The Definitive Guide to Goal Setting for 2016

Use these tips to help set and achieve your goals this year

This time each year Loan Officers and RE Agents get really excited about their goals. Businesses have entire days dedicated to goal setting and planning out the perfect year. Entrepreneurs will take a trip or book a beautiful hotel room to get out of the normal day-to-day activities and focus solely on creating their goals and writing their dreams for the next 12 months.

The year begins to crawl by and the next thing you know, it’s March or May and not much has changed. The normal routine is comfortable and it’s easy to slide back into that old pattern.

You deserve more.  

Feeling a personal or professional ‘connection’ with your goals is key; this is an area many people struggle with and why old-fashioned “New Year’s Resolutions” are usually a bust.

I’m going to outline three solutions to consider when setting your goals for 2016.  Each will help you move forward with purpose and intention, making it possible to turn your goals into a reality.


Write SMART Goals for 2016

S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym that provides 5 specific criteria to assist you in goal setting.

Here’s an example of a S.M.A.R.T. Goal: “By March 1, 2016, I will implement a new email marketing system for my database using so past clients know we love them and can more easily send us referrals or repeat business.”  Let’s break it down using the S.M.A.R.T. formula:

Specific – Using clear, concise language, state exactly what you are going to do.

Example – “…implement a new email marketing system for my database using”

Measurable – Goals should all be measurable as a way to prove it was achieved. This could be tied to a specific result or timeframe for the goal to occur.

Example – “By March 1, 2016”

Actionable – A goal is actionable when you know who is responsible for completing it, and when the action is definitive.

Example – “I will implement a new email marketing system…”   

Realistic – You should already have the skills and knowledge to achieve a goal or know that it is possible within the timeframe. This does not mean the goals have to be easy. Stretch goals are a great tool to motivate business owners and employees to work hard and achieve it. On the other hand, if a goal seems impossible, people can be discouraged from even trying.

Example – Ask yourself… “If I give it my all, can I make this happen?”  

Time-Bound – Goals must have a written deadline; this helps create a sense of urgency to achieve it. Without this constraint, most goals would never be achieved.

Example – “By March 1, 2016…”

Use this simple test – S.M.A.R.T. – when writing goals and you will be well on your way to completing them in 2016.


Write and Re-Write your Goals

Just 3 out of 100 adults take the time to write their goals on paper, and yet research has proven that those that write their goals down are 33% more successful in goal completion compared with those that don’t.  Do you want the shortcut to achieving your goals in 2016?  Pull out a sheet of paper, take 5 minutes, and record your goals!

In addition to writing down your goals, there is a boost to be received by those who review their goals on a regular basis and re-write them on paper. This simple exercise will help get your mental juices flowing and help provide motivation to push through to the finish line.

How often should you review and re-write goals? A best practice is once a month, but some do it once a quarter.  The essential thing is to DO IT and not let your goals die a slow death in a notebook in the desk drawer. Keep them alive and real with regular reviews and re-writing to form a strong connection with each goal.


Create Only a Few Major Goals for 2016

“Any fool can make something complicated. It takes a genius to make it simple.” ― Woody Guthrie

Business owners often like to create this laundry list of goals in December or January knowing most of them will not be accomplished. The way to avoid this end of the year letdown is to create fewer, bigger goals and break them down into actionable steps.

To get started, write 2 to 3 Major goals you want to achieve in 2016 on separate pieces of paper.

Yearly Example: “I will help 120 mortgage customers buy a home or refinance by the end of 2016!”

Now you want to break each large goal down into monthly sub-goals that can be accomplished in only 30 days.

Monthly Example: “I will take 20 loan applications in January 2016.” 

Finally, you can even scale down to weekly or daily goals. These make the large goal more achievable by creating bite size tasks that snowball up to our Big Goal for 2016.

Weekly Example: “I will create a local Facebook ad and generate home buyer leads this week.” 

Daily Example: “I will create a Facebook page on Monday. I will create a form to capture leads on Tuesday. I will create the Facebook ad on Wednesday. I will respond to leads on Thursday and Friday.” 

Can you see how breaking annual goals down into monthly, weekly, and daily tasks will help you achieve them faster?

Use these tips while setting goals for 2016 to improve your results!  Did this topic fire you up?  Why not take a minute right now and get started on your goal-setting process.  Then, drop me a line and let me know how you did!