The 5W's of Goal Setting

A common habit of all successful people is setting & achieving big goals. Goals provide us a way to keep score, they help us recognize the wins in life and to give us an opportunity to reward others for their achievements. Without goals you end up just floating in the ocean - rather than being on a direct route.

How to set goals?

There are 5 key element of setting great goals. I call them The 5W's of Goal Setting.

In order to turn your goals into action you need to write them down. To help keep the 5W's organized I created a free Google doc template you can download to help get you started.

After you write them down, make it a daily habit to review them on a regular basis:

The 5W's of Goal Setting

  1. What

  2. Why

  3. What

  4. Who

  5. When

The What - what do you want

Be very specific on what you want. Imagine the total achievement of this goal. Write down a description of what that looks like.

Bad Example: I want to purchase my rental property

Good Example: I want to purchase my first rental property which will be a single family, 3 bed house, on a quiet street in Plymouth Meeting, PA, cost under $250,000, and need of minor cosmetic upgrades.

The Why - driving force behind it

Ask yourself why do you want this in your life? How would it make you feel to achieve this goal? What is the driving emotional force behind the what?

Bad Example: I want to make money so I can quit my W2 job.

Good Example: Buying this first property will be a great learning experience to put me on the path of financial freedom. Financial freedom means eventually I can stop or reduce trading my time for money when the passive rental income will exceed my monthly expenses. Financial free will allow me to spend more time with my family, go on epic vacations and create life-long memories. Success with this first property will give me confidence to start building a rental portfolio

The Way - massive action plan

Write down all the activities & actions that need to happen to achieve this goal. Do a brain dump.

You may have a huge goal, one that would truly give you total fulfillment in life. You write it down but then say to yourself "I have no idea how to do this, it's too big".

Don't worry if don't know all the steps to achieve your goal. All you need to know is the step 2-3 steps you need to do. By achieving those steps the next 2-3 will become obvious and you'll know what to do.

Bad Example:

  • Sign up for Zillow alerts

  • Start saving money for a downpayment

Good Example:

  • Find out who the top investor-friendly realtors are in my market

  • Create a spreadsheet with initial costs & cash flow projections

  • Create together savings plan by reducing personal expenses

  • Research investor friendly banks

  • Get pre-approved for loan

  • Decide if buying personal or LLC

  • Create LLC & setup business accounts if necessary

  • Drive potential neighborhoods looking for vacant houses

  • Next…

The Who - who can help you achieve this goal

Leverage other people’s skills & knowledge to help you achieve massive success

If you did a good job with your massive action plan from above you will have an extensive list of to-do items. Instead of asking "how am I going to do all of this", ask yourself "who can help me with all of this" (PS there's an awesome booked "Who Not How" that will give you the blue-print to achieve this).

Bad Example: my uncle Gerry has a real estate license maybe he can help

Good Example:

  • Join the local real estate investor chapter to get referrals

  • Find a good wholesaler who is active in my target market

  • Talk to the mailman/Amazon drivers in my target neighborhood to see if they know of any vacant houses & to keep an eye out for me. Give them a small gift as "pre thank you"

  • Get to know local property managers to see if any of their current clients may be interested in selling

  • Get advice from cousin Billy so owns a few rentals

  • Next…

The When - timeline

Start with the end in mind then work your way backwards. Give yourself deadlines for as many action items as possible

Based on the timeline for your end goal, back into dynamic other timelines. For example if your end goal is 10 years, I'd have a 5-year target, 1-year target, 6 month, 3 month. If your end goal is 1 year, I'd have a 6 month, 3 month, 1 month target.

Bad Example:

  • Someday

Good Example:

  • End goal: I will complete the purchase the house within 1 year

  • 10 month - found the property giving me 2 months for due diligence & closing

  • 6 month - pre-approved by lender, set aside payment/renovation costs, ...

  • 3 month - found realtor, property manager, drove every target neighborhood, ...

  • 1 month - completed cash flow/budget spreadsheet, identified target neighborhoods, Next.

Take Action

There you have it - The 5W’s of Goal Setting. Now it’s turn to start taking action. Start by writing down a list of all the things you want to achieve in your life. Pick the top 3 that you find the most exciting and start writing out your 5W’s for each. Feel free to use my Google doc template as a starting point.

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