7 Common Goal-Setting Mistakes to Avoid

Ada Ciuca| November 24, 2020

As the holidays start taking over and business dwindles down, many agents take the opportunity to look ahead to the new year. If you didn’t get a head start on goal setting in October, now is the time to check in. Keller Williams University master faculty instructor Antoinette Perez, a 20-year KW veteran with extensive knowledge in goal-setting topics, says it best: “As the year comes to a close and things are naturally quieter within our business, it feels like the right time all around to make a cup of tea, sit down with a blank journal or laptop, and really start to download our brains. Autumn is tailor-made for that kind of work.” 

“If you’ve been doing the mental work along the way and have been somewhat reflective, it doesn’t take that long to sit down and come up with your goals,” Perez says. “Goal setting is a simple process. It’s a billion times easier than going for them.” Where do you want your business to go in 2021? What are the steps you should be taking to get there? As you begin planning for the future of your business, Perez shares the most common goal-setting mistakes that could sidetrack you from achieving your full potential – and how you can avoid them. 

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Common Goal-Setting Mistakes 

1: You’re only looking at the big picture. 

In order to achieve big things, it’s important to set big goals. As successful agents know, most great achievements in life are the result of thinking big and aiming high, but there is a second part to this mindset: Goal setting to the now. If you’re only looking at your big someday goal, take your goal setting to the next level by looking at the five-year mark, the one-year mark, and even monthly, weekly, and daily goals. “Translate it to the short-term actions that you need to be doing starting on January 1,” Perez says. 

2: You’re not quantifying your goals. 

You know you want to increase your year-over-year production, but by how much? As you set your sights on growth, quantify it by attaching a dollar amount or percentage to it. “The more transparent the goal is, the more clearly you can see if you’re getting there or not,” Perez says. Take it one step further by quantifying how far along you should be on a weekly basis in order to be on track to finish the year off strong. 

3: You lose steam. 

Many agents who set clear goals and start off strong in January might find themselves getting busy and losing steam along the way, forgetting to go back and measure where they are versus where they should be once things get chaotic. “Revisiting goals along the way and making course corrections is necessary,” Perez says. 

4: You don’t put a process in place. 

Going hand in hand with mistake number three, some agents losing steam along the way may simply not be aware of their natural tendencies around goal setting and goal achievement. In her own endeavors, Perez shares, she is great at launching, but has a difficult time doing maintenance work. In order to solve for that, she preemptively time blocks on her calendar to sit down and do a quarterly review of where she is at. “When we don’t put in place processes or partners to help us through the areas of goal setting where we aren’t as strong, we are not setting ourselves up for success,” she says. 

5: You’re not setting goals for yourself. 

Throughout her career, Perez shares, she’s noticed that people have a tendency to set goals based on what they believe is expected of them versus what they personally want to achieve. Ultimately, that is detrimental to their growth. “In my observation, the goals that work are the ones that are intrinsically motivated, not extrinsically motivated,” she says. “If we are not excited to get up most days to chase after a goal, we’re going to let little obstacles get in the way and we’re going to make excuses for not achieving them. The moment we are attuned to setting goals we are truly excited about, we are going to see success faster.” 

6: You’re only focused on the finale. 

Sure, that big goal is important, but oftentimes people put so much weight on the destination that there is not enough focus on the path to getting there. “As gratifying as it may be to achieve an end goal that you’ve worked really hard on, if you’re not enjoying the challenges, joy, and friendships you make along the way, I think you may be missing out,” Perez says. 

7: You’re not ready to change. 

Lastly, whatever the goals you set for the new year may be, chances are they will require some level of personal change. “We expect to do things the same way we’ve always done them and achieve great things,” Perez says. “Be ready to learn, grow, and most importantly, change.” 

Now that you’ve added clarity, consistency, and quantity to your goals, there’s one missing ingredient: transparency. If your goals are spelled out in such a way that makes it easy for people to follow along and know whether you’ve done something you’ve committed yourself to by a specific time, you’ll give them a clear source of accountability. “Sometimes when people obscure goals and achievements, they don’t own the goals to begin with – otherwise they would welcome the outside pressure,” she says. “There’s accountability in transparency.” 

Attend KW’s Two-Day Business Planning Clinic 

Ready to put these lessons (and more) into practice? Attend our two-day Business Planning Clinic, where top real estate minds will come together to help you put a plan in place for success in 2021 and beyond! This training is available at no cost to KW agents on December 7 and 8 from noon to 4 CT at KWConnect.com. 

In the meantime, learn more about the importance of goal setting on Outfront, and, if you are a Keller Williams agent, get familiar with the 411 productivity tool on KWConnect.  

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  • Lou mallia says:

    I liked hard copy what about commercial

    • Ada Ciuca says:

      Hi Lou! Thank you for reading and commenting! Could you provide some clarity on your question about commercial? Many of these goal-setting mistakes can be taken into consideration regardless of the type of business that you are running.

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