Is it really another year already? Is there something magical that happens when the ball drops in Times Square (or an hour or 2 or 3 for those of us not in EST)? No- other than it is symbolic of time passing us. It happens whether we want it to or not. I personally think that the New Year is a great time to look back and reflect on the prior year - good and bad. Then look forward to the new year. Focus on some things that could be different A time when just a bit of reflection can be meaningful. Now I certainly believe that any of this can be done at any time of year but with the symbolic start of the New Year, I really like to focus on dreams, visions, goals or plans for the new year.
I have found it interesting that so very many people that I talk with do not believe in any type of New Year's resolutions. I personally don't refer to them as resolutions but as my dreams and goals. I think the word resolution might just be too rigid and many people tell me that they don't believe in them because they feel like it just sets them up for failure. Perhaps that is why I call them dreams or goals. I know that I may fail at some of them but with persistence and intentionality, these things can be achievable. Here are some of the dreams or goals for 2019 that I have personally and for my business. I share them only to perhaps inspire or encourage others and to also have encouragement and inspiration from you. Please after reading this list, share with me some of your goals or dreams for 2019.
Exercise- Before I was an appraiser, I was a school teacher. I was up and moving much more. Once I started appraising, I loved the work, I loved the research and analysis but unfortunately, I didn't move near as much as I had before and I began to slowly pack on unwanted pounds. A year ago, I accidentally walked in a 5K run (you can read about it here) and I was encouraged to try to start running. It was a great decision for me. I feel better and I know that I am able to be a better appraiser, wife, and mom as I have much more energy. I was truly motivated because I was turning 50 and had a history in my family of people dying in their 50's from heart attacks. It is never too late! I would encourage anyone to try different types of exercise and find what works for you. My husband and I also cycle which is easier on the joints and I have many friends who love yoga. There is just too much research out there warning us of the dangers of prolonged sitting. I am also in a few groups to encourage good health. I recommend these for appraisers: Health Business for Success and 100% Fit To The Fest Weight Loss / Get Fit Challenge.
Diet- We all know that our diet really does play a huge role in our overall physical health. In my experience when I have gone on "diets" they were restrictive. Counting calories, only eating certain things, avoid other things at all costs. It has been my experience that this type of "dieting" is not sustainable over time and I would end up right back where I started or even worse. What I have found to work much better is educating myself on different types of food and what is best for me. This past year I read a book by Kelly Leveque titled Body Love. This book was a great informational read and really set me on a path of just changing the way I thought about food. I actually gave up my Dr. Pepper addition that I had for decades! I have also made a few changes like drinking my coffee black instead of adding cream and sugar ( saved a little $ not purchasing the high-calorie drinks at the coffee shops!). So for me, this year I am just focusing on eating things that I know are better for me physically. I also have incorporated drinking much more water. I have learned how important hydration is. My crazy headaches have become very rare now!
Organized- As an appraiser, being organized is extremely important. I mentioned in my earlier post about working together with my husband that he is a filer and I am a piler. I truly admire his organization and strive to add a bit more of it into how I operate. We all know that if we can get our work turned around quicker, without sacrificing the quality, then it will be more profitable for us as well as our clients. We live in the day of instant everything but some processes do take time and we don't want to cut corners. That being said, if I can be more efficient with my time and efforts I will be more production. One of the things that I added back into my work and life is the use of a planner. When I was a teacher, I used a planner all of the time. I mean I constantly had lesson plans to do but I really didn't incorporate that into my appraisal work until just recently. Now, I have always used calendars and I really like using Google Calendar because I can look at multiple calendars at once or just isolate one at a time (my daughter's band program uses google calendars, I have my personal calendar and then work calendar, etc.). This is a great feature! To be more organized I have now been using a planner to help with my all of the various life goals that I have. The one that I use is the Living Well Planner by Ruth Soukup. This one really works for me and helps me not only with business but also the kid's schedules and my personal goals. I also highly recommend the Full Focus Planner by Michael Hyatt or the High Performance Planner by Brendon Burchard.
Network- I plan on doing more networking with other appraisers. I do believe that we all have something to share and we can learn from each other. I know that we tend to be lone wolves but getting out and networking with others helps us be better appraisers. I love being able to refer work to other appraisers that I have met and I love it when other appraisers refer work to us. Joining your local appraiser association really helps our profession as well as our businesses. I highly recommend reading this post from appraiser, Joseph Lynch, Why You Should Join an Appraiser Association. I am a member of the Association of Texas Appraisers and the National Association of Appraisers and look forward to attending some of their meetings this year. Also I heard great things about the Appraiser Fest last year and looking forward to hearing about this year's event.
Education- This year I will be doing more of my qualifying education as I work on upgrading my license to Certified General. I am also planning on attending George Dell's class- Stats, Graphs and Data Science. I believe that as appraisers it is up to us to know how to analyze all of the data that is now available to us. There are many tools available for appraisers for data analytics and I am so very excited to learn the data science that George teaches. I have been a subscriber of his blog for a while now and if you are not subscribed to his blog I highly recommend it. There is so much talk about computers and AVM tools replacing appraisers. I look at all of those things as tools. Who better to use the tools that appraisers who know and understand their markets and understand and have been trained in valuation? My husband says that anyone can use a hammer but not everyone can frame a house. We are the experts! But it is up to us to know how to put our expertise to work with the data and tools now available.
Listening- I believe it is so very important who and what we listen to. I admit I have been a long time news junkie and would have the news on all day long while working. In this modern day of 24-hour news cycles, it can be too much. I found my self constantly being upset and discouraged. This year I have made a big leap to listening to podcasts while working. I shared here the best real estate appraisal podcasts. I also listen to motivational podcasts, informational podcasts, spiritual podcasts as well as entertaining podcasts. This has been a productive change for me. Don't get me wrong, I still very much care about the news and what is going on in the world. I now get a daily email from the Morning Brew which gives me a good unbiased recap of news and I also will check in on different sources to go more in-depth about a story.
So, there are some of my personal and business goals for 2019. I shared these to perhaps encourage you to write down and plan out some of your goals for this year. I have also shared them to help me to be accountable. Know that all does not go smoothly so the first time you go off track don't quit, just get back up, refresh and move forward. If you haven't had a chance to listen to appraiser Blaine Feyen's The Real Value Podcast his latest one titled Don't Fall Off the Cliff. It will inspire you.
Please let me know what some of your goals for 2019 are. What do you have planned for your business? Do you have some personal goals for 2019? I would love to know about them! I wish us all a great 2019!