One day, Alice came to a fork in the road
and saw a Cheshire Cat in a tree.
“Which road do I take?” she asked.
His response was a question: “Where do you want to go?”
“I don’t know,” Alice answered.
“Then,” said the cat, “it doesn’t matter.”
~Lewis Carrol, Alice in Wonderland
Goals, anywhere in life, are like a road map: taking you where you want to go, and planning how you want to get there. Goals as a student are no different, because they lay out time lines, and how and where to study, creating success. Research shows that setting goals predicts better grades and completing the curriculum in a timely manner.
Goals can be long term for real estate course work, such as when you wish to complete the class, and some can be more short term, such as finish a chapter in the textbook. Where should you start? Well, that depends.
Let’s talk about ONLINE real estate classes, because live and virtual classes keep a time line for you. For online students, you can create your own pace and schedule. You might enjoy: Top New Agent Choices: Assistant vs Team vs Solo
You might have a drop-dead time frame on needing to complete the course. If you HAVE TO get the course done in 2 months, then start at the long term goal. 60 days from today, it is done. Then work backwards. If the Course is three modules, then each module needs to be completed in 20 days. If a module has 6 chapters, perhaps you will give each chapter 3 days: One day to read the chapter, one day to watch class videos, and one day to take practice tests. Then all chapters will be completed in 18 days, giving you two days to study module practice tests before you take the exam.
For others, it might make more sense to work from the other direction. Because of family and work obligations, you think 1 week per chapter is realistic. Write it out and see if the final time frame works—are you done when you want to be, or should you modify your goals? The important thing is that without goals, you might never have thought that through, and realized that you should quicken the pace a bit to get you where you want to end up. Don't miss: Turn your Passion of Social Media into a Successful Real Estate Business.
How to Set the Right Goals
Many of us have heard about SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-specific.
Make your goals as specific as possible. The more specific a goal is, the easier it will be to focus on it and accomplish it. Even better, it takes the “on the fly planning” (a time waster) out of the equation. So, having a vague goal of “I want get two chapters done by next week” leaves you up in the air of how and when that is going to happen. What is worse is when you have a little time, you might find yourself trying to figure out what to do… Check Facebook? See what’s on the DVR? Should I grab dinner? By the time you get around to thinking about studying, half the time is gone. If your goal is specific, like “M-F, I’m going to study for 90 minutes in the conference room after work”, now you have something to work with. When the metaphorical whistle blows, there isn’t any confusion on what you do now. Without wasting any time, you grab your text book or laptop and head to the conference room to get in your 90 minutes. That is an actionable plan. Check out: How Do You Start a Successful Real Estate Career
A goal should be measurable. In the last goal, if the goal was to “study after work” it wouldn’t be measurable. But, when the goal is 90 minutes, M-F, that is measurable.
Make sure your goals are attainable and realistic. It is great to have ambitious goals. But if they are overly ambitious, something that is really not possible, you are only setting yourself up for failure. In the above goal, 90 minutes per day is probably attainable.
Your goals should also be time specific. Work through the timeframe of the goal. How much will you get done in 90 minutes 5x a week? Will that get you to the end when you want to be? Should you make it 2 hours a day instead? Or maybe it doesn’t need to be so aggressive, and you could do it 4x a week. You might enjoy: Can I Start Real Estate for Just “Extra” Income?
Stay on Track With Your Goals
Although setting goals is the critical first step, it is important to stay with them. Here are some ways to stay focused on your goals.
Remember the "why". As with any goal in your life, it is important to remember and focus on why you created the goal. Why did you decide to get your real estate license? To have more time to spend with your family? To get a career where you can have unlimited potential? To help people? To supplement your current income? Whatever it is, keep that in the front of your mind, and as big as you can. No “what” is too big, as long as you always remember “why”. Write it out and frame it, make a little vision board with pictures, put post-its on your computer… whatever works for you. Check out: Why Do People Choose a Real Estate Career
Be consistent on your actions. It is much easier to get into a good routine, maybe studying each day a week for one hour, than to take 6 days off, and try to study 7 hours in one day.
Write down your goals. Studies show that when people write down their goals, they are 33 percent more successful in achieving them. Written goals are concrete and motivational, and the progress towards them increases feelings of success. Hey, we all like success! You might like: Do Real Estate Agents have High Job Satisfaction?
Revise, if necessary. If a goal isn’t working, change it. Perhaps it’s too easy; you can do better. Perhaps it is too challenging or circumstances have changed. You don’t need to abandon a goal, just modify it. You might enjoy: Ways to Make Money with a Real Estate License (Without Selling a Home)