Growing up I was the youngest child of 4. Being the youngest and especially of 4 I think my parents were slightly more lenient towards me than may older siblings. I was a good kid but never truly excelled in school because I didn’t apply myself until my college years. Through my high school years I received a lecture from my dad about setting goals. He would say, “Mike, you need to set goals for yourself. Without goals you will have no direction in life”. It finally clicked for me about 6 years ago, he was right.

Many people set new years resolutions and forget about them a few weeks into January. I don’t like new years resolutions for that very reason, but I do like goals. A goal, to me feels and sounds much more positive than a new years resolution. Typically, a new years resolution involves stopping or eliminating a bad habit, not improving a process or statistic. The key to reaching a goal and not forgetting about it a few weeks into January is to map the out the road to success. This is where most fail.

It doesn’t matter if it is a weekly, monthly or annual goal it must be planned out. The best thing to do is take a night to yourself at your office or home and write down a handful of obtainable goals. Don’t be easy on yourself, but you do need to be reasonable with the goals. Once you have them written them down you will then want write down a plan of action. This is the MOST IMPORTANT part. How are you going to reach the goal. If one of your goals is to increase your sales numbers you need to ask yourself what is it going to take to reach those numbers. To reach the goal, will you need to increase your production? Is it as simple 5 extra calls before you leave the office every day? If your goals are not sales related, will it call for reading a new industry book a month? You must ask yourself these questions. This is half the battle to achieving your goals and is the reason why people either reach their goals or don’t.

The industry, the market and your consumers are going to rise and fall like the oceanic tides and there will always be an excuse for your failure. Your competitors will have better loan programs, lower rates, better employees and a better product, if you let them. Set goals, set a plan to achieve them and no matter what the market, your competitors or rates are doing you will have a phenomenal 2008. You are the only reason for your success and failure.

I want thank you all for reading the LeadCritic blog in 2007 and wish you all an excellent 2008!

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