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2015 Was A Banner Year – What Lies Ahead (sounds like a book title)

I used to have a friend in real estate, from Colorado, who always did a ton of business each year, and each January lst, she would call a couple of friends, in a total panic, not sure she could do it again. For some reason, that never happened to me, because what I did was so well planned out (yes, this is me, not some alien), I knew exactly what to do to get there again, even exceed those plans.

I used to coach realtors, especially on setting up their business plans. Here are a couple of things I learned.

1. IF IT DOESN'T MAKE YOU EXCITED, REDO IT. Make the goals specific and achievable, and track them daily. Make sure they make you shiver with excitement, too. If they don't, you aren't thinking big enough. And thinking big doesn't mean being unrealistic, or changing something big about yourself, just something you can stretch into (unlike that one size up stretch thing). Like exercise, if you don't invest in yourself and your direction, you will never have any control over your future. It is impossible to have more than a bit of control, so part of that plan should include “screw around” time, or time for daydreaming, thinking, and not doing anything by the clock, or numbers. Put everything in there that will get in the way if you don't schedule it. It's the law of business: if it will get in the way it will come up fast.  Now you get to say, “Oh yeah, that was in the plan!”

2. KNOW WHERE YOU STARTED. Take an evaluation of what you did last year, plan to improve on what went right, eliminate what went wrong. Or make it an interim goal to improve by so much. Don't plan on a 100% turnaround. We used to go for a 20% increase in business each year, then, when our in success was established and we had a certain percentage of business that just walked in the door without our actions (other than being open), we changed that to 10%.

3. EXPECT SUCCESS. We overestimate what we can do in one year, underestimate what we can do in 5. My favorite quote from my friend Tim Woods, is “Do what others won't do for the next 5 years and live how others can't for the rest of your life.”

I wrote this statement down some 5 years before my books started to sell in great numbers. It's amazing to me to see how much of this has already come true. I just ran across it in a sealed envelope while I was cleaning my desk this past week:

We are not yet bicoastal, and the cruise on The World hasn't happened yet, but we're working on those things. Some day. Some day.
4. EXECUTE. After you've determined what it is you want, and how to achieve it, EXECUTE! Like the SEALs say, 80% of the mission is in the identification of the target, mission, the planning with Plans A-Z, so every eventuality is taken into account, planning for something popping up that you didn't plan on. Then you go for it, for an 80% outcome. The fear, the hesitation, the concern for the plan goes out the window. You go “balls to the wall”, as some of my SEALs and some real SEALs I know say. The time to worry about it, or wonder about it is long past. In execution mode, you are going for results because you have planned for it. Now it's part of your DNA.
I'm making a dreamboard this week. I'll be sharing a number of pages from my last one, as days go by. Hope you all have a fantastic 2016. Let me know if any of these ideas work for you, or if you tweak them into something even better. I'd love to hear about it.
#weareexceptional.

  • I had to start small, weekly goals. I've added monthly goals. I call them gifts to myself. Thanks for reminding me to plan time to do nothing. I excel at overscheduling myself, or at least thinking I can accomplish more in a specified time period than I actually can. However, I still accomplish more than if I make no plan at all. 🙂 Thanks for the great encouragement.

    • Judy, I still have to watch myself or I do the same. I over plan. I now do try to plan for "screw around" time because it's always there, right? No matter how many goals we have…And starting small is great. On new things for myself, I start small. My writing plan is only big now because I've grown it from a seed. I had no clue what I was doing when I started.

  • My goal this year is to actually have us a saving by the time the year ends. Both of us are good at saving but not good at not using it. So we started saving change last year and once I get $100 I'm opening us up a saving account at a bank we don't normally bank at so it's hard to get to. My small goals are to save at least $10 a month towards this saving account. We already have $65 in change rolled up and I'm taking the rest out of my holiday pay to start the account when i get paid on Friday.
    Other goals are to work on getting my parents taken care of better. I'm going to work on getting my brother to help me either getting them into an assisted living home or get them more help at their house. I have to work on not getting frustrated with my brother. Thank you for reminding me to set goals. My other goal is not to forget to take time for myself so I don't burn out

    • Those are great goals, Karen. I really like the savings one too. We started putting 10% of our income aside each month in a savings account. Winds up being very close to what our self-employment taxes are at the end of the year, so it's never a struggle to come up with that nut.

      And yes, on the planning and time for you. We will take it, either by getting sick, or just dropping the ball on things we shouldn't. Funny how that happens. Great job!

    • Hey Karen I put £10 away in my knicker drawer for 34 weeks last year to put towards an iPad. This year it's going towards Amy India trip in September. Good luck

    • Julie!! Amy is going to India!! She must go see the wonderful temples. I'd love to go along in her suitcase.
      Always wanted to go adventure in India.

    • She is going on a charity walking trek their going overnight on trains several days trekking then ending up at Taj Mahal

    • Love it. I wanted to see those erotic temples they showed in A Passage To India. A great movie, by the way. Richard Burton studied them.

  • Great advice and I hope you reach your goals and surpass them……Jara B

  • This is complicated I do plan on some sort of plan to get healthier this year. Walking around for Xmas presents was very difficult.
    I do want to do some home Iimprovements, specially decorating. Other than that I'm not planning anything because life can change in a blink of an eye I'm just going to take it a day at a time

    • Wise, Julie. But I have to plan more now, like I did in Real Estate, or it will come crashing down. Since I am the income generator, it is a must.

      But I have to say I love it.

    • Isn't it wonderful to be able to do what you truly enjoy. Yes you'd have to arrange your schedule for book signings etc. Looking forward to more exciting hot reads

    • Thanks, dear Julie!

  • Thanks for the excellent advice. I need to make small goals and work at meeting them one at a time.

    • Yes, nothing says they have to be big goals. But make them stretch enough to cause an emotional reaction. Emotions are what give us strength. But you're right not to make them too big so that you can't help but fail.

  • I love the way you think my princess. You strategize and execute. You visualize and then materialize. Just knowing you makes me a better person. You also have a heart of gold and are one of the most generous people that I have ever known. Great advice that you share for all to follow. I have enjoyed playing a small part in your master plan over the last couple of years. I have loved the journey with you so far and hope with all my heart that it continues for many years to come. You are a rare jewel to be cherished. This is one pirate that understands the beauty and value of a rare jewel. I have no doubt 2016 we will be our greatest year yet.

    xoxoxoxox,
    YP

    • Ah yes, my pirate. One big adventure. We navigate by the stars and by the beats of our hearts. Nothing better. Nothing more true and North Star-like. You give me this. You lift me up towards the heavens because you are reaching there too, right beside me. Such a wonderful adventure and I know it will never stop! OXOXOX YA

    • We be sailin my princess. The adventure has just begun. To the stars and back, the adventure is ours to share. xoxoxoxo, YP

    • Forever and beyond…