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On any journey you take in your life, whether it is to the end of your street or half way around the world you would never start out without knowing your destination. In business this is even more important but surprisingly many people have no clear idea of their ultimate destination, what will the finishing line look like or feel like, what will the key stages bring to you and how will you know when you get to each of them.

 

Obviously there will be at least some ideas; to “make money”, “be your own boss” etc. but I am talking about developing what people call your vision or mission. In your ideal world what do you see yourself doing & what does your business look like –you need to write that down without putting any limitations on your thoughts and without working out exactly how you will do it. Once you have the raw data you can then create a plan to follow.

 

If you were going to drive to town or even walk down the road to the shops you would not be able to see every obstacle or event you will encounter, if you tried to work out every eventuality and have an answer for each before you set off you would never set off!

 

You normally choose a destination and have confidence that you will overcome things as you go along – the main thing you have in your head is where you are going, you can actually see the destination in your mind’s eye and this is what you focus on.

 

You must do the same with your Property business;

 

•       work out the final destination,

•       where want to be and then work out key stages along the way,

•       how many years is your plan over?

•       What do you want to achieve each year?

 

Then you can start building your detail plans from this roadmap.

 

Setting Goals Effectively

The way in which you set goal strongly affects their effectiveness.

The following broad guidelines apply to setting effective goals:

 

Positive Statement: express your goals positively: 'Execute this technique well' is a much better goal than 'don't make this stupid mistake'

 

Be Precise: if you set a precise goal, putting in dates, times and amounts so that achievement can be measured, then you know the exact goal to be achieved, and can take complete satisfaction from having completely achieved it.

 

Set Priorities: where you have several goals, give each a priority. This helps you to avoid feeling overwhelmed by too many goals, and helps to direct your attention to the most important ones.

 

Write goals down to avoid confusion and give them more force.

 

Keep Operational Goals Small: Keep the goals you are working towards immediately (i.e. in this session) small and achievable. If a goal is too large, then it can seem that you are not making progress towards it. Keeping goals small and incremental gives more opportunities for reward. Today's goals should be derived from larger goals.

 

Important Points

You should note a number of general principles about goal setting;

 

Set Performance, not Outcome Goals

This is very important. You should take care to set goals over which you have as much control as possible - there is nothing as dispiriting as failing to achieve a personal goal for reasons beyond your control such as bad business environments, poor judging, bad weather, injury, or just plain bad luck. Goals based on outcomes are extremely vulnerable to failure because of things beyond your control.

 

If you base your goals on personal performance or skills or knowledge to be acquired, then you can keep control over the achievement of your goals and draw satisfaction from them.

 

For example, you might achieve a personal best time in a race, but still be disqualified as a result of a poor judging decision. If you had set an outcome goal of being in the top three, then this will be a defeat. If you set a performance goal of achieving a particular time, then you will have achieved the goal and can draw satisfaction and self-confidence from its achievement.

 

Another flaw is where outcome goals are based on the rewards of achieving something, whether these are financial or are based on the recognition of colleagues. In early stages these will be highly motivating factors, however as they are achieved, the benefits of further achievement at the same level reduce. You will become progressively less motivated.

 

Set Specific Goals

Set specific measurable goals. If you achieve all conditions of a measurable goal, then you can be confident and comfortable in its achievement. If you consistently fail to meet a measurable goal, then you can adjust it or analyse the reason for failure and take appropriate action to improve skills.

 

Set Realistic Goals

Goals may be set unrealistically high for the following reasons:

Other people: Other people (parents, media, society) can set unrealistic goals for you, based on what they want. Often this will be done in ignorance of your goals, desires and ambitions.

Insufficient information: If you do not have a clear, realistic understanding of what you are trying to achieve and of the skills and knowledge to be mastered, it is difficult to set effective and realistic goals.

 

Always expecting your best performance: Many people base their goals on their best performance, however long ago that was. This ignores the inevitable backsliding that can occur for good reasons, and ignores the factors that led to that best performance. It is better to set goals that raise your average performance and make it more consistent.

 

Lack of respect for self: If you do not respect your right to rest, relaxation and pleasure in life then you risk burnout.

 

Setting Goals Too Low

Alternatively, goals can be set too low because of;

 

Fear of failure: If you are frightened of failure you will not take the risks needed for optimum performance. As you apply goal setting and see the achievement of goals, your self- confidence should increase, helping you to take bigger risks. Know that failure is a positive thing: it shows you areas where you can improve your skills and performance.

 

Taking it too easy: It is easy to take the reasons for not setting goals unrealistically high as an excuse to set them too low. If you're not prepared to stretch yourself and work hard, then you are extremely unlikely to achieve anything of any real worth.

 

Setting Goals at the Right Level

Setting goals at the correct level is a skill that is acquired by practice.

 

You should set goals so that they are slightly out of your immediate grasp, but not so far that there is no hope of achieving them: no-one will put serious effort into achieving a goal that they believe is unrealistic. However, remember that the belief that a goal is unrealistic may be incorrect. Such a belief can be changed by effective use of imagery.

 

Personal factors such as tiredness, other commitments and the need for rest, etc. should be taken into account when goals are set.

 

Now review the goals you have set, and then measure them against the points above. Adjust them to meet the recommendations and then review them. You should now be able to see the importance of setting goals effectively.

 

Thinking a goal through

When you are thinking about how to achieve goals, asking the following questions can help you to focus on the sub-goals that lead to their achievement;

 

What skills do I need to achieve this?

What information and knowledge do I need?

What help, assistance, or collaboration do I need?

What resources do I need?

What can block progress?

Am I making any assumptions?

Is there a better way of doing things?

 

Developing a Mission Statement

At is most basic, the mission statement describes the overall purpose of the organization.

 

When wording the mission statement, consider the organization's products, services, markets, values, and concern for public image.

 

Does the mission statement include sufficient description that the statement clearly separates the mission of the organization from other organizations?

 

Developing a Vision Statement

The vision statement includes vivid description of the organization as it effectively carries out its operations.

 

Developing the vision can be the most enjoyable part of planning, but the part where time easily gets away from you.

 

Note that originally, the vision was a compelling description of the state and function of the organization once it had implemented the strategic plan. Recently, the vision has become more of a motivational tool.

 

Developing a Values Statement

Values represent the core priorities in the organization’s culture, including what drives members’ priorities and how they truly act in the organization, etc. Values are increasingly important in strategic planning. They often drive the intent and direction for “organic” planners.

Establish four to six core values from which the organization would like to operate. Consider values of customers, shareholders, employees and the community.

 

Incorporate into the strategic plan, actions to align actual behaviour with preferred behaviours.

 

Decide your destination and Cross each bridge as you come to it

 

TASK OF THE DAY - Work out what you want to achieve in the next 10 years - then work out the major steps to be achieved each year to get there - finally break it down to monthly actions for the next 1 or 2 years and then weekly actions for each month you can easily achieve.

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