"I'll wait and see" is a common response to "How is 2014 going to turn out for you?" However, you aren't a leaf passively blowing in the wind of change, but a proactive agent for your own future - when you chose to be! "Wait and see" is the passive approach few can afford in 2014. It's already cost too many too muchin previous years.
Whether you begin this new year as a property owner or a wannabe, as an employee or an entrepreneur, you can choose to start 2014 as a determined futurist ("If it is to be…"), or a wish-distracted fatalist ("I guess it wasn't meant to be"). I can't help you achieve the latter, but the shift to determined futurist is right up my alley.
One of my most effective proactive mantras is "If it is to be, it's up to me." Recite this to yourself when problems or opportunities arise, and you'll stop making excuses and dig in. This proactive strategy and others like it help you deal with unpleasant surprises like unexpected problems which should have been expected, and unexpected opportunities which should have been obvious to you - they were to others.
Avoid unpleasant surprises in 2014 by using these 3 strategies before the year gets away from you:
1. Establish expectations
2. Confront your Achilles' Heel
3. Ramp up determination.
With so many things political, financial, social, and environmental in flux, "wait and see" thinking guarantees a bumpy road ahead. The following three things you can't afford to "wait and see" about in 2014 often require only a shift in attitude to launch you into action:
1. Establish Expectations
This is akin to setting goals, but less intimidating since it's easy to do with an attitude shift. You always have expectations, good and bad, about everything. Problems arise when these expectations are consistently negative or unconsciously set too low.
We are often unaware of exactly what we expect when undertaking renovations, home buying, mortgage arrangement, and other key real estate activities. Too often assumptions cloud our understanding of realistic expectations and of the potential for even greater achievement. For example, the parents of toddler Jack thought they were creating reasonable expectations for the first Christmas little Jack was aware of Santa. They took Jack to visit Santa at the mall, and Jack rhymed off the presents he expected to get from Santa. He loudly burst into tears when he discovered that Santa was not going to give him the toys that minute. Jack was inconsolable when he learned he would have to wait f-o-r-e-v-e-r (five days) for Santa to deliver them. Are your expectations grounded in fact, or will you end up in tears like Jack?
What you don't know, real estate professionals are paid to know, so there's no reason for your expectations to be anything but dead on and fully achievable. Missing or misunderstood details - sometimes seemingly minor things - blow expectations out of the water. Real estate professionals are detail oriented - your details, that is. Their job is to clarify your expectations in all contexts and enhance outcomes when possible. Set clear, exciting 2014 expectations, and you'll stay focussed as the year unfolds.
2. Confront Your Achilles' Heel
Your Achilles Heel represents a weak spot or significant vulnerability, which can undermine strength and preparedness and lead to loss or failure. While the mythological origin of this analogy refers to a specific body part, when it comes to real estate, your weakness may be a bad temper, shyness, or any characteristic or situation that gets in the way of you consistently acting in your own best interest. Take the time to find the right personality match in a real estate professional and you'll have someone who understands how to help you excel in spite of any of your shortcomings - with your cooperation. As a property owner, your Achilles' Heel may relate to issues that undermine ownership like job loss or perhaps physical characteristics of your property that are vulnerable to extreme weather. Professional support in this instance may include verifying you have the best contingency insurance coverage possible.
3. Ramp Up Determination
The best way to exceed expectations is to stop making excuses. Excuses are poison to progress. I've always maintained that "many reasons, no excuses" is the best approach for consumers and professionals alike. Understand why things did not work and look for ways to improve results when the next opportunity arises. Spend your creativity on great excuses and you've accomplished nothing except wasting time and opportunity. Be determined to meet and exceed your expectations of a newly-renovated home, home ownership, or whatever real estate results you value - no excuses.
You can tackle these three areas yourself, but why not leverage the proven real estate knowledge, negotiation skills, and problem-solving experience that your local real estate professionals are willing to contribute to help you exceed your expectations?
Expect the best and use all the tools and professional expertise available to make the best even better. Expect and achieve a terrific 2014!