Developing a Blueprint for Success in 2010

Real Estate Broker/Owner with PREA Signature Realty -

Business Planning - Performance Managment Article

With the start of a new year, we earnestly make resolutions to improve our personal and professional lives over the next 12 months.  For those few precious days or weeks, we zealously pursue these resolutions.  However, after the holidays are over, the hectic pace of everyday life begins.  With each passing day, we seem to lose our ardor and the intensity of our commitment to pursuing our new goals.  By mid to late January, we are deeply entrenched in the grind of our everyday lives.  The resolutions that we so ardently made are relegated to the back of a junk drawer and are forgotten.  So this year, instead of simply making resolutions, I developed a plan that I intend to use as my blueprint for success in 2010:

Step 1 - Embrace Change:  Before I set my goals for 2010, I made a list of five daily affirmations.  The affirmations focus on my ability to effect change in my daily life.  It included such affirmations as:

•  I can and will take control my daily life.

•  I can and will effectuate change in my daily life.

•  I acknowledge that there are things in my daily life that I will not be able to control or change.

•  I will strive for progress, not perfection, in reaching my goals.

•  I understand that it is insane to continue with the same activities and expect different results.

These affirmations are simple reminders that no plan is perfect.  In real life, our goals and plans to reach them must be fluid and must change with our personal circumstances.  We cannot and won't be able to change everything.  I also used the affirmations to refocus my thoughts.  Instead of thinking in absolute terms such "I will always..." or "I will never...", I set my resolutions and personal goals with the simple recognition that I am committed to making progress towards these goals.  Whether it is a weight loss goal or a sales goal, I recognize that I am looking for gradual and steady progress or change, not immediate perfection.

Step 2 - Take Personal Inventory of Core Values:  After I finished writing my five daily affirmations, I then took a personal inventory of my core values.  By the term "core values", I mean those unifying principles and beliefs that guide my conduct and bring me personal satisfaction.  I then wrote down ten core values.  After making the list, I then asked why these values were important to me.  Often, a value such as income or job security was really a subset of a deeper and more concise value like providing for my family.  As I reviewed the list, I then narrowed my core values to a list of five items.  While making this list, I noticed that my daily actions and my core values were not always consistent.  For example, working long hours did not match my strong commitment to family.  By reducing my core values to writing, I intend to use the list as a reminder of what is and isn't important to me.  When you take the time to think through your fundamental values, and then commit yourself to living your life consistent with them, you feel a surge of mental strength and well-being. You feel stronger and more capable. You feel more centered in the universe and more competent of accomplishing the goals you set for yourself.

Step 3 - Create Visionary Statements with Long-Term Goals:   Woody Allen once was asked "How can you make God laugh?"  He responded "Tell God your future plans."  Although I don't remember the context in which the line was uttered, I do remember what it meant to me.  To me, it is important to set visionary goals.  These visionary statements are lofty goals.  When they are first made, they can and should appear to be impractical, unrealistic or even impossible to attain.  I wrote out five personal and five professional goals.  Even reading them now make me laugh.  For example, I spent twenty years adding to my waistline.  One of my visionary statements is to return to my college weight.  It is a visionary statement because I am trying to undo in one year that which took me twenty years to build up. 

Step 4 - Break Visionary Statements into a Series of Milestone Goals:  After re-reading my affirmations, I realize that I will not be able to make permanent changes or achieve the goals in my visionary statements overnight or even in a matter of weeks.  When I look at the goals, they can seem overwhelming.  However, for each long-term goal in each visionary statement, I set a series of milestone goals with one new goal to be met each month.  For example, for weight loss, I set a series of progress and related goals:  January - elimination of fast food in-take; February - start regular fitness program; March - reduce carbohydrate in-take; April - start regular running program; etc.

Step 5 - Announce Your Milestone Goals to Your Partner:  It is difficult to make life-altering changes unless you have the support and encouragement of colleagues, friends and family.  For each goal, I selected a partner to act as my mentor, coach and/or sounding board for change.  Too often, we don't share our goals.  Instead, we attempt to pursue our goals in isolation.  When we commit to a goal, write the goal down, and announce the goal to others, it strengthens our commitment to reach the goal.  With the support and encouragement of others, we are more likely to accept short term set backs in pursuit of our long-term goals.

Step 6 - Track Your Success:  It is much easier to achieve a goal when you have a sense of personal satisfaction.  When you pursue a goal, develop a plan and monitor progress toward achieving the goal, you generate a feeling of success within yourself when each small step in the plan is accomplished.  You tend to feel more in control and more motivated to proceed with the next step to reach the lofty goal.  When you track your progress and generate the feeling of success, it becomes an easy to do thing.  When you clear the first few hurdles, you then develop a psychological momentum that enables you to address and handle adversity that would otherwise be setbacks to achieving your goal.  If you need software to track your goals, consider using free software available at to create your plan and to track the tasks necessary to meet your goals.

Step 7 - Take Action:  After you have set your goals, take action.  Each day review your milestone goals and your long-term goal and take some small step to reach the goal today.

Reprinted by Permission of Ryan Shaughnessy/The Lafayette Report - All Rights Reserved (2010).

Business Planning - Performance Managment Article

Comments (1)

Joe Cuchiara
Higher Ground Real Estate - Colorado Springs, CO


Jan 11, 2010 03:43 PM