Goals: What do you want?
It's imperative to have goals, especially as an investor. In far too many conversations, I hear plans being discussed but not clear goals. Investors talk about where they want to be, but they don't have a backing of why, or how they're doing it. Most people have cloudy wants instead of what they need which are clean, trackable, simple goals.
The first step to achieving a goal is setting one. Sounds obvious right? Not so much. Goal setting has been misconstrued time and time again. Goals need to be SMART
Specific: This is critical. What EXACTLY do you want? How much?
Measurable: Can you measure it and track it? If not, you're not going to achieve it.
Attainable: Is it realistic? Does it make sense?
Relevant: Is it related to your company or function? Will it IMPROVE the business or yourself?
Timely: How long will it take? Is there a deadline? WHEN?
Creating a SMART goal is the best and easiest way to evaluate and create goals. This framework allows someone to take their cloudy wants and define them into specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely goals.
Tracking, or "measuring" in the mnemonic acronym is a critical aspect. When a goal is not measurable, there is no way to see progress, and the chances of completion plummet. Tracking a goal allows room for edits or pivots to be made in the process and the results will show what works and what doesn't. If you're tracking a goal and you change something and the results increase, you know to do more of that.
Tracking also ensures that the goal is on time. By measuring the results consistently, and comparing them to the end result, you can figure out if you will hit your mark on time. If not, you can figure out how to increase inputs to speed up results.
Accomplishing a goal (a large one especially) takes time. Time is the biggest enemy of a goal. If you can preserve through challenges and the external environment, a goal will eventually come to fruition. It's important to recognize small wins through the process and to enjoy the journey. If you created a SMART goal, are tracking it, and are relentless, you will achieve it.
Let's relate this to a specific scenario. A person has a goal of investing in real estate to achieve financial freedom. When reading that, you should have said STOP. Financial freedom is vague, it's relative, and it's certainly not SMART. For this person, financial freedom means having $5,000 per month in passive income. This is specific, measurable, and relevant but not necessarily attainable or timely. We need a timeline. $5,000 passive income per month within 5 years. Now it's SMART.
This person defined their goal, and now they can begin working to achieve it. In order to do this, they would need to educate themselves, find a sponsor, vet the deal and the team, and invest. Then they would need to measure their results and see if they're on track.
Goals are serious and a lot of people tend to struggle with accomplishing them. In most cases, it's because they are not following the simple guideline we outlined above. This framework is an easy and super effective method to achieving any goal you desire. Choose the goal. Make it specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely, then track it and stay persistent. You can achieve anything you set your mind to.