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Goals are the fuel that propels us toward our dreams. They give us a reason, a purpose and a passion for all that we do. Whether in our personal or professional lives, strategic goals have the power to keep us focused, confident and determined to reach our final destination.

Nevertheless, simply voicing those goals is not where the magic begins or ends. Envisioning short and long-term goals, writing each one down and placing them in to a systematic follow-up system are the key to long-term success.

Make Your Goals Stick
In 1953, Yale’s graduating seniors were surveyed to determine how many of them had specific, written goals for their future. By graduation, only 3% of the class had written down their goals. Twenty years later, researchers polled the same members of that class and found that the 3% who had written down their goals had amassed more financial wealth than the other 97% combined!

The Yale study provides insight into a few fundamentals that successful real estate professionals have known for decades. The secret to not just surviving, but thriving in today’s market – this requires visualization, implementation and follow through.

Steps to Setting Strategic Goals

Visualize What You Want
Find a quiet location where you can clearly envision what you want, when you want to accomplish it and the specific steps it will take to make your goals materialize. Next, discuss each goal with a coach or mentor who has the ability to offer feedback and support.

Be explicit in what it is that you want to achieve and make claim to it. Verbalizing what you want offers clarity of purpose. There is no way to truly appreciate what it is you’re working toward without believing it can and will be yours.

Write Down Your Goals
Something remarkable happens when you put pen to paper and write out your goals. Writing down goals creates a bond and commitment on both a conscious and subconscious level. Give your mind a strategically designed map along with a destination.

Create Your Plan of Attack
Once you have written down the specific details of your goals, add each step required to achieve that goal. It is critical that you accompany each overarching goal with a breakdown of the daily, weekly and monthly activities as well as your performance objectives and measurement of accomplishment. This written list will eventually live inside of your calendar and act as a daily reminder of what you want to achieve and the steps you will take to accomplish each objective.

Schedule a Deadline
Give yourself a deadline and add it to your calendar. Deadlines create a sense of urgency. They also allow you to track and monitor your progress along the way. Milestones are a great way to keep you energized and motivated. As you hit key benchmarks, do not forget to celebrate your success. Your celebration can be simple or elaborate, just so long as your remember to congratulate yourself on your achievements.

Throw in a Stretch Goal
Do not be afraid to raise the bar by including one stretch goal. Setting low expectations can leave you feeling less than enthusiastic about your results. Setting larger, somewhat scary goals gives you the ability to spread your wings and stretch beyond your current comfort zone.

Strategic goals can be incredibly effective if we commit to their execution. Consistently working toward goals, whether big or small is the vital ingredient to sustained success.

If your goals are creating less than stellar results, know that it is never too late to pledge your devotion to new beginnings and forward momentum!

To view this article on Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate’s blog, “Clean Slate,” visit: http://bhgrealestateblog.com/2012/04/08/set-strategic-goals-for-accelerated-success/

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