Goal Setting Guide For The Real Estate Investor

Whether you know it or not, everyone of you has goals. The problem is that many of us don’t consciously set our goals instead we drift through life with whatever goals seem appropriate at the time. I’m sure many of you have goals like:

Please let me pay my bill this month.
Please let my employer let me keep my job.
I need to get out of bed this morning.
I need to get to work on time.
I hope I can retire someday.

Do you see what’s wrong with these goals? These goals are nothing more than reaction to your present environment. They don’t have any specific long term aim. They just get you from “Where you are to where your are”, rather than taking you from “Where you are to where you want to be”. Do you see the difference? Wouldn’t more appropriate goals look like this:

I want to save $200 this month for a down payment on a home.
I want to be the vice president of our company in the next 5 years.
I want to exercise at least 60 minutes before work everyday.
I want to show up to work on time driving a Mercedes 500 SL.
I want to retire by 55 with at least $1,000,000 in the bank.

I like to look at goals as the picture on a puzzle box. Have you ever put together a puzzle? Puzzles are hard enough even when you know what the end result is supposed to look like. Now imagine trying to put together a puzzle without knowing what it was supposed to look like when you are done. Sure it’s possible to do it, but most of you would give up long before the puzzle was finished.

Reticular Activator
Trying to find success in area of your life is much easier if you have a picture in your head of what you want to happen. When you have a picture in your head it will be much easier to notice the pieces of your puzzle when they come along. Your mind will constantly be searching for people, events, or activities that might help you achieve your goals. Goals provide you with a image of the future.

Think about your wardrobe for a minute. Imagine you just bought a new bright red shirt. Now imagine wearing that new red shirt to a party, and when you walk in the door you see someone else wearing the exact same shirt. You would immediately notice because the shirt is just like yours. Now imagine that instead of a new bright red shirt you had bought a new blue shirt. When you went to the party you probably would not even notice the person in the red shirt. You wouldn’t notice them because your mind is only on the look out for things that relate to you.

The same thing can happen with cars. Have you ever bought a particular car, and then it seemed like you were noticing that same kind of car everywhere? Before buying the car you could have seen 20 just like it, and you would have never noticed, but once you had the car then you noticed everyone that drove by. This happens because your mind is constantly scanning for things that relate to you.

When your set clearly defined goals, your mind will begin to notice all of the people, events or activities that could contribute to your successful accomplishment of that goal.

Light at the end of the tunnel
Another reason that goals are so important is that they provide you with an image of what life will be like after the goal is accomplished. Since your mind thinks in pictures the images that you create can help provide sufficient pleasure to overcome some of the short term pain that may spring up on the way to achieving your goals.

Imagine that you are out running in the woods. The path that you are running on has a huge tree that has fallen across it. The tree is virtually impossible to get around. If you came up on a tree like that, more than likely you would turn around and run back where you came from rather than trying to climb over it. Now imagine yourself on that same path running along and you came across the same tree but on the other side of the tree you could see a huge pile of money. I bet you wouldn’t turn around and go back where you came from. Instead you would do anything that you could to get over that tree because you knew that their was money on the other side. That is what goals do, they take you past the short term obstacles, and onto the pleasure that lies on the other end of that obstacle.

Control your focus
Having clearly defined goals will provide a very specific place for your attention to go. If you haven’t heard “Where the mind go’s, energy flows”. By giving yourself a clear picture of what you want to happen, you will automatically kick start both the conscious and subconscious parts of your mind to go to work on the achievement of your goal.

Don’t think of a red cherry for a minute?

What did you think of? A red cherry I bet. A clearly defined goal will give your mind a healthy direction turn it’s attention.

Here is my 6 step method to writing and achieving your goals. The worksheets that are attached to this guide are designed to lead you down the path to success.

1st Step to goals is to get clear on what you want to happen?
a)Be sure that it is what you want to happen, not somebody else, you won’t be able to accomplish your goals if you are trying to achieve them to make someone else happy.
b)Avoid stating your goals from a source of what you don’t want to happen. Avoid things like I don’t want to be fat, instead use something like “I want to be healthy.
c)The more clarity the better.
d)If you knew you could not fail, what direction would you want to take your life in.
e)What do you you truly love doing, make sure that your goals are in alignment with the things that you truly love.
f)Make a list of goals for each area of your life including financial, family, friends, fitness, career.
g)What are 2 things you would like to accomplish in each of those areas?
h)If you could relive the past again what things would you change, how do those things effect your current goals?

2nd Break each of those goals down into small measurable steps that can more easily be achieved.

One of the top reasons why many people fail to accomplish their goals is that their goal seems to overwhelming. If you have overwhelming goals then you create only one way to succeed, with a million ways to fail. By breaking down your goals into small steps that are easy to accomplish you will always have the peace of mind that you can get it done.

