Moving into the New Year

The final hours of 2010 are here. This is when we all should make our final reflections on the past year, and see what we need to repeat, and what we need to change in the following year. Here are some tips for getting 2011 started off right.

1) Write down your goals. Goals are much much more likely to be achieved when they are written down and reviewed consistently. Write them down and post them where you can see them on a regular basis.

2) Make a commitment. You have to commit to your goals if you want to achieve them. It can't be just hopes or dreams. Believe you can do it and commit to it until you see the results you desire.

3) Connect with your "why". Unless you have a strong "why" backing up your "what", you will not stay in it for the long haul. Losing weight, increasing your income and building your knowledge are all great goals. But what is the reason that you want to achieve these things? Is it to be more healthy so you can live a better life? Is it to have more freedom or time with your family? Identify what your why is and connect you goals with it. Make sure your daily activities are connecting with your why, and you are much more likely to stick to it and put in the extra effort.

4) Ask for help. If you don't know how to get to where you want to go, find someone who can help you. Find a mentor for your business, or a physical trainer to help you get in shape. Seek out whoever it is that you think can help you the most in achieving your goals. Don't be shy. Remember, "If You Never Ask, the Answer is Always 'No'". People are usually willing to share their knowledge and experience, so take advantage of that and just ask for help. If you don't know anyone personally, find a mentor via books and audio programs and learn from them.

5) Don't give up. Nothing worthwhile is easy. Don't give up. Stick with it until you achieve the end result you are seeking. Remember your "why" is a big part of this equation. Do whatever it takes to get it done.

I hope these tips can help your 2011 get started on the right track. Happy New Year!

Living Without Regret

2011 is just days away, and now is the time that people reflect upon the past year and make goals as to how to make the next year better. Upon reflecting for myself, the process led me to what will be my theme for 2011, and even beyond. That theme is this: Living Without Regret.

What does that mean? Think back over your last year or so. What have you done that you wish you hadn't done? More importantly, what have you not done that you wish you had done? This is the crux of what this theme is aimed at. Most likely, those things you think of will bring up regrets of wishing you had done something differently, or taken action when you didn't, or of passing up an opportunity instead of embracing it. No more. Live without regret.

So how do you go about achieving this theme of living without regret? It starts with looking at your choices on a daily basis. You have to recognize and be aware of when you are doing these things that are later causing you to have regret. Are you purposely avoiding talking to someone about a business opportunity? Are you putting off taking action steps to reach your business goals? When you become aware of the specific things like this that you are doing, you can make the conscious decision at that time to move beyond your fear or whatever is holding you back and just do it. You can cut off the chance of regret down the road by taking the action right away. You know if you don't do it, you will regret it. So be aware of those situations and live without regret. Don't worry about what will happen as a result of you taking action. Just know that even if it doesn't work out as planned, at least you will know that you took action on it. You can live with something not going right, but try living with the regret of never knowing because you never tried.

Now, we all have regrets, so please don't beat yourself up if you are reading this and you're thinking about all the things you wish you would have done. The past is the past. You can't change it, and dwelling on it does not solve anything. All you can do is learn from it, move on, and go from this point forward with the mindset that you are not going to let that happen anymore. You are going to take action, do those things you've been putting off, and make sure you are living in a way that you will not regret never having put forth the effort.

Here's to your 2011. Make it the best year yet. Make decisions, take action, take steps to reach your goals every day. Live without regret in 2011 and beyond.

If You're Not Uncomfortable, You're Not Growing

We all want to be comfortable. We want to have a comfortable place to live and live a comfortable lifestyle. We want to be in comfortable surroundings and be around people we are comfortable with. But too much comfort is not a good thing, and will keep you from achieving as much as you are capable of.

If you are comfortable every day, in everything you do, it means you are not stretching yourself. You are not going beyond your "comfort zone". Let me say this plainly: You CANNOT grow if you are always within your comfort zone. Growth, learning and really living comes from being outside your comfort zone.

There are experiences you will never have and things you will never achieve if you are only doing things that are within your comfort zone. By only living within your comfort zone, you are robbing yourself of the potential of these great experiences and achievements. Also remember that in any worthwhile endeavor, you are going to have things that you need to do that are outside of your normal comfort zone. There is no getting around this. You have to accept the fact that some of the things you want to achieve are going to require you doing things that you do not want to do. This includes things that make you uncomfortable, but also includes doing the things that you just don't feel like doing; but that aspect is another topic in itself.

The good news is, as you start to do things that are outside of your comfort zone, your comfort zone grows. You start to feel more comfortable doing things that were once things that you dreaded doing. Don't assume that people you see that don't seem to have the comfort issues that you do have always been that way. The person that networks a room and talks to everyone without any worry has probably not always been that way. One step at a time you can change what you are comfortable with and what comes easily to you. The key is to stretch yourself beyond where you feel comfortable, and eventually those things will be just as natural to you as breathing.

I encourage you to do something every day that is outside your comfort zone. If you consistently test and stretch it, it will grow, and it will give you the confidence and more opportunities to move forward on your goals. It could start as small as saying hi to a stranger, or if that is already easy for you, it could be calling a prospect you have been putting off calling. Wherever your comfort zone currently is, there is something you can do to make it grow. Get out there and get uncomfortable!

