The new year is more than just a change to a new calendar; it can mark the beginning of a new you when it comes to your career and your personal life. And while New Year’s goal setting is a bit cliche, it has become such a strong tradition because it works when done properly.

There are several keys to setting and actually achieving those goals and New Year’s resolutions. These key points are effectively captured in the acronym “SMART:”

Specific — If your goal is too vague or nebulous, you may never know if you’ve achieved your goal! A lack of specificity can also result in a situation where a chronic procrastinator could put off taking action by rationalizing that they’ve already succeeded! (i.e. if you were to endeavor to lose weight, you could technically say you’ve achieved that goal if you successfully shed just a fraction of an ounce.)

Measurable — You must be able to measure or quantify your goal and your work toward that goal. It’s nearly impossible to commit to “improve your career” or “become a better person.” You simply cannot quantify these objectives. So you must approach the situation by focusing on elements of the equation that are quantifiable and measurable. For instance, a promotion, a growth in clientele and a pay raise could constitute career improvement.

Achievable — Your New Year’s resolution must be achievable and practical. You cannot endeavor to own your own real estate firm if you don’t even have your Realtor’s license, so it would make sense to set a goal to obtain your license and build a clientele before you work toward the greater goal of establishing your own brokerage firm. Also, the goal must be something you really want to achieve. If you go into it half-hearted, the goal just won’t be achievable because you won’t have the resolve and motivation to push forward, especially when you encounter challenges. So don’t set up for failure; be realistic and honest with yourself as you set your goals.

Relevant / Realistic — Your goal must be relevant and realistic. If you achieve this goal, will it propel you toward your future objectives? Will your goal place you in a better position to fulfill your dreams for the long term future?

Also consider your motivations. Do really want what you’re working toward? Why do you want to achieve a particular objective? If you go into a goal with the wrong motivations (e.g. you’re working toward something that someone else wants you to achieve), then your chances of failure are much higher. And failure can hurt your self-esteem, making it more challenging to achieve the goals that really matter to you!

Time-based — Your New Year’s resolution must be rooted in a timeframe or else you may fail to push yourself in the manner that’s required to succeed! For instance, if you strive to grow your clientele, you should set a goal for pulling in six new clients in 30 days. It’s important to keep the timeframes relatively short — a matter of days or weeks, rather than months — as it becomes increasingly easy to procrastinate when a goal’s “deadline” is months in the future. A long timeframe for your goal can also result in discouragement, as you must wait a long time in order to feel that you’ve achieved anything.

One strategy for maintaining short goal timeframes involves splitting a big goal into several smaller goals. This allows you to focus your efforts on a specific element of the larger picture, while also giving you a feeling of achievement when you actually achieve your mission! This gives you the momentum you need to push toward the next goal!

Of course, you don’t need to wait until the new year arrives in order to implement a change or improvement in your life or your career. Simply establishing a particular “start date” for your work toward a particular goal or objective is equally effective. And realistically, the most successful individuals are those who spend a great deal of effort working on personal improvements and professional development on a continual basis.

So perhaps the best possible New Year’s resolution would involve a commitment to working toward new goals and objectives on a continual, year-round basis!

The start of a new year also marks the ideal time to start your work with a professional coach or consultant like Judy Szablak, of Szablak Consulting and Best Agents Online, LLC. Judy specializes in helping real estate professionals to bring their sales to the next level.

If you’re a real estate agent who is ready to elevate your sales or if you’re a realty owner or manager who’s seeking a dynamic, expert coach to bring a new element of professionalism to your sales team and your brokerage firm, turn to Szablak Consulting. Call 855.438.5839 or complete the booking form.

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