Planning for 2024

Word of the Day – Planning…
This is the time of year. I have used the week between Christmas and New Year for planning going back to the 1980s.
And I have been republishing the following piece for almost as long…
Annual business planning should be done in the context of your life plan.
Now is the time to begin the thought process which will lead you through a successful 2024, in both your business and your personal life. It is important to realize that 2024 (any year) is just part of a much bigger picture. Give yourself the time you need to plan. Planning is THE essential to success. It has been said many ways and two of my favorites are:
“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.”
“Not having a plan is planning to fail.”
The week between Christmas and New Year works well for me as things are usually slow that week and I have time to reflect on the past year while I plan for the new year. It is important not to short change yourself when it comes to the planning process. Give yourself adequate time. The sooner you begin to think about the process the better, and the less time it will actually take to commit your plans to writing and move into implementation.
You plan so that whatever the endeavor, you will be successful.
Success means different things to different people, so begin your planning process by broadly defining what success means to you and giving thought to your vision of a successful 2024. If you are successful in 2024, what will December of 2024 look like?
To some success will be more income, to others it will be more time spent with family and friends, to others a combination of the two…and to others…well, who knows? Success means different things to different people. Defining what success is for you and prioritizing your goals requires an examination of your values. How important are the following to you?
Helping others (Money)
Helping Others (Deeds)
Wealth and Material Possessions
Planning for the future must be done in the context of the future.
You can’t effectively plan for the future from the present. You must step out “into the future” by developing your vision of the future, and then, “from the future,” you will be able to plan your way to THAT future, from the present. Make sense? Just as we all have 20/20 hindsight and can see the important steps that led to success from our past, those important steps to insure success in the present can be more clearly view “from the future.”
When considering what you will do each day…as you prioritize your daily tasks, keep in mind that time is the precious commodity, and none of us has enough of it. What you do today must help you achieve what it is you want to have achieved by the end of the week…and what you achieve at the end of the week must get you closer to what it is you want to have accomplished by the end of the month…and what you have accomplished by the end of the month must be that which takes you closer to what you want to have accomplished by the end of the year…and each years accomplishments should contribute to where you want to be in five years, ten years, your lifetime.
Your daily decisions should be made with the bigger picture in mind. You need to determine the “long range” as it will have an impact on the choices you make today.
One way we measure our success is by the accomplishing of goals. Goals serve another purpose, they give us direction. It is important to set goals. A mistake made by many is that they set limits on themselves and do not set their goals high enough. Human beings are capable of great accomplishment, don’t sell yourself short. As Bing Crosby sang in the musical A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court:
“There’s nothing to be ashamed of, if you stub your toe on the moon.”
My father often told me that the biggest mistake he made in life was not setting his goals high enough.
To be effective, goals must be:
1. Written – This will begin the process of making the goal “real.” Place those goals in front of you daily
2. Specific – Specificity will allow you to focus your intent…a key ingredient to success.
3. Measurable – This will help keep the goal “real.”
4. Valued – Based on what is important to you, this will allow for the prioritization of your goals
5. Shared – This will help create the commitment needed to accomplish even the loftiest goal. Sharing the goal is evidence of your commitment to accomplishment.
It is commitment that is the secret ingredient. As human beings we are capable of accomplishing whatever we determine is important enough for us to accomplish. Choose your goals and commit to them wisely…because once you truly commit, the accomplishment will follow.
Until one is committed
There is hesitancy, the chance to draw back,
Always ineffectiveness.
Concerning all acts of initiative and creation
There is one elementary truth,
The ignorance of which kills countless ideas
And splendid plans:
That the moment one commits oneself,
Then providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one
That would otherwise never have occurred.
A whole stream of events issues from the decision,
Raising in one’s favor all manner
Of unforeseen incidents and meetings
And material assistance
Which no man could have dreamt
Would have come his way.
I have learned a deep respect
For one of Goethe’s couplets:
“Whatever you can do, or dream you can – begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it”.
W.N. Murray
The Scottish Himalayan Expedition, 1951
As for your real estate business:
Begin with the dollar amount you wish to earn in 2024. Calculate your average dollar earned per transaction in 2023. Calculate the number of transaction sides required to hit your dollar earned goal. Based on past experience, determine the number of contacts and calls required to hit your number Make sure you make that number of contacts, at a minimum, each day. Think about your goal each day.
As my old friend Denis Waitley taught me years ago:
“Beginning is half done.”
It’s a grind, but for most of us, the road to success is usually a grind. It is the little things that make a champion.

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