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Goal Setting for Success

“The reason most people never reach their goals is that they don’t define them, or ever seriously consider them as believable or achievable. Winners can tell you where they are going, what they plan to do along the way, and who will be sharing the adventure with them.” —Denis Waitley, Best-selling author of The Psychology of Winning

Before we get into the basics of real estate investing, it’s important to look at the reasons why you are interested in real estate investing in the first place. You must know your “WHY”, before the “HOW” will fall into place. If your WHY isn’t big enough, all the hand-holding and content-rich materials in the world won’t make you a successful real estate investor because that is entirely up to YOU! Yet knowing your WHY will get you through the hard work necessary to achieve great success in real estate investing.

1. Define your why. Be specific. Take a moment to ask yourself:

Why are you interested in real estate investing? Do you want to purchase your own home? Have you always been interested in real estate? Do you want more passive income so that you can do the things you love or that you’re passionate about? Do you want more freedom to spend time with family and friends? Do you want to buy nice things? Do you want to quit your day job?


For example:

“My why was freedom of time and helping people. I have a huge desire to help other people. I come from a middle class family with parents who have no retirement and were working hard for every paycheck. So my why was big because I felt like I had to financially help my family and my church family.”

—Chris Baird


Take a moment to jot down your goals in the following areas of your life. Be as specific as possible. If it your goal is to exercise, write down how often and on what days you’re going to exercise. If you want to take a vacation write down when and where.

Personal. Physical.  Family and Friends.  Leisure, Hobbies.  Financial.  Spiritual.  Community, Charitable.

You may also want to include the “things” that you will buy or do with the money you earn from real estate investing. This is the fun part. If you’ve always wanted a jet ski or a new convertible but couldn’t afford it—write it down on your list.


With a more accurate picture of some of your goals it’s important to do a little self-inventory. We all have certain things we’re passionate about or that we’re naturally very good at. And of course, there are some things we just don’t like to do but we are good at or things that we aren’t very good at, period.  What are your assets or special skills? What do you like to do? Are you really social and outgoing and make contacts easily? Are you really good at crunching numbers? Are you good on the phone? Are you a “Big Picture” type of person? Are you great with details?

It’s important to know what you bring to the table.

Fill in the blank:  My personal assets are ______________.

Spend the most time doing what you’re good at. But, in the beginning you will also need to be willing to go the extra mile by learning and doing a lot of different things in order to help you reach your goals.

By pushing yourself to try out all different aspects of real estate investing, you will find out what you are best at and enjoy. Then you can focus your energies in those areas and delegate or team-build to fill in the gaps.


Stephen Covey, in the Seven Habits of Highly Successful People, says that “We must always begin with the end in mind.” We have to have a concrete goal that we are working toward. And it has to be specific.

Many of us start with long-term goals (6 months, 1 year, 5 years, 10 years) and then create short-term goals (weekly or monthly) to help us reach those long-term goals.

My current financial situation: (Mortgages, debts, paychecks, other income opportunities, etc.) _______________________________________

Now here’s the FUN part. Take a moment to write down your future financial situation. We’re not going to put a timeline on this one yet.

Where would you like to ultimately be? How much yearly income would you like to make? How much monthly income? Would you like to take 3 months of vacation a year? Would you like to travel the world for a year? Would you like to quit your job and pursue a hobby or side interest?

Okay, now look at your vision and determine a time line for when you would like to achieve these financial goals. Try to be realistic when determining your time line. Be sure to stretch, but don’t set unrealistic goals.

If your mind can’t conceive of it, or grasp it, then the goal may be out of reach for now (at least until your mind can conceive of it.)

Now let’s set some specific real estate investing goals. What are your investing goals in the next year? Do you want to purchase a home for yourself? Do you want to help a friend find a home? Do you want to purchase 2 or 3 investment properties? Do you want to earn X amount of dollars from real estate investing? Do you want passive income from rental properties?


You may want to write your goals down on a 3X5 card and place them where you can see them every day. Keep it in your pocket and

read it regularly—when you see it and feel it, it gets into your subconscious mind and has a way of becoming your reality.


This is my real estate investing goal for the next 6 months:

This is my real estate investing goal for the next 1-3 years:

This is my real estate investing goal for the next 5-10 years:

5. Short Term Goals:

Short term goals help us move toward our long term goals in a step-by-step way, asking the question, “what can I being doing now, to get to where I am going?”

For example, one week your goal may be to contact a Title company. Another week your goal may be to take a successful investor out to lunch, etc. Give yourself stepping stones in order to move forward.

The most important thing about goals is to constantly re-evaluate them and form new ones.

It’s good to get in the habit of re-evaluating your goals at least on a yearly basis. It’s also helpful to look at your previous goals and celebrate your accomplishments.

6. Time Commitment:

Set specific, concrete time commitments in order to achieve your goals.How much time can you devote to real estate investing? Remember you get out of it what you put into it…Some people work full time and only have a specific amount of time to devote to investing in the beginning. This is fine, just be realistic about how much time per week you can devote to real estate investing.

Okay, now that you’ve determined your “why,” created your ultimate vision, set long term goals, defined your short term goals, taken an inventory of your assets, and made a time commitment to real estate investing, you can now move forward to become a successful real estate investor so that you can achieve your financial and personal goals!

But please don’t short-change yourself—even though you can breeze through the words above in a matter of minutes, we strongly encourage you to take a few hours if necessary to complete the goal-setting and other exercises above—it truly is a key to your success.

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