REALTORS: What Long-Term Strategies Are You Using This Year?

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So how do you make resolutions for the New Year when we are in the midst of such a challenging economic environment? Should we just make the usual commitments that are abandoned by Presidents Day or take a longer-term view at the present time?

First, we should begin by deciding what is important to us. Day-by-day we seem to get lost in the challenges of daily life. It is hard to think of the long term when we are stuck in traffic and we can’t get to our next appointment. It is hard to think of saving for retirement when we are trying to make the next mortgage payment. Isn’t this an opportune time to ask at what juncture we will address the significant things in life?

So what is important?

  • Health. There is nothing more important than one’s health. Today, medical advances have made a longer life possible for the average citizen. For those who do not take advantage of today’s advanced medical techniques and knowledge, a longer and healthier life is not assured. What can you do to be healthier? The rules are easy–stop smoking, exercise regularly, eat sensibly and see your Doctor on a regular basis. As easy as these rules are, how many make resolutions each year to do one or more of these things and then never follow through?
  • Lower Stress Levels. Doesn’t it seem as though each year we have more and more time-saving devices, yet less time? More significantly, each device which allows us to be in constant contact with the business world, from cell phones to wireless modems, makes it harder and harder for us to just “get away from it all.” Many of us return from long weekends without piles of phone messages. That is the good news. The bad news is that we are answering e-mail while we are away and supposed to be relaxing.

So how do we reduce stress? Take some time every day to refresh and recharge our batteries. It does not have to be hours–it can be minutes. Clear away the thousands of thoughts and just think about being relaxed. Get a massage. And here is the good news–less stress means a healthier life!

  • Move Towards Financial Security. Want less stress in your life? Have a financial plan that helps you move towards your long-term financial goals. It is never too late to begin a savings plan. Take advantage of your company’s 401K program. If you have children, are you putting money away for their college education? If you have an investment portfolio, is it being reviewed for long term objectives such as diversification and protection against inflation?
  • Make Your Career More Rewarding. Before you deter-mine your annual goals, determine what will make you a success in your eyes. Is it earning enough income to provide a secure future for your family? Is it advancing within your company? Is it starting your own company and being your own boss?

Nothing is more stressful than working hard every year and feeling that you never get ahead. First, you must determine what getting ahead means to you. Then you must take the steps necessary that will move you in the right direction. Perhaps it is adding skills such as computer programming or perhaps it is additional sales training.

There is no better time than now to make progress towards determining long term strategies. If you did not spend some time during the holiday season, sequester yourself away and think about what your long-term strategies should be. Though we have made a few suggestions in our first edition of the new year, you may have other ideas. Your strategies must be your own. Though input from family, friends and even employers may help guide you; this is a road you will travel by yourself.

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