We’re heading into the final stretch of 2017. How are your yearly goals coming along? Truth be told, if you need to check in on your progress at this point, chances are you’re missing the mark.
After all, examining your goals should be part your daily routine (in fact, it should be done first thing every morning, before you start your work day). By this time of year, you should be well acquainted with what you want to achieve and taking the daily steps to get there—no need for a reminder or periodic check-in.
As you take inventory of 2017, and before jumping into a fresh set of goals for the new year, here are three undeniable truths of goal-setting:
They must be realistic.
If you’ve ever watched “America’s Got Talent” or a similar competition, you’ll know what I’m talking about. You can have all the heart, drive and determination in the world—but without a natural talent or inclination for what you’re trying to achieve, your goals will surely remain out of reach. Sometimes, no amount of practice or resolve will make you a good singer, no matter how hard you try.
The same goes for business. Pull back the lens and self-evaluate to discover what you’re naturally good at, and what you’re not. If self-evaluation isn’t your thing, ask a colleague for honest, unfiltered feedback. Then key in on where your talents are. Your goals will not only be more attainable; they’ll also come to you more naturally.
Break big goals down.
Swinging for the fences and setting lofty goals is great as a long-term plan, but breaking major goals into smaller goals is the better way to go. If you’re currently a $100,000 GCI producer, for instance, it simply doesn’t make sense to make a 2018 goal of earning $1 million for the year, or even $500,000, for that matter. Instead, shoot for $150,000 or $200,000 or even $250,000. After two or three years of accomplishing smaller goals, you’ll find yourself at your larger one.
Additionally, don’t set too many goals, or you risk spreading your focus too thin to achieve any of them at a quality level.
Your goals should be attainable, realistic and small. Setting too large of goals makes it easy to give up altogether if you realize you’re behind pace. It actually works against you—kind of like a person falling short of a weight loss goal who, knowing he’s not going to make it anyway, dives into the chips and French fries.
However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t aspire to significant, realistic long-term goals, which leads us to…
Little achievements lead to big ones.
Nearly everybody has rockstar dreams, but only those who buckle down and do the essential daily tasks ever achieve them. It’s practicing and doing and perfecting. Every. Single. Day. In business, it’s setting daily, very reachable goals that inevitably lead to the larger prize.
Darren Hardy, founder of Success magazine, perhaps said it best: “The accomplishment of any goal is the progressive accumulation, or compound effect, of small steps taken consistently over time.”
The key component of Hardy’s insight is the “small steps.” These tasks can be admittedly tedious, but they’re the essential building blocks behind any large success story. These steps should be the first thing you look at each morning, highly defined and actionable, and done Every. Single. Day.
Geoff Lewis is president of RE/MAX, LLC.
For more information, please visit www.remax.com.
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