Are Your Goals Out There for Everyone to See? Or Are They a Secret?

Real Estate Agent with Baird & Warner Real Estate

January 1, 2009.

Closet Goal WriterDo you have goals for the New Year?   If you do, are you a closet goal writer.   Do you secretly write them down and hide them away so no one sees them.  So no one ever knows if you've accomplished them, or at least made some headway. 

It's easier that way:  "Ah heck!  I never write down goals - that's stupid," you say. Or "What's the use, I usually forget them by February."  But if your goals, hopes and aspirations are a secret, there is no accountability - especially to yourself. 

Here's what happened last night, New Year's Eve, December 31, 2008.  I went out to dinner with my husband and daughter to our favorite Mexican restaurant in the Chicago area, Don Juan's in Edison Park.  But we are also new restauranteurs ourselves, and decided after dinner to go downtown and have a drink at (shameless plug) Graham Elliot on Huron.  The restaurant was buzzing, the young crowd clearly enjoying themselves. 

Chef Graham Elliot Bowles is a celebrity in the world of food.  He was executive chef at Avenues in the Peninsula Hotel for many years and has won the James Beard award.  He is creative, determined, and purposeful.

After people- watching for about half an hour, we went back to the kitchen to wish Chef and the staff a Happy New Year.  On the way through the kitchen I passed a tiny room that I had not seen before.  It was Chef's office.  On the wall behind his computer was a greasboard with some scribbling.  Maybe it was his private office but the writing was boldly written, there for anyone to see if they walked in:Greaseboard for 2009 Goals

Six or seven ideas for expansion, for explicit cities and locations, even possible names.  They were just simply written out.  They're in front of where he sits when he's not in the kitchen proper.  He and anyone else can see them everyday.  We just opened this restaurant in May of 2008 and he's already thinking of a growth plan.  With explicit details! 

Well, I loved seeing that.  Not just for the success of the restaurant, but for the inspiration it gave me regarding my own goals for 2009.  I can do that too.  Maybe not on a greaseboard, but surely written on something in a place where I will lay eyes on it everyday.  And anybody else can too if they're interested!

The point, I believe, is that by putting your ideas "out there" they have more of a chance of becoming reality.  Don't keep them a secret, especially from yourself.  When you put forth and share you get so much more in return.  I know that something like this has been discussed in "The Secret" but seeing it myself was great.  Just great.

 Achieve Your GoalsAchieve Your Goals for 2009!  Write Them Down and Look At Them Everyday!

Posted by

Margaret Goss - Winnetka and North Shore Real Estate Broker
Specializing in homes for sale in Winnetka, Wilmette, Kenilworth, Northfield, Glencoe, Glenview, Northbrook, and Evanston.

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Steven Ayres
Rocket 55 - Saint Paul, MN

Thanks for the post.  Almost forgot to make mine.


Jan 01, 2009 11:25 AM #6
Russ Ravary ~ Metro Detroit Realtor call (248) 310-6239
Real Estate One - Commerce, MI
Michigan homes for sale ~

I have to sit down and write down my goals.  Right now

Jan 01, 2009 11:38 AM #7

Margaret - I so agree!  I just started doing this within the last year or so.  I have specific things written down.  Some are personal and in a notebook I carry with me.  Others are on a chart so that I can plot them, and see them visually every day.  Still others are large and "in charge" on the bulletin board, so that even my clients can see them while in my office.  A few years ago, a broker I had gave us magazines, had us cut out pictures that represented our goals, and make a visual board to hang in our cubicles.  All are good ideas to keep us accountable!  Happy New Years, and may all your goals be exceeded!

Jan 01, 2009 11:47 AM #8
Emily Lowe
The Lipman Group | Sotheby's International Realty - Nashville, TN
Nashville TN Realtor

I agree with you Margaret!  I have vision boards (they need to be updated now for 2009) and also like to try and figure out where I'm headed in the short and long terms.  I need to put them out there for others to see.

Maybe there is some fear behind not showing others - like the ultimate scary question... What if I do not Reach My Goals???  Am i then a Failure?  Well, we can never fail unless we try!!!

Thanks for the post, congrats on the Feature and Happy New Year to you!!!

Jan 01, 2009 12:26 PM #9
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate

Does, I need money, count as part of my goal? LOL. j/k I still need to work on this. I usually take the entire month of January to really think it through though.

