Spring forward. It's already April-late enough to have made and broken New Year's resolutions. So, what now? Think spring and new beginnings. Begin (once again) to think about creating a business plan. Yes, that means ...

Goal Setting
by Mooneen Mourad

Set your goals now for the last year before the new millennium. I promise if you do, you will be well on your way to achieving your dreams and enjoying tangible results, ensuring success for the new millennium!

Do you ever wonder why some people talk a lot about what they are going to do while others seem to be successful? Some are able to accomplish so much. Their accomplishments are measurable, both personally and professionally. The results are both personal satisfaction and a handsome income. Written goal setting and recording required activities on a simple calendar or day planner is an important factor in success, according to the majority of successful people.

Findings from a Harvard business study found that only three percent of a graduating class had written goals, and that those who did were by far the most successful and happy. It makes life easier and more predictable. Planning can become a pleasant habit, a way of taking control of yourself and your life.

In psychology there are terms for how a person views the world. Your way of being in the world-your understanding of your role in the world-colors how you believe and hence, behave. Basically, there are two views of how situations and events control one's attitude and behavior. The terms are referred to as "Internal and External Locus of Control." Those who have the belief that they control their world-and thus their behavior-feel that it is within their control to take responsibility for their actions and their lives. These people have what we call an "Internal Locus of Control."

This means that they control their behavior and their destiny-no matter what goes on outside of them. They use their personal, internal resources such as their knowledge, skills, abilities and other assets to create winning situations. Professionally, they do things such as farming, getting into the office, making calls, holding open houses-and whatever is necessary to succeed-even if the economy is poor or the market is slow. Learn to depend on yourself, not others or the external forces.

"External Locus of Control" is a term for the opposite point of view. These people view the world as a place that is out of their control, a place where events dictate results-whether positive or negative. Some external factors might be the availability of homes in their area, school levies, the economy, very high interest rates, a major business closing-any situation which they view as a problem over which they have no control.

To be successful, you should create a successful belief system. People behave according to what they believe. When I believe that I am in control of myself and my daily activities, then I will do those things which I value. People who have the philosophy of an internal locus of control focus on those activities which result in success.

So, which person are you? With practice, and by writing down goals and translating these goals into activities, you can become an ILCP (Internal Locus of Control Person)! Can't you see the possibilities? As sales people, we know very well that "if we aren't working, we aren't earning." So, here are some tips-let's get to work!

There may be a problem in beginning. Some people have "goal phobia" similar to the anxiety some have of making "cold calls." Goal setting can strike fear into the faint hearted if they haven't written a plan before, but it is a very simple procedure if you know how.

A goal is a broad idea; an objective is how the goal is accomplished. For example, if the goal is to "market myself to homeowners in the $200,000 price range," the objectives would include targeting a specific neighborhood with homes in that price range, creating a brochure to deliver to owners in that area, holding three open houses a month in that area and previewing the competitive homes within a five-mile radius of that area.

The following system, called "SMART," is an easy and basic formula to help you set goals. S stands for "specific"; M for "measurable"; A, "achievable"; R, "reasonable"; and T, "time."

Specific. Use exact words. "Someday I want enough money to buy a boat" is fuzzy. State instead, "On or before April 30, 2001, I will buy a 24-foot used boat that costs $9000 or less. I will need to save $3,000 from my annual income for two years in order to have the down payment."

Measurable. How will I know if I am on track? For example, am I banking a percent of each commission for this goal?

Achievable. Is this possible? Can I earn enough to accomplish this goal with the resources and skills that I currently have? What new skills or activities do I need to achieve my higher goals?

Reasonable. You should pose the question to yourself, "If I want to achieve this goal, are the objectives reasonable? Do I need to work every day for the entire year to achieve this?" You then adjust accordingly.

Time. Designate the time needed and a deadline for the activity to be completed. If in three months I need to have made the marketing plan, that date should be written in my plan and calendar. These goals must be broken down into manageable, smaller activities and tasks. Break these goals down into achievable activities and tasks. If you need to preview properties, see three each morning rather than 15 in one day. Make calls for an hour and a half at a specific time daily, rather than trying to do them all at once.

Once you have set your goals, there are a few other factors in your success to consider.

Image. Dress for success. Have a few great outfits that you can count on to give you an aura of being "pulled together" even at a moment's notice. Your reputation and image are part of your credibility. Find a good-looking personal style and stick with it. When in doubt, the rule is to dress one level "higher" in professional attire so that you are never embarrassed. A suit in a dark color is always appropriate. Remember also that your automobile reflects your image. Organize your car, closet, office, desk, briefcase and files-anything that reflects your way of doing business. Remember that your reputation is your most effective positive image. Behave professionally; follow the Code of Ethics and the law.

Personal Worth. You will only earn what you believe you are worth. Decide what you need and want, and write down the specific income figure to achieve that. Estimate how many transactions are required to achieve the amount. Do this for a five-year plan. Translate that to specific activities you must do in order to create those transactions. Remember to use a day planner and record time for the equivalent number of phone call times, open houses or listing presentations. to achieve this. Block these times into your planner as you would all appointments, and stick to this schedule unless an activity arises which will result in a better use of time, such as a caller who asks, "Can you come over and list our home?"

Create this weekly schedule for the year. You can adjust it as needed.
Life Long Learning. You can always learn something new or improve on a skill you have. Take a class; review a tape or book. Keep yourself on the cutting edge of the business world. Network and refer as appropriate. Give and receive generously.

Prioritize. Do those things which result in the highest rate of return on your time. You are an expert in many areas-spend the bulk of your week on those activities which are likely to give you the highest rate of return on your investment. If you are great at open houses, plan them weekly. If you are best on the phone, block off two mornings to do that. Write these activities in your calendar in ink. Stick to your plan rather than letting the day get away from you. Say "no" as appropriate. Know yourself; are you most effective in the morning, afternoon or evening? Do the tasks requiring concentration at that time. Keep your files current and record data on a daily or weekly basis. Preparation is a mandate. Be proactive; you will appear confident, and that will elicit others' confidence in you.

Personal Time. Balance work time with time for yourself and those you love. Include some personal perks such as spirituality, health and exercise. Ask yourself three questions: Is it necessary? Is it productive? Is it fun? If it is, write the appointment in your planner and stick to it. Record your family obligations as appointments and schedule around them as you would for any client. Loved ones are irreplaceable and so are you. Take the time you need to be happy. Celebrate successes, monitor your progress and be kind to yourself.

Attitude. Believe you are the best. If there were only one home to sell, would you be the best one to sell it? Would you hire yourself? Sales techniques are skills and can be learned, but your character and view of yourself come from inside you. The more professional you become, the greater your confidence, and hence your passion, when you work. This is infectious, and people will be drawn to you.

Your self-esteem is in direct proportion to your skill base, and research shows that there is a direct correlation of high self-esteem and the ability to achieve goals. Surround yourself with positive people and coworkers. Find a good role model and mentor. Choose people who have high self-esteem and a positive attitude. Work in a positive environment. Be the best you can be in return.

When you believe in yourself and believe that you have an Internal Locus of Control, your destiny is, in a great part, within your own control. So, create your plan, write down your goals and record personal and professional activities in your planner. Good luck, enjoy the journey and enjoy your life!

E-mail Mooneen for scheduling a workshop, coaching, and
training or to inquire about purchasing her artwork.

E-Mail: mooneen1@yahoo.com

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