Goal Setting, Structure, and Accountability, Oh My!
Goal Setting, Structure, and Accountability, Oh My!
It’s funny to reflect on the past six years of my life because I can’t relate to the person I was just six years ago. The best way to describe a young recently graduated me, is to a baby bird that’s fallen out of the nest. Looking back on that moment, I almost don’t believe that disheveled person was me. It took me almost two years out of college–traveling, moving to a random city and working unsatisfying jobs to finally sit down and think seriously about what I wanted my future to look like. I began looking for help in every way that I could. I read lots of books. The 4 Hour Work Week, Rich Dad Poor Dad and How to Win Friends and Influence People were lifesavers. I began going on walks to think more clearly. I listened to lots of podcasts—The Art of Charm, The Tim Ferris Show, and The BiggerPockets Podcast were eye-opening. Finally, I had found my people. People who lived lives that I always wanted but never thought was possible, simply because the people around me didn’t live that way. That’s when I decided I was not going to be “normal.” I never really was, and I finally realized this was a good thing.
The best advice I got from my books and podcasts was to set goals. Seriously, this has changed my life. I used to live so aimlessly. I compare it to me and my horrible sense of direction…if I don’t have a map (my GPS), I’m going nowhere. So, I bought the Passion Planner and through a goal-setting exercise came to realize what my “big picture” goal is–financial freedom. I want financial freedom to invest in my community, to have time to spend with family and friends, to invest in people who are passionate about something and need a little funding and encouragement to get it started. After much research and reflection, I knew I could achieve my goal of financial freedom through real estate.
Even before I decided to get my license, I wanted to buy a house. I grew up with a father who was always talking to me about investing and finances, but I never took any interest until graduating college and moving to Austin. I wanted to buy a house to live in and rent out the extra rooms. The only problem was that no one was helping me understand how I would achieve that. I looked on Zillow and was severely mislead about the buying process. I worked with a realtor I found on that same website who also wasn’t the best guide. She ended up wasting her time and mine by showing me homes I was not able to afford. A couple of years later, I discovered my “big picture” goal and decided I wanted to get involved in real estate investing. I thought back to how horrible my experience as a first-time buyer was, and it all clicked. I would become a realtor and help educate first time buyers and sellers and use my commissions to fund my real estate investing. This path would lead me on the road to financial freedom.
Getting my license was not hard, I think that’s why so many people become realtors. People hear you get to create your own hours and they think they will figure the rest out later. I consider myself a cautious person so of course I did a lot of research. I knew that most realtors don’t make much money and the job is not easy. I spent a year working for another realtor before I started on my own and it still took me about six months to make my first sale. It was a scary time, but I was building my business and staying positive by focusing on the big picture goal, meditating, continuing my daily walks, and listening to plenty of inspiring podcasts. Consistency and goal setting always save me. During my first year, I tried a lot of different ways to lead generate and most of them forced me outside of my comfort zone. An uncomfortable strategy to me was knocking on people’s doors, inviting them to an open house I was hosting. This discomfort was a test for myself; I wanted to learn to become completely comfortable around people I didn’t know. Nobody tells you this, but you are on your own as a realtor; you are a business owner.
Fast forward to today, and I live for the company I keep, the systems I’ve put in place, my accountability partners, and my goals. I’m a completely different person from that aimless college graduate. After changing careers and getting serious about my life, I doubled my income in two years, bought three properties and am living a life I’m proud of.
There are a few things I’ve incorporated into my day to day that have helped me get to where I am that I’d love to share with people who are looking for a little direction. These systems have helped me create order and structure. Most entrepreneurs need to be meticulous about structure because no one is there to tell you to get out of bed, stop working or start working!
GET AN ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER
I met Amanda Horvath through a Facebook group. We met up in person and instantly clicked. She is a passionate go-getter, an entrepreneur and oh so young! I was impressed. We became fast friends. We went to a retreat together based off of the book The One Thing and soon after decided to be accountability partners. Each week we work on something called a 411 (shown below) and meet each Tuesday morning to go over it and push each other to clarify our goals.
GET A GRATITUDE ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER
I met Sandra when I first got my real estate license. I immediately loved this quirky human. She’s so full of life and not afraid to try new things and get out of her comfort zone. Everyday Sandra and I text each other three things we are grateful for. They can be little things like “I’m grateful for a quiet morning to myself” or big things like “I’m excited I had a closing this week!”. I’ve noticed a change in myself from my mindfulness practices. I complain less and appreciate the little things more.
CREATE A MORNING ROUTINE
Creating a morning routine has been key to creating the structure I crave in my life. When I wake up I don’t have to think–I put on my workout clothes and get my ass kicked at a boot camp. I then come home listen to a podcast while I make breakfast, meditate and journal. I’m not perfect, and the last two steps I skip or push back if I have a super busy day ahead, but I try to make this a consistent part of my life. Even if I have a horrible day, I woke up at 6:30 am and got a workout in and that’s something I can be grateful for.
GO ON MORE WALKS!
I love to break up my day with a walk. After I do so (usually around 2 pm), I feel more creative and less anxious. I’ve come up with some of my best ideas on these walks, and I highly suggest it to people who have anxiety or spend way too much time at their desk.
READ MORE BOOKS/PODCASTS. WATCH LESS TV.
At the beginning of the year, I told myself no TV during the weekdays. Although I consider myself a sociable person, I can definitely get into ruts where all I want to do is binge watch shows. I don’t feel good about it, but it’s easier than working on a to-do list. Try limiting your TV time each week and see how you’re starting to feel after a few weeks.
TRY MEAL PREPPING
I love food and going out to eat very much so this was a little hard to convince myself to do. Ultimately, my big picture goal also includes sustaining a healthy lifestyle, and that includes what I put into my body. I try to prep my meals or buy a week’s worth of prepped meals on Sunday and eat mostly at home Monday through Friday. Meal prepping helps me eat healthier and save money.
I hope this has inspired some people to look into their daily schedule to see if there is some room to create a more fulfilling lifestyle. It can be hard to incorporate new routines into your day-to-day, so I would suggest picking one thing and sticking to it until it’s second nature to you. A goal I had to work on a few years ago that changed my life was my workout routine. I wanted to wake up each weekday morning at 6:30 and workout. My reasons were to stay healthy and help calm my anxious mind. Two years later and it’s not something I think about anymore. I don’t dread it, and it’s something I prioritize and enjoy.