Starting a Purpose-Filled 2021
It’s the beginning of a new year, full of promise, healing and new beginnings. We could have never planned for the challenges of 2020 before being immersed in the incredibly difficult situations it brought, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn't have a plan of action for the year. By setting an intention we have a GPS to take us through our year. We have a budget, we’ve set priorities for our time and we have defined our purpose, mission, vision and values. That’s just as important from a personal standpoint as it is from a business standpoint. We strongly encourage all our Realtors® to begin each year with a comprehensive business plan. But what about non-Realtors® or independent business owners? Planning is especially important as well. Setting both long and short-term goals helps assure you achieve them. Having a monthly budget helps assure you start creating a savings, or even that bills get paid and there are no surprises along the way. It can mean the difference between increasing credit to buy a home versus needing to rent. Starting your yearly plan can literally be a life changer. Components to consider are what drives you, goal setting, prioritizing, time-blocking and budget.
What drives you? Why are you here on this planet at this moment? What gets you excited about getting out of bed everyday? What is your purpose? If you don’t know the answer to this, some soul-searching is in order first and foremost. You are here for a reason. You can change lives and you do have an effect on people that you don’t even realize. Yes, you can change the world in your own special way. Meditate on that. If you could do anything you wanted to make the lives of others just a little better, what would you do? How would your make your own life better? How would you make a difference for animals, or nature, or anything else you may be passionate about. You are unique and special. You have gifts and talents unlike anyone else. Think of how you can use them. You are formulating your purpose and potential plan of action. Do you feel empowered? You should! This is exciting!
Now that you’ve formulated your purpose, recognize your values. These are the things that are truly important to you. The reason you’ll want to do this is to create great goals. Short-term goals should support and help you accomplish your long-term goals. Your long-term goals are influenced directly by your purpose and values. If you set a goal that counters your values, it will result in cognitive dissidence and not only may you not reach that goal, but it can cause you a lot of tension and stress along the way. For instance, if your primary value is family and making time for your family, having the short-term goals of traveling alone and being away from family for long periods of time could really take its toll on you. There are many ways to meet your long-term goals. When they align with your values and purpose, the path is much smoother and more achievable.
Let’s just say that your overarching idea for 2021 is to buy your first home. That’s something you can turn into a long-term goal. Make it time delimited and practical. When do you want to be able to purchase your first home? Is that realistic? Will your credit score be where it should be by that time? Will you have enough money for a down payment by that time? Will you have enough work history and bank reported proof of funds by that time? These are all valid questions to ask when putting your long-term goal in place. Your long-term goal should be well-researched. When you have a great (i.e. SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely) long-term goal, that makes it easy to create lots of short-term goals to assist in helping you reach the finish line. Say you currently don’t have $5,000 sitting in your bank account, but you’d like to save that much for a down payment. Hello short-term goal! Short-term goals follow the exact same SMART formula too. Set your mini milestones and you’ll make your long-term goal achievable.
Prioritizing is super important because this also will directly affect your values and ultimately it informs your schedule. Prioritizing reflects the things that are most important to you (i.e. your values) and time blocking assures you are giving enough of your most precious resource (time) to what you value most. No one says I’m going to spend 4 hours today scrolling through social media mindlessly. No one says I’m going to binge watch infomercials that just happen to be on TV for 6 hours on my day off. If you go into your day without a plan, some pretty crazy, and all too common things like that can happen though. Adding time to your physical or digital calendar makes you more aware of your time, how long tasks can actually take and how much time you actually may be spending on events that don’t align with your values. Time blocking also sets aside time for you to reach your short-term goals so that you can tackle and accomplish that big, bad long-term goal. Suddenly it won’t seem so big or bad. It won’t feel like a dream. It will be an achievable reality. You will be forging the path to your finish line. That involves effort on your part, and that will require your time. Time-blocking assures you’ve set aside enough time to reach your goals on your terms that work with your goals. You are in control.
Budget is an integral component of your plan. It helps you from being that person that gets paid, spends all their money on fun stuff and oh no, has no money to pay the bills at the end of the month. Bills are dependable. They show up every month like clockwork. For that reason you can easily plan for them. You can plan for those big yearly bills too, like car registration. What if you set aside a little money each month for car registration rather than paying it all in one chunk out of your paycheck? How would that month look different for you? It’s all about planning. It will make your life smoother, and you make even form some new goals when you analyze your incoming income versus what you are spending. It helps you to be more evaluative. What are you spending your money on? Why? The same can be said for time blocking. Soon you can find ways to be more productive and effective.
So now you know the reason for a business plan, yearly life plan or a purpose plan. The important thing is that you do plan. Set your intention daily. Be empowered. Make a difference in your own life and the lives of others. Have others support you and hold you accountable. Achieve your goals and celebrate your accomplishments along the way. 2021 is going to be an amazing new year. It all starts with an investment in you.