The Path Forward
Back in April, I wrote an article titled “Navigating the Storm”. At that time, none of us had any idea what the implications would be associated with this pandemic. That being said, most of us have had to deal with things that are known to create a negative impact on one’s mental health like:
- isolation from friends, family, and other social groups that one has been accustomed to being with
- loss of loved ones due to the coronavirus
- having to cope with other people’s emotional behavior(s)
- temporary or permanent loss of income due to having one’s work or business shut down
- being forced to rely on assistance from the government
- having to apply for a forbearance in order to avoid having your home foreclosed on and the stress associated with how to get caught back up on one’s mortgage payments
- not being able to pay rent and yet still occupying the property with the understanding that the loss of rent payments will still have to be made up in the future
- the inability to enjoy the leisure activities one has normally been accustomed to like travel, eating out at restaurants, going to the movies, etc.
Obviously, I am only scratching the surface and there are probably several other things that you might have had to personally deal with, but the reason for bringing this up is because all of these are major life changing events and can have a detrimental effect on a person’s mental health. It’s widely known that a single stressful event or a series of ongoing events may trigger depression or anxiety levels that can alter one’s ability to make intelligent and rational choices on matters that were once easy to deal with.
If you and your family experienced one or more of these types of hardships associated with the pandemic, please understand that much of this was completely out of your control and regardless of how 2121 turns out, there are strategies you can implement moving forward that can make it a much better and happier new year.
Back when I was teaching college, we had an in-service day where some of our faculty members volunteered to offer short seminars based on courses they taught. The rest of us were then able to sign up for those we were interested in. A colleague of mine who worked in the PE and Health Department offered a session on Stress Management which was extremely impactful and had several key takeaways that I have learned to live by. One of these was “don’t allow yourself to stress over things you have no control over.” Obviously, that sounds somewhat cliché and is much easier said than done, but I made a personal goal to focus on this and it has allowed me the ability to only deal with those things I do have control over. This has been extremely helpful in maintaining my stress levels and has also helped me to maintain an optimistic attitude.
For me and my wife, 2020 turned out to be an amazing and highly productive year that allowed us to accomplish almost all of the goals we set for ourselves and our business at the beginning of the year. Because we went through a formal process of writing these goals down and regularly reviewing them, we were able to navigate through the barriers and hurdles thrown at us along the way. Things like Jana having to take care of her mother in Arizona which kept us apart for over 2.5 months, the re-hab of 28 units due to a fire last year that suffered major delays and challenges due to Covid-19 to name only a couple. Additionally, both of us as well as four other family members ended up getting the coronavirus. Fortunately, we’re all okay.
This is the time of year when people sit down and think about what they would like to achieve during the new year. Unfortunately, this usually comes in the form of New Year’s resolutions. As you have probably heard before, nearly 80% of all New Year’s resolutions fail. Why is that? A resolution is not a goal. It’s more like a wish, both which lack specificity and direction due to not being thought out enough, and regularly re-visited.
There is a story about a group of researchers back in 1979 who decided to conduct a goal-setting study on the Harvard Business School graduating class to assess how written and planned-for goals affect later outcomes in life.
Prior to graduation, it was determined that:
- 84% of the entire class had set no goals at all
- 13% of the class had set written goals but had no concrete plans
- 3% of the class had both written goals and concrete plans
10 years later, the students were interviewed again, and they discovered that the group representing 13% of the class who had set written goals but had not created plans, were making twice as much money as the 84% of the class that had set no goals at all.
More importantly, the 3% of the class that had both written goals and a plan, were making ten times as much as the rest of the 97% of the class!
There is a wealth of information about the importance of setting goals correctly and the positive impact they have on individuals and organizations. What’s important to keep in mind is that without a plan, chances for success are minimal.
One of the most widely taught methods for Setting goals refers to SMART goals. This stands for:
Developing the proper techniques for setting, maintaining, and achieving goals is very involved. It is difficult to do by one’s self without some kind of external guidance or training. My wife and I were exposed to SMART goals a number of years ago and immediately saw results when we took the time to actually sit down and do the work, but the problem was actually taking the time to do so.
In 2015, we decided to attend a three-day goal setting event titled “Create Your Future™” hosted by Robert Helms of the Real Estate Guys™ . Based on the results we achieved that first year, we have made it a point to continue to attend every year since. Taking three days of our year to dig deep into those things which are most important to us has had an overwhelming impact on not only our success but our lives.
Keep in mind, even though we are real estate investors, this event has nothing to do with real estate investing but rather designing your life based on YOUR personal powerful passions, strongest skills, highest aspirations.
This year’s event is being held January 8 through the 10th in Dallas Texas and there is still time to take advantage of the advanced rate by clicking here.
If you are unable to attend this year for whatever reason but would still like to learn more about how you can at least convert your New Year’s resolutions into SMART goals, I would be more than happy to help you with that. Simply schedule a call or reach out to me via email at the address below.
None of us know what 2021 will bring and hopefully it will be much better than this past year. Regardless, those who have a solid plan moving forward will have a distinct advantage over those that don’t.
May the new year bring all the good things in life you and your family truly deserve and be filled with great health, wealth, and happiness.
Investing for impact,