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By Kelle Sparta

RISMEDIA, Nov. 26, 2007-Many of us set goals for ourselves that are hard to measure. We’re not really sure what the criteria are for determining if we’ve reached the goal or not. This is a problem. Our subconscious mind, while fueled by emotions, can’t use an emotion as a target. So if you’re one of those people who says “I just want to be happy”, you’re going to have a problem getting there.

“Happy” Is a Choice – Not a Destination

Every day we choose how we are going to react to the world around us. In the exact same situation, two different people will have two completely different experiences. This is because it is their inner thoughts that affect the way in which they perceive their outer worlds. Every day we can choose to be happy about the things that surround us or we can choose to be unhappy about them. It is a choice we make day to day, not a matter of something that needs to happen to get us there. It’s a choice – not a destination.

Vision vs. Mission

When I started in the speaking business, I set a goal to be a successful, sought-after national speaker. I wanted to be the next Floyd Wickman or Brian Buffini. That was a great vision to hold, but it wasn’t concrete. Did I know what it meant to be those people? No. What I needed to do was set a measurable goal for myself. How much money did I want to make in a year? How many speaking engagements did I want to present? How many people did I want on my mailing list? What sort of lifestyle did I want for myself (quantified)? Those were the tangible goals that I needed to create. I had the vision – to be a successful national speaker – but I needed the mission, which was what the measurable pieces of being that person were.

Get Concrete With Your Goals

What goals have you set for yourself? Are you working on a vision or a mission? If you can’t define for me what it would take – in actual numbers – to say that you achieved your goal, then you are working with a vision, not a mission. Missions have set benchmarks, places in which you can say that you have achieved some aspect of your goals. If you hope to be successful, you need a concrete, measurable goal to work towards.

Don’t Be Afraid To Shoot High

When I first started in the real estate sales business, I decided to sell 25 houses in my first year. I checked in with my manager to see if this was a realistic goal. She said it was aggressive, but it could be done. Given that I was brand new to the area, having just moved there two months before, it would have seemed a daunting task, but I didn’t worry about that – I just went for it. In fact it took me about 9 months to sell those 25 houses. And then I stopped working for the rest of the year. My goal wasn’t high enough. Pick a goal that you think is reasonable with hard work and then add 25% more to it. Challenge yourself. Worst case scenario, you’ll miss it by a little. But you’ll probably still do better than your original goal. And who knows? Maybe, like me, you’ll find out that you could actually do more.

Kelle Sparta is the author of The Consultative Real Estate Agent – Building Relationships that Create Loyal Clients, Get More Referrals, and Increase Your Sales, as well as being a speaker and trainer specializing in the real estate industry. Kelle is the founder of Sparta Success Systems, a real estate training company that provides tools, products, and training to empower agents and brokers to create lives and businesses they can love.

For more information, visit her Web site at

© 2006, Kelle Sparta. Used by permission.