Slay the Sabotage Beast -- No More Excuses for Not Meeting Goals
Ah, at the beginning of the New Year we began with a fresh start. Blank slate. You made powerful resolutions that you definitely intended to keep, this year. Stop smoking. Lose weight. Travel more. Make more money. Fix that broken relationship. Spine straight, shoulders squared, we marched into the new year optimistic, eager, and sure we’re finally on the right path.
So what happened?
A lot of things happened. For one thing, when we make resolutions, most of the time we’re just praying for a miracle. When we make that resolution to lose weight, we don’t usually make a plan to go with it. We don’t outline how we’re going to exercise 20 minutes a day for the first month, and 30 minutes a day the second month, and work up to an hour a day five days a week. We don’t say, I’m trading in cookies for carrots. No. We just say ‘Lose weight.’ Bring on the magic wand! Maybe for the first couple of weeks, revved up on our optimism, we do all the right things and lose a couple of pounds. Then, somewhere between the second and third week …well, “ I’ve got to get those offers in, so I’ll walk tomorrow.” Rationalization equals sabotage.
For another thing, our miracle resolutions only have room for the ‘best-case scenario.’ They don’t take into account those weeks (or months) when we have 12 buyers, no inventory, a cousin in town, taxes due, and the car on the fritz. How can you possibly quit smoking with all that going on? Poor planning equals sabotage.
When we make those resolutions, sometimes we forget who we really are. We look at other agents who are closing deals by the dozen and we decide that’s what we want. But did we look closely at those agents — at how long they’ve been in the business, how well connected they are in the community, how much time they spend with their coach, how many hours they work every single week, and all the things they’re doing to adjust to a changing market?
No. We just want the end results, without taking our own talents — or limitations —i nto consideration. Limited vision equals sabotage.
The list goes on, but there’s one more important step we often fail to take when we make our resolutions: get a partner. In fact, sometimes we don’t even tell anyone about our resolutions because then it “won’t matter” if we break them. Weight Watchers and AA have been successfully using the partner principle for years: people supporting and encouraging each other as they meet their most difficult challenges. They use that principle for one reason: it works. Keeping secrets equals sabotage.
So what’s the problem here? Are we lying to ourselves when we make resolutions? No! These are things we sincerely want, right? Somewhere, in our heart of hearts, we believe these things are possible, right? The problem is that most of us are just not very good planners. How many times have you heard: “If you’re going to be successful in business, you have to have a business plan”? Why should our resolutions be any different? If we’re going to be successful at achieving our resolutions, we have to have a plan! And part of our plan has to account for what we’ll do when things aren’t going according to plan!
Success begins here: choose a project, resolution, or goal. Write it down. Now choose a friend or colleague or coach as your partner. Together, start making a step-by-step plan. The steps can be small. (In fact, one of the most satisfying parts of having a plan is crossing out the steps you’ve taken. If the steps are small enough, you’ll do a lot of crossing out along the way. What fun!) Build in some check-points when you and your partner can evaluate your progress and make adjustments. Once you’ve got the hang of it, start your plan for another project. Before long, you’ll have achieved your resolutions!
We can lose weight, stop smoking, and make tons of money. We can become that agent everybody looks at—the one who’s closing deals by the dozen all while living a balanced fulfilling life. All we need to do is make a plan: plan your life and live your plan! And if we do that, guess what else we do? We eliminate self-sabotage. Wow. It’s like a miracle!
(Patti Kouri, GRI, Accelerated Performance Coaching, is a Master Coach who works closely with executives, managers, and real estate sales professionals. She offers dynamic and innovative techniques to help people achieve their goals and specializes in breaking through limits. “I work with people with big visions for themselves who want to make a dream into reality or create more meaning in their lives.”)