You could walk around the entire U.S if you broke your goal down into the small enough steps. A great place to start with a goal to walk the entire U.S would be to “Put one foot in front of the other”. If you keep doing that step over and over in the right direction then your success would be assured.

a)How do you eat an elephant? One piece at a time

b)Take your big goal and break it down into small enough steps that you are sure that you can achieve them

c)Along with each step set up a time frame that each step must be accomplished in.

d)Make sure that each step to the goal is measurable so that you can celebrate each step of the way.

e)Be sure to celebrate each small step on the way to your one big goal. Celebrating the small steps will allow you immediate pleasure. Immediate pleasure will help you overcome some of the immediate pain that may come up with each step of your goal achievement.

f)What is one step that you could take towards each goal that would result in the most accomplishment in that area of your life?

3rd Gain Leverage on yourself

Everything in life is driven by our desire for pleasure and our fear of pain. To give yourself the best chance of accomplishing your goals it will be important to leverage a huge amount of pain with not changing, and a huge amount of pleasure with changing.

a)Why is it so important that you achieve this goal?

What will your life be like if you don’t change? What will life be like if you do?

What good will come if you do change? What bad will come if you don’t?

How will the people around you be affected if you don’t change/ How will they be affected if they do?

b)Take yourself into the future 1, 3, 5 and 10 years, what will your life look like if you don’t change?

How will your future look?

Will you be any more fulfilled and happy than you are today?

Will you still be struggling for money?

How will you feel about yourself?

How will your family look at you?

If it’s a health goal will you even be alive anymore?

c)Take yourself into the future 1, 3 5, 10 years, and see what it would look like if you did follow through on your goal.

How will your future look?

Will you be any more fulfilled and happy than you are today?

Will you still be struggling for money?

How will you feel about yourself?

How will your family look at you?

4th Identify the activities,thoughts and inputs that have contributed to your lack of achievement in the past. Then decide what you will do instead.

If you haven’t heard by now the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. If you believe in that definition then most people are truly insane. It’s funny when you look at it, everyone wants to change the results of their activities without ever changing the activities. I like the old saying “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got”.

You cannot expect to change your results, if you don’t change the activities that have been getting you those results. I like to think of this in terms of race cars. If I keep driving a Ford Escort around the race track, no matter how bad I want to go 0-60mph in 4 seconds it won’t happen if I am still driving an escort. It is just impossible. In order to achieve speeds like that I need to get myself a Ferrari, or Corvette. Until you change what your doing, you can’t change what your getting. Until you change the causes you can’t change the effects.

a)What have you told yourself in the past that made it OK to not achieve? What will you tell yourself now about why you “Must achieve”?
b)In the past what activities or thoughts did you participate in when you should have been working on this particular goal?
c)When problems have come up in the past while trying to accomplish a similar goal what have you done? What are you going to do now when similar problems appear?
d)Who are some people you know that have not supported you in your efforts in the past? What are you going to do when those same people don’t support you in your future?
e)Try to identify any inputs that would result in an unproductive output. For instance if you have tried dieting was there a certain time of day or certain emotion that you felt just before you blew your diet completely.
f)In the past what actions have you done instead of what you are supposed to do, what have those actions been for you in the past? What have you been making important just to fill time?

[b]5th Take immediate action towards the accomplishment of 	each of your goals.  Then keep taking action[/b].

a)By taking immediate action you will start building momentum towards the achievement of your overall goal.
b)What one step could you take right now that would make the greatest difference towards the accomplishment of your goal?
c)Action is what separates the super successful from the super unsuccessful.
d)Remember just thinking about flying will not get you to Hawaii. You must buy the ticket, and get on the plane.
e)To get past the resistance that many actions may have, focus on the end result not the activity itself.

[b]6th Review your goals every morning and evening. Decide 	what's been working.[/b]

a)Every morning and evening review your goals, but don’t stop at just reading them, put yourself into the future as is you have already achieved the goal, get behind your own eyes and feel what it will be like to have achieved so much.

b)At least once a month review your goals and the steps that you have been taking toward achieving those goals. Refine the steps that you have been taking keeping the things that have been helping most and getting rid of activities that have had the least to contribute.

c)Use the 80/20 rule. What 20% of activities have given you 80% of your results? Then increase your focus on those activities.

This is my favorite one. My parents used to advise my relatives on getting college degrees when I was growing up. They always said to sign up for a course and take it and then take the next one and keep doing it until one day you look up and you have no more courses to take. That is how I see any plan. Even if the plan is not perfect you have to start. If some of us were trying to drive from Houston to Dallas, we would never get there because they would wait for all the traffic lights between here and there to be green before we would start. You can’t do that. Make sure you have a good map, one that has been tried over and over and is known to be right and start. Deal with the red lights on the way. Remember you are not a real estate investor until you have some real estate.

I really like the OP. Also, I love the traffic light analogy. I think that just might inspire me to take the dive soon. Just waiting on a few more lights;P