“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” — Pablo Picasso

Hi, all! Liz back this week to share a powerful exercise with you. I think you would agree that most real estate investors already believe goal setting is important and necessary. However, most investors do not actually know how to effectively set and achieve their intentions. Most people just write down a bunch of goals and do not go any further to actually ask the questions on “how.” Most people focus on the external, when goal setting instead of focusing on themselves. I have not only created the following exercise, but have completed it many times. I invite you to complete this exercise and then share it with at least one person.

Intentions and goals do not become “real” until we share them with others!

Creating the Right Environment

One last note before you begin this exercise: I would highly recommend you schedule some time to do this in a quiet and inspiring location. It is really important to engage in this exercise when you have no distractions. That means shutting off your cell phone and not checking email or anything during this reflective time. Life is so busy. Take this time for yourself to unplug and focus on you and your intentions.

The HAVE-DO-BE Exercise
1. Preparation Questions

Before you begin the actual exercise below, I would highly recommend you answer a few reflective questions about yourself and how the past year went for you. Before we can set intentions for the future, it is helpful to evaluate the past and present. I am not suggesting that you beat yourself up for what you did not accomplish. That is a waste of time and energy. However, it is helpful to evaluate what is working and not working BEFORE you set any intentions for the future.

1. What successes did you have this year in your real estate business?

2. What did not work for you this year in your real estate business?

3. What habits served you in achieving your goals? What ineffective habits do you need to stop doing as you plan for 2015?

2. The “HAVE” Section

As you begin this process, I would invite you to really think about what you want. Not what you “should” want, but what YOU REALLY want. There is a lot of societal and family pressure that sometimes forces us to want what everyone else wants. I would invite you to watch yourself that you don’t get sucked into this. Focus on YOU, your path, and don’t make any excuses!

Related: Goals Without Limits: How to Make Big Dreams for 2015 into Achievable Plans

It is December 31, 2015. What has to happen for you to feel happy and successful in your real estate business?

Now think about potential obstacles that are in your way of achieving what you just wrote earlier. On the left side of the page, write down the obstacle and the right side of the page; write down ideas on how to turn this obstacle around!

3. The “DO” Section

Action. Action. Action

What actions are needed to achieve what you wrote as a response in the first question, “What has to happen….”?


1. Make them measurable and specific.
2. What skills & educational resources will you need along the way?
3. Success leaves clues. Who can you surround yourself with and learn from?
4. Some actions should be short term; others should be long term.

4. The “BE” Section

This is by far the most overlooked part of goal setting. This is overlooked because it is the hardest area. It is hard to look at ourselves. It is even more difficult to be aware and honest with ourselves.

Who will you need to *be* in order to achieve what you want? Dig deep here!


1. Who would you HAVE TO BE in order to “squash” your obstacles?
2. Who would you BE if you already achieved the results you wanted?
3. Think of people you know (famous or not) that have WAYS OF BEING that inspire you?
4. What habit can you form to keep this WAY OF BEING active in your daily life?

Three Final Thoughts

As you complete this exercise, I want to share a few tips and reminders:

Related: You’ll Reach Goals Faster by Rewarding Yourself: Here’s Why

1. Be gentle with yourself. Don’t beat yourself up for what you did not do in 2014, and don’t second guess what you can achieve in 2015. Bottom line : goals and dreams are not achieved with negative thinking.

2. Be bold, but set yourself up for success by starting small. Small successes lead to bigger successes. Therefore, if you have never purchased a property, I would not set an intention to buy 100 units next year. I think that is setting yourself up for failure.

3. Get support. No one achieves anything by themselves. Get an accountability partner that you can “check in” with monthly and share how you are doing in achieving your goals.

In closing, good luck as you embark on this reflective time. I would love to hear how this process worked for you. Please share your thoughts and your greatest “aha” below in the comments if you take on completing this worksheet!!

Will you use this method of achieving your goals? What’s your best exercise for productivity?

Leave me a comment below, and let’s chat!

The post The Detailed, 3-Step Exercise You Need to Set Your 2015 Goals – and Stick to Them! is property of The BiggerPockets Blog. and is Copyright © 2014 BiggerPockets, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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