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My best friend was helping me this weekend push some desks and file cabinets into place in our new office, which officially opens its doors TODAY, and we were chatting about business and prospecting and goals and ... well ... dreaming.
It's that time of the year when I start thinking about the coming budget, projections and goals for my business and personal life, assessing the progress I made this year, putting down on paper my plans to get where I want to be next year. My mentors have taught me to cast off the shackles during this exercise, to Dream As Big As Possible.
We were excited! My business partner and I launched a new company, Dream Big Real Estate, and we are putting the finishing touches on our new digs. So as my buddy Mac and I were rearranging furniture and hanging artwork, it just popped into my head: "How big do you dream?"
It's a weird question, isn't it? For most of us? How BIG do I dream? Most people just want to be able to make their house payment these days. But ask a kid that question. In great detail, they'll outline their future accomplishments and act out their inauguration. Kids dream HUGE! Ask an adult, and they'll look at you like you just cocked your elbow and made a dozen armpit farts. Because life and experience and other people will beat the dreams right out of you.
Even in this culture of entitlement, it feels unnatural to dream, much less to Dream Like a Kid. But I do it anyway. Because it's my path to get where I need to go.
As we head into the last few weeks of the year, I share my goal-planning roadmap. It's an abbreviated version, but it hits the high points. And it starts with a little Dreaming ...
1. THE BIG "WHY"
What is your purpose in life? What are you passionate about? If you could do anything, without limitation, what would that be? A purpose gives meaning to your life and is the turbo boost in your career and personal life. Can you imagine working day after day in a job that you hated? (Been to the DMV lately?) What if you were engaged daily in the thing that most excited you? How would that impact every facet of your life? (I revisit this regularly, because it can change, even slightly)
What is important to you? Financial freedom? Time with your family? To help others in some pursuit? To give back to your church or some important cause? A condo on the beach? An impossibly fast car? Are you a world traveler yearning to break free? What is the one thing that drives you and lives in your dreams and desires?
Now write it down.
Task: Develop your Purpose Statement: Why were you put on this planet and what do you hope to accomplish? Take 15 minutes and put it on paper.
2. HOW DO I GET THERE?
Now that you're in the right frame of mind, and you've given life to this driving force by putting it on paper, put it to work.
On a sheet of paper, numbered 1 to 100, write down as many things as possible that you could do to realize your purpose in life. What steps would you take? What do you need to know or learn? Would you need others to help? Who would you contact? What timeframes would be required?
3. FOCUS IN
Go back to your list and pick the top 5 gems. What are the most critical things on your list that you would need to do in the next 12 months to get you closer to your ultimate goal? Circle them.
4. MOLD IT
Here is the format I use to make my top 5 goals more cohesive and useful. It's pretty self-explanatory. The key is that narrowing your focus and clarifying the task at hand makes it more meaningful. To paraphrase Napoleon Hill, "What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve." The problem is, most people don't believe they can achieve their Big Dreams.
Breaking it down makes it seem less daunting.
Here is the format with an example:
TOP GOAL #1: I am debt-free! Timeframe: Dec. 31, 2012 Why this is important: True financial freedom. If we reduce our living expenses to only 30 percent of our gross income, it will allow us to give, save, invest and live life, all while creating a legacy that will live on long after we are gone. How will I accomplish this? • We unwaveringly focus on the prize! • We have a specific, written economic plan, and we live by a budget each and every month. We spend every dollar on paper before it comes to us. • We have a $5,000 emergency fund in place to handle unforeseen issues. • We put aside 10 percent of our gross income for charity. • We aggressively attack our debts one at a time, smallest to largest, and then move on to the next. • We pay cash/debit card for all purchases. We will never purchase anything on credit again. • We study and improve our money-management techniques and strategies. • In months when our income increases, we make extra payments on our debts. How will I measure progress? Follow our written plan, which has monthly benchmarks. How will I celebrate when I reach my goal? Two weeks scuba diving in The Philippines and South Pacific, paying cash as we go. Penalty for not reaching my goal? No TV for 1 month!
5. TAKE ACTION
Talk is cheap. You can dream about the possibilities, you can make promises to yourself and others, you can develop the best plan, but if you stop there, it was all a waste of time.
Only Activity will get you moving, and keep you moving, in a positive direction. Only Action will yield the results you desire.
But it all starts with the Dreams. How Big Do You Dream? I'm trying to dream bigger and bigger everyday.
More than 25% of homes in the United States have negative equity. Foreclosure Season is expected to peak in mid- to late 2012, so the problem will only grow.
Many of our friends and clients in this situation are afraid and embarrassed. But they shouldn't feel that way. Everyone knows someone facing this problem. The key to alleviating the problem is knowing what to do, and then taking action.
We are Real Estate Professionals committed to helping people in just this situation find relief through any of the 10 alternatives to foreclosure. In this forum, we'll help guide distressed homeowners through the crises and into peace of mind.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.