Persistence - The Difference Maker

What's the difference between those who are successful and those who are not? Between those who get what they want and those who only want? There are many differences, such as mindset, obtaining the right knowledge, keeping a positive attitude and other attributes. But a huge factor - a difference maker - is persistence.

Persistence is carrying on when things get tough. When you fail, instead of giving up, you keep pushing forward. Persistence requires a vision; something that will drive you forward when those obstacles get in your way. With a vision of something you truly desire to see to the end, nothing can stop you. You make it your mission to get through anything to get to the other side and finish.

Here's the thing about success that most people that are not successful don't understand. They look at people that are successful and they see the final result, and only the final result. They do not see the years or decades of work and failure that were put in to get where they were. Unsuccessful people simply give up too quickly. Things get tough or they have one failure and they say to themselves that it is too hard or that they can't do it. I could go into many things to help get beyond this and help you to keep moving forward, and I will, but for now remember that persistence is what pays off in the end. You have to put in the work and be willing to keep going "until". If your destination, your vision, is anything worth achieving, you are not going to achieve it overnight, and certainly not without any bumps along the way. But anything worth achieving is worth struggling to get. When you get it, all the work it took to get there makes it worth the while. It makes the struggle not seem so bad, and it makes you appreciate it much more when you have arrived.

Persistence, never giving in, never giving up until you achieve your vision, is just one characteristic of those that are successful. But it is one you must seek to have if you want to make the most of your abilities - of which you have many. Persistence is not everything, it's not the only thing; but it is the difference maker.

If You Never Ask, the Answer is Always "No"

Let me state this clearly: If you never ask for something, I can guarantee you that 100% of the time you will not get. Every single time you do not ask, the answer will be a "No"? How could it be anything else if there was never the opportunity for it to be a "Yes"? Whether it is asking for a sale, asking a business partner for funding, asking someone to mentor you or any other question of proposition, there is only one possible answer if the question is never asked.

Many times we are afraid to ask for something because we are afraid of the answer. We are afraid they are going to say no. But let's think of this from a different perspective. What if they do say yes? If you never ask, you have zero chance of getting a yes from someone. Simply asking raises your chances of success infinitely. You may still only have a very slight chance at getting a yes, but at least there is a chance. Don't hesitate wondering if someone is going to give you a no as an answer. If they do, who cares? It was already a no before you asked, and all you did was confirm it. If you never asked, you would never have known for sure. But who knows? They could say yes, and it could end up being the best question you've ever asked.

You also have something to work with when you get a no, versus having nothing at all to go on when you don't know what the first response is going to be. A no does not necessarily mean no forever. It could mean no for right now, it could mean they need more information or it could mean they don't understand. Whatever the reasoning, at least you have something to work with and you can start dealing with the objections. Without the knowledge of their original yes or no answer, you have nothing to go on.

So make sure that whatever endeavors you are in, ask the questions you are currently hesitating to ask. Ask for more than you think you can get. Ask for the sale when you think there is no chance they will go for it. One thing is for sure, they will definitely not go for it if it was never proposed to them.

Setting Your 2011 Goals

It's approaching that time of year again...already. It seems as though 2010 has just begun and already we are staring at 2011 being right around the corner. Now is the time to sit down and reflect on your 2010. How has the past year been for you? What goals did you reach? What goals did you not reach? Why? Spend some time analyzing the year, so you can use that knowledge when planning your 2011.

Before the end of the year, lay out your goals for next year. What do you want to accomplish? What do you want to change? Do you want to make more money? Do you want to get in shape? List the things that you want to achieve.

Here are some tips for setting your 2011 goals:

1) Don't make goals that you think you should make. Make goals you actually want to accomplish. This is part of the reason so many people fail at their goals so quickly. Their "new years resolutions" are what they think they should do, not what they actually want.

2) Go beyond skin deep. Don't just list what you want. Make sure you understand and list why you want it, and it has to be about more than just "surface" issues. For example, increasing your income is a great goal, but what is your overall objective in doing so? Is it being able to give more? To spend more time with your family? You must identify your "why"'s to keep you going when times get though.

3) Post your goals where you can see them. If they are not in front of you consistently, they are not nearly as likely to be reached.

4) Focus. Don't try to reach every goal in one year. Pick a couple you need to work on or that are foundational for your other goals and focus on those first. Use them as building blocks for your future goals.

5) Share your goals. Don't keep them a secret. Let those around you know what you plan to accomplish. Have someone hold you accountable. Even just telling people your goals increases your chance of success, as you now have other people besides yourself that know if you have or have not done what you said you would.

6) Have a plan. Goals without a plan are just a hope and a wish. You must have a plan of attack to be able to reach them. Without one it will take much longer, if you reach them at all.

I encourage you to actually that some time to put some thought into what you want your 2011 to be like. Put it on paper, use these tips, and make 2011 your best year yet!

Simon Sinek: How Great Leaders Inspire Action Commercial Real Estate