the most proficient. I aways try to reciprocate in any way that I can. And I intend to pass the torch myself when I reach a level in which I'm confident mentoring those who need it. Just make sure you offer your value to your mentor. Don't just ask people to mentor you. This is especially prevalent in real estate. People ask me very often if I can help them achieve their goals, but they never offer any value to me in return. If someone is investing their time and energy in you, be sure to do the same for them.
- Review Your Goals
As in the second bullet point, it is immensely important to write out your goals. It is equally important to review these goals every so often to track your success against them. Review your goals at least once a year at the end of the year. Like I said earlier, your shorter term goals will be shifting as you reach those milestones, so I would suggest just doing to cursory goal review at that point. When you review your goals, you will start to notice trends. You'll see whether or not you're succeeding or falling short in certain areas and you'll begin to be more contentious. It is also motivating to see your progress. Reviewing and maintaining your goals is just as important as writing your goals. I have definitely been guilty of falling behind on maintaining my goal lists, but one thing I did that helped me to access and edit them easier was to put them in a program like Evernote. I have my goals written there, which is accessible with all of my devices. I can just pull it up periodically to review and edit those goals to keep me moving forward!
That's all for today. I've been bad about writing blog posts lately. I've been probably the busiest I've ever been recently. In addition to helping residential clients and supervising rehab downtown, I've been working on a couple of apartment complex transactions, which take up a lot of time in the escrow period due to the number of units and leases. Remember me when you're in need of a Realtor for residential, commercial or investment properties in Charleston!