OK, so the stock market is jumping around like a flea on a hot griddle. And depending on where you are, the real estate market is either up, down, or flat. But the circumstances don’t need to dictate your outcome. If you finish 2014 strong, you’ll set the stage for even greater success in 2015. How can you do that?
First of all, don’t let the upcoming holiday season turn into your excuse for slacking off. The myth that “nothing sells during the holidays” is just that—a myth. Even if things are slow, use the time to your advantage. You’re in control, so take charge and implement our four-point plan for finishing this year in style.
1. Re-evaluate. When you saw November coming on the calendar, did you start to panic because you haven’t come close to accomplishing most of your 2014 goals? Or, (shame shame) did you neglect to set any goals at all? Beating yourself up about it now won’t accomplish anything, other than making you feel even more stuck and discouraged. Instead, pick one important thing that you could realistically accomplish before year’s end, and DO IT! It could be that continuing education course you need to take, or the paperwork backlog you need to clean up. Do whatever it takes and then congratulate yourself for your accomplishment. Nothing creates momentum like acknowledging yourself for even a small success.
2. Reform. Now’s the time for a little honest self-evaluation. Are you frustrating your colleagues because you’re late to work most days and missing important deadlines? If you need to get up half an hour earlier or write out a daily to-do list, start today. Even if you’re on top of your game at work, you might have some other habits you can change. Are you munching on cookies and potato chips when an apple is the better choice? Do you have a gym membership that’s getting rusty from lack of use? According to behavioral experts, it takes just 21 days (that’s three short weeks) to create a new habit. You don’t have to revamp your entire life. Just create one new (good) habit between now and December 31. You’ll feel stronger and more self-confident when you do.
3. Relate. How are you doing in the people skills department? Are there any bad feelings or miscommunications you need to clean up? That’s a good starting point. Then look for ways to create new, better, and stronger relationships. For example, you could choose to get more active in local civic organizations, such as the Chamber of Commerce or the Rotary Club. Volunteer with the food bank or the local homeless shelter. Your first reaction may be, “This has nothing to do with my real estate business.” Maybe not directly, but you never know whom you’ll meet when you reach out to others. Today’s committee member may become tomorrow’s client.
If there’s someone you would like to get to know better, now is the time to make the effort. Whether it’s a work colleague, a neighbor, or an important local official, reach out. Invite him or her to join you for coffee or lunch, or attend a business networking event together. Building relationships today is the key to your professional success tomorrow.
4. Resolve. Start now to lay the groundwork for 2015. Do you need to learn a new skill? Enroll in a class or online training program that begins in January. Should you improve your social media presence? Make sure your Facebook and Twitter accounts are up to date and active. Develop a posting schedule and stick to it. Do you have a blog (or should you?) Work ahead on some articles you can post as soon as the holidays are over. No time for writing? Perhaps we can help. Do you need better equipment to improve your efficiency? If you’re craving the latest smart phone or tablet, now would be a good time to work on a budget and keep your eyes open for after-Christmas sales. Or write a letter to Santa. Who knows? It could work.
Your future and your present are in your hands. The situation in the world around you is of less importance than your attitude toward it. Finish 2014 strong, and 2015 will be your best year yet.