Jan 01, 2009 03:54 PM #10
Regina P. Brown
MBA Broker Consultants - Carlsbad, CA
M.B.A., Broker, Instructor

Margaret, well if I put my goals out there for others to see, I may just have to STEP UP and do them!  And yikes, that's accountability!!!  ;>

Join my NEW group for professionals who work from their home office at

Regina P. Brown

Jan 01, 2009 06:01 PM #11
Kris Wales
Keller Williams Realty - Lakeside Market Center - Macomb, MI
Real Estate Blog & Homes for Sale search site, Macomb County MI

What a great example for all of us.  Thank you for sharing this story with us, and if you bump into the restaraunter again please tell him thank you from me :-)

Jan 01, 2009 08:25 PM #12
Diane Bell, Hilton Head Real Estate, Bluffton
Charter 1 Real Estate, Hilton Head, Bluffton, SC - Hilton Head Island, SC

Excellent post--I totally concur that if we make those goals concrete and keep them in front of us daily, we'll be more likely to make them a reality.

Jan 01, 2009 10:38 PM #13
Paul McFadden
Paratex - Seattle, WA
Pest Control, Seattle, WA.

Margaret: Thank you. Supposedly if a person announces their goals, it makes tham accountable to achieving them. Good luck with yours this year!

Jan 02, 2009 12:16 AM #14
Colleen Steelman
Keller Williams - Honesdale, PA

Margaret, I do write down my goals but rarely share them. Being afraid of not reaching them would certainly get in the way of achieving them. Thanks for the eye opener!

Jan 02, 2009 12:29 AM #15
Sonja Adams
Samson Proprties - Purcellville, VA

Putting our goals out there helps to make us accountable for them and promotes follow through!  Great post.

Jan 02, 2009 12:56 AM #16
Kristi DeFazio
RE/MAX Advantage - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Rea lEstate 719-459-5468

I'm a big believer in goal setting and posting! My kids are 12 and 9 and my oldest will even talk in terms of goals. I think it is great!

Jan 02, 2009 03:06 AM #17
Mark MacKenzie
Phoenix, AZ


I really like this comment of yours, "but surely written on something in a place where I will lay eyes on it everyday."

I physically write down my career goals EVERY day.

I don't feel a need to share them as I am going to be the hardest critic of myself - more than anybody else could be. :)

Jan 02, 2009 05:06 AM #18
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

Thanks to everyone who's responded to my post.  It seems that I have been very far behind most of you who have always written down and thought about their goals.  But just seeing Chef's goals so boldly written out gave me great hope and inspiration. 

Good luck to you all with your 2009 and beyond goals.


Jan 02, 2009 05:42 AM #19
Brett Tousley
Keller Williams Realty - Richland, WA
Tri Cities Real Estate | (509) 420-0013

Looking at mine right now, I have them taped to the wall above my computer monitor.

Happy New Year!

Jan 02, 2009 06:41 AM #20
Golden Estate Management
Golden Estate Property Management - Los Angeles, CA

I might as well have shouted my goals to the whole world. I never keep my goals to myself. I feel as though that if people know my goals then there is a probablity that they can help me achieve those goals! Thank you so much for sharing your post with us! I hope you have a great day and have a have a Happy New Year!!

Jan 02, 2009 08:47 AM #21
Tim Monciref - Austin, TX
Over 2,000 homes sold…..

Telling your goals to numerous people puts you on the spot to achieve the goals as odds are pretty high that people will be checking on you.  If someone tells everyone they know that they are going to lose 15 pounds by will be pretty tough not to lose 15 pounds as the pressure of embarrassment of failing so many will exceed pressure of the failure of the goal.

Jan 02, 2009 09:40 AM #22
Betina Foreman
WJK Realty - Austin, TX
Realtor, C.N.E., with WJK REALTY

Great post! You can't work towards a goal unless you can SEE it and Plan for it. Thanks!

Jan 03, 2009 01:44 AM #23
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Margaret, Would love to hear more about your restaurant. How about a blog and photos. Would be perfect for localism!

Jan 05, 2009 01:15 PM #24
Paul Gapski
Berkshire Hathaway / Prudential Ca Realty - El Cajon, CA
619-504-8999,#1 Resource SD Relo

they are so important and to have them written down and visualize is equally important. I believe you have to have a way to measure your progress.

Jul 22, 2011 02:24 PM #25
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