Set Your Goals for 2021

The New year is upon us, and we know the drill, right? It’s time for some resolutions. But perhaps for 2021, in addition to the usual oaths to lose weight, exercise regularly, or save money, you might consider setting a few goals for yourself as an agent.

Why Goals?
Goals serve a genuine purpose toward helping us achieve success by:

Requiring a targeted focus – It’s easy to get distracted when engaged in day-to-day routines, and sometimes we can be lured into chasing “shiny objects” that amount to little more than fool’s gold. Goals make it easier to look past less-productive activities that will vie for your attention. Plus, they’ll help you move toward fulfilling long-range plans by providing clear targets in the here and now.

Creating an imperative to act – Judging by your choice of careers, it’s safe to say you probably have a sizable competitive streak and are motivated to “win.” You enjoy this game, and goals set a mark for you to make, providing a psychological boost to give your best effort.

Moving toward ongoing self-improvement – When sprinters break records, they aren’t out to simply match their time at their next race. Instead, they want to break the record again and again. As a result, the athlete is motivated to constantly get stronger and faster. Setting and surpassing goals work the same way for agents, as you continually become better in your profession.

What Makes for a Good Goal?
Writers on the subject of goals frequently refer to the SMART acronym to help define the characteristics of worthy goals. Make sure your chosen goals have the following attributes:

  • Specific – Be relatively narrow in setting the parameters for what you want to accomplish.
  • Measurable – Be able to “score” your performance so there is no question as to whether your effort was successful.
  • Achievable – Have goals that you can potentially reach so you actually have a chance to feel good about what you’ve accomplished.
  • Realistic – Yes, you should stretch beyond your comfort zone, but if factors like the economy, time limitations, or other commitments make them virtually impossible, consider scaling back.
  • Timely – In the not-too-distant future, you will want to enjoy the reward for your effort (whether that’s monetary, knowledge of making a greater positive impact on the world, or simply “winning”).

How to Get Where You Want to Be
Now that you know why goals are important, and have an idea of how to choose them, here are some basic suggestions to help you reach them:

  • Write your goals down – There’s just something about putting an action item down in writing that instills the task with legitimacy and urgency. And once the goal is written down, place it where you can’t help but see it on a regular basis.
  • Assess the situation – Identify any weaknesses (personal, organizational, etc.), as well as other potential obstacles, to achieving your goals. Then line up necessary resources, acquire any needed knowledge or training, and make other changes that will alleviate these concerns.
  • Have a plan – “Rome wasn’t built in a day” as they say. Make a note of everything you will need to do to reach your objective and arrange the steps in logical chronological order. Not only will this help keep you on track, but you’ll also enjoy periodic psychological payoffs along the way as you check these steps off, one by one.
  • Let others know about your goals – Enjoy the positive feedback from friends, family, and colleagues that come from proclaiming what you want to accomplish in the new year. Plus, sharing your goals requires an investment of ego that will make it harder to give up when the going gets a little rough.

Finally, don’t forget to consider how you might enjoy the fruits of your labor. After all, excellence deserves a reward. Companies often offer a variety of incentives to encourage agents to attain new levels of success. Why not align your goals to earn the recognition and other awards the company offers? Regardless of your specific goals or any external inducements, be sure to find a way to personally celebrate your milestone achievements.

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