End of the Year Goal Planning


As the end of year approaches, many begin looking to define their next year’s goals. Recent studies show that about 3% of adults have clearly written goals and accomplish 5 to 10 times more than those who do not. Goal setting not only allows you to take control of your life’s direction, it also provides you a benchmark for determining whether you are actually succeeding. As someone who has been actively business planning for 10+ years, I can personally attest to the power of the physical act of writing down a goal. It helps clarify the things you truly want to accomplish; and by writing it down, you no longer have an excuse to forget about it.

We reached out to a few West Valley agents to get their take on this subject, but most do not participate in goal planning. Those that do say it’s propelled their business to new levels and can’t imagine not using it. Below is what Karen and Mike Baron from Infinity and Associates shared with us, followed by my personal goal planning steps.

‘Goal planning has always been a part of our business model. We do goal planning throughout the year, on a monthly basis, and have five year and long-term goals that we aim for. We use a white board to look at different scenarios. Before starting real estate, we read “The Millionaire Next Door” and have based part of our finance and goal planning strategy on that. Use a day planner and actually write everything down on paper! Review it weekly and train your brain to say it to yourself out loud. Have lists and check items off, and even if you don’t do something because you decided it wasn’t necessary, at least you didn’t forget about it.  We started using the Panda Planner for tasks and goals and it helps us to understand life balance.

Now here is what I do for year-end goal planning. First things first, to accomplish your goals, you need to know how to set them. I’m sharing three steps that will allow you to formulate goals that you can accomplish.


Step 1: Set Your Goals

Identify clear, concise and SMART goals that motivate and excite you – SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time Bound. In more specific terms, your goals should be clear and well defined, include precise figures and dates, are possible to achieve, are aligned with the direction you want your personal and professional life to take, must include a deadline and, last but not least, must be written down so that they inspire you to take action.


Step 2: Create a Business Action Plan

Now that you’ve identified and written down your goals, it’s time to put a plan in place to achieve them. To get yourself into the business planning mindset, start by conducting a review of your current or previous year. Some great questions to ask yourself: What did I accomplish? What are some roadblocks or challenges that got in my way? What opportunities did I miss? What did I learn? It is important to review what worked last year and to know your basic numbers (i.e. average days on market, listing to sale ratios) before you begin planning for the year ahead. Once you know your stats, begin writing down the individual tasks you need to carry out to achieve your objective, and in the order you need to complete them. Keep this list close by so that you can easily mark off tasks as you complete them.


Step 3: Track & Measure Your Results

How do you know if what you’re doing is yielding positive results? Using a suitable tracking system – whether that be a simple tracking form or a CRM platform to record your results – will allow you to track your progress and make necessary corrections throughout the year.


I hope you found these points helpful. By following these three steps, I’m confident you can set goals with certainty and enjoy the satisfaction that comes along with knowing you achieved what you set out to do.  If you’d like a copy of the forms I use for my personal and business goal setting, please email me at matt.askland@cardinalfinancial.com and I’ll be happy to share them with you. Good luck!



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