January 11, 2016


I was in my car with my 18 year old son and we both noticed a road sign, you know, the ones giving you directions or advising you that there is a delay up ahead. This sign was very different in that the message was clear and easy to understand.

Plan your trip, manage your future

Very succinct, very direct. Quite opportune as well since it is the holiday season in Australia and many families are on the road, going to their holiday destinations. The curious thing about this is, how many people actually spend enough time planning their holidays versus their business lives?

Let us take a simple example. Planning a driving holiday:

Some of the things we do prior to starting our journey are:

  • Research about the destination

  • Read reviews about the accommodation

  • How long it will take to get there

  • Plan for any contingencies

  • Work out how much money we need

  • What we are going to do and

  • When will we be coming back?

Just like planning a short holiday, we need to plan how to achieve our goals. I just ran a workshop on the Psychology of Goal setting for some of the top real estate agents in the country and what was evident was the gap between where they are now and where they want to be.

What are some ways to understand what the gaps are?

  •  Start to examine the shortcomings in your planning

  • Examine everything you do on a daily basis, write it down

  • Examine where you spend your time, what activities or actions you do on a daily basis

  • Do these actions hinder or help you to achieve your goals or outcomes?

If you were planning on losing weight or wanting to get fitter, you would be writing down everything you eat and the amount of calories you consume on a daily basis versus how many calories you burn. The lesson here is simple; you need to write down a plan of the end goal or outcome first, then work a plan or steps that will get you there. Too many people make the mistake of trying to think of all the actions they need to take to get to the goal. You just end up either getting confused or irritated and lose interest fast.

All you need are a few simple steps. To give you an example, we were planning to take my son for a tennis tournament in Newcastle. Here was our plan:

  • What do we want? - Comfortable place, 2 bedrooms, cooking facilities, in Newcastle, close to the tennis courts

  • What needs to be done? - Book accommodation, research places to match our needs, i.e. shops, eating places, handy to beach, washing facilities, etc. Bonus if they have a pool and gym.

  • When do we travel? - Leave on Jan 16th and return on Jan 21st.

  • How much money do we need: $ XX

Now I know this is a simple plan, but if you keep the plan simple, most goals don’t become mountains either, just aim for small steps that get you to your destination.

  • Think about what you need to do to get you closer towards your goal/s.

  • Plan what you are going to do on a daily basis, all the important actions that will get you there.

What is the secret to getting your goals?

Just think about my road trip to Newcastle. Do you think other people have taken the same steps as me to get to Newcastle or any other road trip with their families?

If you answered YES, you are right. Similarly, getting success is not reserved for special people, it is for everyone. It can be as simple as my road trip to Newcastle. The only people who won’t achieve success are the people who do nothing.

Just like the person who prays to God every night, wishing to win the lottery; and finally God responds by telling him, “I can help you get the winning ticket, BUT you got to buy the ticket first”!

You see, achieving your goals is a series of doing the right actions. Know your Goalbefore you start taking any actions and then PREPLAN your actions.

There is only ONE variable here; TIME!

If I had a faster car I probably could have got to Newcastle faster, but did that matter to me? No, I wanted to enjoy the journey with my family. It might matter to you; everyone’s needs are different. So don’t judge, don’t compare yourself to other people; there are too many variables you can’t control. The only things you can control are your thoughts and your actions.