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Although taking a step back and evaluating your business should be a regular occurrence throughout the year, there’s no better time than the New Year for some reflection and goal-setting.

Here are three tips to keep in mind as you take inventory, set goals and establish a game plan for the days and months to come:

  1. Make Your Goals Unavoidable
    When it comes to goal-setting, we’ve all heard about the importance of writing them down. I suggest taking this one step further by writing your goals down where you constantly see them.

Instead of jotting your goals down and stuffing them away in a file cabinet or desktop folder, make them unavoidable. Tape them to your fridge. Post them on your bathroom mirror. Take a picture and make them the wallpaper on your phone or computer.

By making your goals unavoidable, you’re subtly—but surely—holding yourself accountable. There’s no dismissing their importance or sidestepping them. Being constantly reminded of your goals forces you to make a deliberate choice each and every day: Take action to reach them, or actively decide to dismiss them. There’s no “forgetting” about them.

  1. Take Responsibility
    When reflecting back on and evaluating the year that was, it’s important to avoid the blame game. Business booming? That’s a result of your work. Business flat? That’s a result of your work.

Success or failure, attributing your outcomes to others (or external circumstances) is just another way of avoiding accountability. In the process, you forfeit control of the situation—and, consequently, place your success in someone else’s hands.

I’m no mathematician, but I love this formula by Success Coach Jack Canfield: E + R = O (Events + Responses = Outcome).

Here, the Events are variables that are often outside your control. It could be a sluggish market, a difficult client, or even some guy rear-ending you in traffic, causing you to miss an important meeting.

Even when faced with the most unfortunate events, you still control your response, and, effectively, your outcome. In response to sluggish sales, you can say, “Nobody can sell homes at this time!” or “Thanks to (fill in the blank), I lost that deal!”—or, you can take a step back, analyze, reflect and adjust accordingly. Even in the most challenging markets, some people find a way to thrive. The situation is the same for everyone. The difference boils down to how a person reacts, adjusts and plans in response.

  1. Be Unyielding, and Flexible
    Your goals should be unwavering. Your plan to reach them shouldn’t be.

Particularly in a dynamic industry like we’re seeing today, you never know what the next day may bring: a new technology, a new way of doing business or a new economic shift that affects the housing market.

If you’ve set a goal of increasing sales by 25 percent, stay committed regardless of circumstance. If the market takes a hit or a competitor sets up shop down the block, avoid the temptation to lower your goal to 15 or 20 percent. In essence, that’s another way of letting the situation control you, rather than you controlling it (see tip No. 2).

What matters are the adjustments you make. What technology can you embrace? How can you better connect with your past, existing and potential clients? Who can you partner with to take your game up a level?

2019 promises to be a year of dynamic change in our industry, full of opportunity for those ready to embrace it. Are you ready to make big things happen? Let’s go!

Adam Contos is CEO of RE/MAX, LLC. For more information, please visit www.remax.com.

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