• Create a written business plan, execute on your top three tasks every day, create a supportive environment, and you’ll go the distance to hit your goals next year.

Did you hit your income and production goals in 2017? What it will take for you to go the distance and hit your goals in 2018 is more than persistence and self-discipline.

Achieving your goals is a marathon, not a sprint. It requires a sustained effort over time. Here are eight steps to follow that will help you achieve your goals in 2018.

Create a written plan

Setting goals without creating a specific plan for achieving them is a formula for failure.

Instead, write down the three most important steps you must take each day to hit those goals. Complete those tasks first.

If you fall behind, sprint to hit your goals for the week

If your business plan is to contact 25 people per day, and you’ve only contacted 25 this week, do whatever it takes (cold call, door knock, etc.) to hit the number you’ve set.

If your plan is not working, identify the elements of the plan that do work, and revise what doesn’t work.

Establish clear-cut priorities

When you’re striving to hit production and income goals, focus on profitability. The secret is to identify your top three priorities and to make them the cornerstones for building your business for 2018. That’s the best way to increase profitability.

To determine your top three business priorities, identify your three most profitable sources of business in 2017.

For example, if most of your sales came from referrals, open house and expired listings, make these three activities your primary focus in 2018.

Don’t worry about geographical farming or online leads if those activities weren’t as profitable. It’s much easier to expand what’s successful in your business as opposed to building what’s weak.

Make expanding those three profitable portions of your business your no. 1 priority for 2018.

Eat the frog first

Brian Tracy’s book, Eat that Frog, recommends that you do the biggest, ugliest task of the day first. Procrastination is a primary reason people fail to achieve their goals.

Each time you procrastinate about doing a task, it becomes more difficult to complete.

The more you delay, the more energy and effort is required. Consequently, you may hate calling expireds, but if it’s one of your three most profitable activities, do it first, and get it out of the way.

Create a supportive environment

Some agents only achieve their goals when the people in their lives support them to do so. Others achieve goals simply for the sake of showing the nay-sayers they can.

Regardless of which type you are, take advantage of the support (or the lack of support) to motivate yourself to achieve the goals you set.

In either case, sharing your goals and your timetable for reaching them with another person increases the probability your goals will become a reality.

Create the right type of emotional energy for you

Your emotions can help you to achieve your goals or stand in the way. Some people find they are more effective in achieving goals when they have no emotional charge around achieving the goal.

For others, being charged up is essential to their success.

For example, some salespeople work very well with having a production quota each month while others become so stressed their production drops.

Others feel they work best under pressure and use deadlines to create emotional energy. Each person is different — identify the strategy that works for you, and use it.

Work in an environment that supports your success

Every action you take occurs in the context of your environment.

For example, some people thrive in a noisy, boisterous environment while others require absolute quiet. If you find yourself consistently being distracted while you’re working, change your physical environment.

If the office is a distraction, work at home or vice versa. Take note of where you’re most efficient, and spend your time in an environment that supports your success.

Focus on your strengths, and let go of your ‘shoulds’

When you set goals based upon “shoulds,” (external sources), they are often difficult to achieve.

On the other hand, when your goal is in alignment with your internal motivation and beliefs, you will be much more likely to reach it.

To illustrate this point, simply believing you “should” prospect is seldom sustainable. Instead, identify your strengths and work on developing them.

In most cases, your strengths are in alignment with your internal values while your “shoulds” are not. You’re much more likely to go the distance based on your strengths rather than your weaknesses.

When it comes to achieving your goals, Buckminster Fuller summed it up best when he said, “Environment is stronger than will.”

Create a written business plan, execute on your top three tasks every day, create a supportive environment, and you’ll go the distance to hit your goals in 2018.

Bernice Ross, CEO of RealEstateCoach.com, is a national speaker, author and trainer with over 1,000 published articles and two best-selling real estate books. Learn about her training programs at www.RealEstateCoach.com/AgentTraining and

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