Ever notice how the gym parking lot is always the most full in the beginning of the year? What happens to those people as the year drags on? What happens to the good intentions, the goals, the motivation? If it were easy for us to stick to our goals throughout the year, wouldn’t the parking lot be just as full in December as it is in January?

So what can we do to keep ourselves motivated and on track as we work through our real estate investing goals?

Surprisingly, trying to focus on one big goal (such as rehabbing 12 houses this year) can actually be demotivating.  In some people’s minds, It might seem so far off that they don’t see the clear path to the finish line, so they stop trying. We get much of our motivation and feeling of accomplishment from hitting smaller, more immediate goals.  The momentum we get going from small goal to small goal will eventually lead us to the larger accomplishments.  “Inch by inch, life’s a cinch.  Yard by Yard life is hard.” -John Bytheway

With that in mind, try to break your larger goals into smaller milestones. 

For example, in order to rehab 12 houses this year you first have to rehab one, right? So what action steps do you need to do in order to accomplish this smaller goal? (Make offers, obtain financing, get your contractor lined up, etc.) Starting with the first step and taking this a step further, how many offers do you need to make in order to get a deal tied up?  10?  20? Only you will know this number based on your personal experience.  So in order to hit the 12 houses a year goal, you need to be buying at least a house a month.  In order to buy a house a month, you need to be making at least 3-5 offers a week.  In order to make 3-5 offers a week, you will need to send out a sufficient number of letters/postcards or spending a sufficient amount of time at auctions or the MLS daily in order to make this a reality.  This is the metric we can control.  Whether or not our seller will accept our offers or whether the project will hit delays or the house will sit awhile on the market, is largely out of our control (as long as you have done your best to rehab and market the house.) So focus your efforts on the things you have the most control over, and don’t sweat the other things.

Another benefit to drilling down your larger goals into smaller milestones is it allows you to see the ONE THING that you need to focus on that will have the greatest effect.  Spending your time on that one thing, while ignoring everything else, will get you the most progress in the least amount of time.  The books The One Thing by Gary W. Keller and Jay Papasan and  Essentialism by Greg McKeown are great reads on this topic.

So take those larger goals and break them down into milestones.  Then take those milestones and break those down into focused daily activities.  It’s our daily activities that lead us to our larger goals. What do YOU plan to do on a daily basis to work towards your goals?

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