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If you’re like most agents, you get told by trainers and brokers all the time that you need to set your goals, write them down, make a plan to get there, and then work your plan.  It’s our mantra, right?

But the problem with this approach is that it doesn’t address the resistances and ways in which you can sabotage your own success.  Most agents set goals each year – and most never make those goals.  There are a variety of reasons why this is, but what it comes down to is that you get stuck somewhere along the way.

If you don’t know about or aren’t willing to address those resistances, there’s no point in setting your goals for next year.

Here are the resistances you need to deal with:

  1. Avoidance – If you set your goals and you decide that you’re going to prospect for an hour a day and then you find every reason in the world not to do it, you’re in avoidance.
  2. Choosing Comfort Over Change – If your goals require you to work more hours, talk to new people, or change the way you do business (like hiring an assistant) and you can’t get yourself to do those things, then you’re stuck in choosing comfort over change.
  3. Staying Loyal to the Rules of Belonging – If your family thinks you’re uppity if you make a lot of money or drive nice cars, you might have a problem being successful because to do so would make you not belong in your family.  People will often not make good money as a way of staying loyal to their family.

If you get stuck in one of these patterns, you have to make a special effort to break free if you hope to make your goals.  Here’s how to deal with each one:

Avoidance – Stop it.

Avoidance is the easiest because it just requires that you recognize that you’re doing it and then stop.  If you get distracted by the laundry when you should be making calls, then place some boundaries on yourself about when laundry gets done.  If you are avoiding making that call you’re dreading, then make a policy that the calls you are dreading get made first – this way they can stop sucking your energy and making you avoid other profitable activities as well.  If you need some amusing help on this front check out this Bob Newhart video – it’s right on point.

Choosing Comfort over Change – Get Clear on Your Pain

The thing to remember about this block is that it’s all about making the pain of staying the same greater than the pain of changing.  So when you need to break out of this rut, it’s time to make a tolerations list.  This list will help you to get clear about just how much pain you’re in.  When you have things you are tolerating, you don’t look at them a lot – you just start to take them for granted.  Now is the time to put them all on a single page of paper and bring them into the forefront of you awareness.

Here’s a sample tolerations list:

  1. Not enough time off
  2. Missing family events
  3. Working on your vacation
  4. Not enough closings – or closing happening in waves so that it’s feast or famine at your house
  5. Unappreciative clients
  6. Getting calls late at night
  7. Having to work too many hours

You get the point.  Some of these things you may have accepted as being a cost of being in the real estate industry, but what if that’s not true?  What if you stopped tolerating them and found a way to be different that allowed you to step out of the things that bother you?  THIS is what your tolerations list is for.  When you get clear on the pain you’re in, the pain of changing starts to look like nothing to worry about.

Staying Loyal to the Rules of Belonging – Find another Way to Be Loyal

If you’re stuck in a rut where you can’t make more than your family allows or than your Dad made or whatever, then it’s all about how you are staying loyal.  Right now, your money is tied into your loyalty.  What other ways could you choose to be loyal?  How might you help your family if you had some extra cash?  Wouldn’t your Dad be proud if you were successful?  And if not, are there other ways you could make him proud?  (Or other ways you could stop worrying about him being proud?)  If nothing else, remember that you ARE family – whether they want to claim you or not.  Your DNA proves it. So you belong.  Own it.

So now you know the three primary resistances – which means that you CAN go ahead and set those goals for next year.  Use these tips to get you over those self-sabotaging tendencies and watch your goals come flying towards you!

Kelle_Sparta_headshotKelle Sparta is the author of The Consultative Real Estate Agent and a leading real estate coach and trainer nationwide.  She is an expert in teaching agents how to get deeper into relationship with their clients resulting in more repeat and referral business as well as a higher quality of life for the agents.

To build a life and a business you can love visit