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December 2008

Celebrate Your Successes - Then Set Goals not Resolutions

As the year comes to a close, I want to pass on one of the most impactful exercises my former business coach had me do several years ago.  The purpose of the exercise was to conduct a review of the previous year by writing down every success, win, and positive thing that I experienced - both big and small.  So, I challenge all readers to Celebrate Your Successes

In my experience as a coach and manager, I have observed that most driven and success-minded individuals have a tendency to focus on what they haven't achieved yet.  They are always moving on to the next goal or challenge without stopping, however briefly, to acknowledge the victory or success of the moment. 

So, as you fine tune your goals and business plan for a successful next year, take some time to look back on the current/previous year with a focus on the positives.  Grab your journal or some paper or...

Use this Celebrate Your Successes PDF: Download CelebrateYourSuccesses

Just write it all down - stream of consciousness - no matter how seemingly insignificant.  Just write it down.  Once you start writing, you'll be surprised at how much you really have to celebrate!

  • List all your accomplishments, wins, victories, successes in the past year.
  • List all moment of joy and gratitude.
  • What did you do last year that you were really proud of?
  • What do other people in your life have to say about what you did, accomplished, contributed?
  • What did you do last year that moved you toward your goals?
  • What lessons did you gain from any setbacks, challenges or obstacles?
  • How are your going to integrate any learnings in to your future goals and the coming year?

Now Set GOALS not Resolutions!

I am not a fan of New Year's Resolutions.  Statistics show that most people never keep the resolutions they set for the new year.  The main reasons why they fail?  Lack of Commitment and Clarity.

For some thoughts on Clarity see this post:  Clarity of Purpose - Do You Have It?

Numerous surveys and research show the following as the Top 10 New Year's Resolutions:

  1. Lose weight/Get in shape
  2. Stick to a budget
  3. Reduce Debt/Get out of debt
  4. Enjoy more quality time with friends and family
  5. Find my soul mate
  6. Quit smoking
  7. Find a better job/Make more money
  8. Learn something new
  9. Volunteer & help others
  10. Get organized

You may, like me, look at this list and think "I want to accomplish several of these things this year!"  So instead of saying My New Year's Resolution is "x" - back it up with total commitment and clarity to ensure success this year. 

The critical steps to achieving your goals:

  1. Identify clear, concise, SMART goals and know your WHY for each of them.
  2. Write them down for all areas of your life (Personal, Financial, Business/Career, Relationships/Family, Spiritual)
  3. Create Action Plans - break the goal down into steps and next actions.  Take action every day!
  4. Measure and track your progress - you can't improve what you don't measure.
  5. Celebrate your successes along the way - make any necessary course corrections.

Related posts on Goal Setting:

Best of 2008 - Year in Review

Year in Review from

CNN: Year In Review 2008

Time's 50 Best Websites of 2008

Amazon's Best Books of 2008

NPR - Best Books of 2008

Lifehackers Most Popular Top 10 Lists for 2008

Rolling Stone Best of 2008 (Albums, movies, DVDs, Songs)

InfoWorld:  Best Tech Lists of 2008

Yahoo! Year in Review 2008

NYT:  2008 Year in Pictures

Mashup of Billboard's Top 25 Songs of 2008 by DJ Earworm "United States of Pop 2008"

Clarity of Purpose - Do you have it?

"Clarity accounts for probably 80% of success and happiness. Lack of clarity is probably more responsible for frustration and underachievement than any other single factor.  Your success in life will be largely determined by how clear you are about what it is you really, really want."   - Brian Tracy

"There is one quality that one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants and a burning desire to achieve it."  - Napoleon Hill

You've got to be crystal clear about WHY you want something.  When you are setting your goals make sure to ask yourself the critical question:  Why it is important to you?  Is the goal for you?  Is it your burning desire to achieve it?  Or is it someone else's wish for you? 

In Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill outlines "Six Steps to Turn Desire into Gold"

  1. Fix in your mind the exact amount of money you desire.  Be definite about the amount.
  2. Determine exactly what you intend to give in return for the money you desire.
  3. Establish a definite date by which you intend to possess it.
  4. Create a definite plan for carrying out your desired outcome and start now.
  5. Now write out steps 1 through 4.
  6. Read your statement aloud, twice daily (in the morning and the evening).  As you read - see, feel and believe yourself already in possession of the money.

A Definite purpose backed by a burning desire (CLARITY) + Taking the appropriate ACTION = Your desired result.

What is the intensity of your desire?  Do you possess the persistence necessary to succeed?

How to develop persistence:

  1. Have a definite purpose backed by a burning desire to achieve it.
  2. Create a definite plan, expressed in continuous action.
  3. Cultivate a mind closed tightly to al negative and discouraging influences, including any negative suggestions of relatives, friends and acquaintances.
  4. Develop a friendly alliance with one or more persons who will encourage you to follow through with your plan (a mastermind)

To Improve the Quality of Your Life... All You Need is the....

  • Desire to change
  • Decision to take action
  • Discipline to practice new behaviors
  • Determination to persist until you get results

Visit to learn more about our coaching program and online training membership options. Your FREE, basic membership includes a complete real estate business-planning course and downloads.

4 Questions for Maximum Productivity - Focus on Results

Are you focusing on what you want or do you find yourself stuck in the negative trap and putting energy on what you don't have?  The following information is adapted from Brian Tracy's abundant material on the subject of productivity and performance.  I recently revisited and read these Brian Tracy Books:

Tracy states in Eat That Frog:
"You can get control of your time and your life only by changing the way you think, work and deal with the never-ending river of responsibilities that flow over your each day.

Your "frog" is your biggest, most important task, the one you are most likely to procrastinate on.  It is also the one task that will give your the greatest positive impact on your life, business and results at the moment.  The key to achieving high levels of performance productivity is to develop the lifelong habit of tackling your major task first thing each morning.

4 Questions for Maximum Productivity - Remember to focus on results and what you want as you answer these questions for your business and life:

  1. What are my highest value activities?
  2. What are my key results areas?
  3. What can I only do that if done well will make a real difference (in my life and business)?
  4. What is the most valuable use of my time right now?

Here are some best practices and action steps to implement in your daily plan now:

  • Do the Worst First
  • Resist the temptation to clear up small things first
  • Identify your high value tasks and do them first
  • Examine each of your personal and work activities and evaluate it based on current situation
  • Select at least one activity to abandon immediately or at least put off until more important goals are achieved
  • The key to success is ACTION
  • 80/20 Rule Applies to Everything!
    • 80% of salespeople spend 80% of their time on people who are not going to buy or sell
    • m20% of activities will account for 80% of your results

Identify Your Key Business/Sales Results Areas and the targeted activities for each area:

  1. Prospecting
  2. Trust & Rapport Building
  3. Identifying Needs
  4. Presenting Persuasively
  5. Answering Objections
  6. Closing the Sale
  7. Building Referrals
  • Grade Yourself in each area
  • What one skill, if I developed and did it in an excellent fashion, would have the greatest positive impact on my career?
  • What am I really good at?
  • What do I enjoy most about my work?
  • What has been most responsible for my success in the past?

Continuous learning is the minimum requirement in any field:

  1. Read in your field minimum of 1 hour/day
  2. Take every available course and seminar, workshop 
  3. Listen to audio programs in your car (average car owner spends 500 to 1,000 hours/yr in their car
  4. Practice, practice, practice
  5. Hire a coach or mentor!