Setting achievement goals in your mortgage business


How to create more of what you want in 2022 for your mortgage advisory practice. This is the second part of a two part article

– Realistic, Responsible
Realistic has done the rounds for many years on goal setting. Not to be confused with achievable, realistic is all about how real it is for you personally. Are you 100% convinced it’ll happen? What degree of certainty do you have to ensure it’ll be achieved?

ResponsibleResponsible is where it’s at. You’re personally responsible for the goal happening and the impact it has. Everything in life has a cause and an effect. The cause is you achieving the goal, the effect can be seen in three areas:

  1. For example, you – your health or damaged mental health- reached a goal that completely burnt you out.
  2. Others – how much effect did your goal have on other people. Who did you upset along the way, who was damaged by it? For example, you were so ruthless in getting the goal nailed before the year-end, you hurt your partner or didn’t give them the attention they needed at the time. You were too laser-focused to the detriment of others.
  3. The Planet – enough said. That fast car you wanted was built on a 4-litre fuel-injected engine that destroyed your carbon footprint.

T – Timed, Towards
Or timescale. This is where you put some date or time for when your goal needs to be achieved. Day, date and time all help. Is it next year, or will it never arrive?

One of the most potent time-based elements to goal setting is establishing your timeline and planting the goal inside your timeline on occasion it is achieved. We talked about this earlier and will revisit it very shortly. But next comes towards.

One of the most potent time-based elements to goal setting is establishing your timeline and planting the goal inside your timeline on occasion it is achieved.

Towards is a another NLP’ism. One of the meta programmes is an awful title but very impactful. People see things along a spectrum of towards or away from. Some motivation is focused on achieving things in the future, striving for a goal heading towards something.

On the other end of the spectrum is away from. Away from is propelling yourself away from something to achieve a goal. For example, losing weight, getting a better figure, or leaving the current relationship. Goal setting works best towards goals since we generally get what we set out for. Losing weight can be converted to gaining a meaningful frame or squeezing into speedos on summer holidays.

More powerful.

Timeline Goal Setting
This is one of those techniques that you must try to embrace the concept. It does sound a tad whacky. On my first timeline exercise back in the 1990s, they called it timeline therapy. Now, if that’s not enough to put you off doing something serious and grown-up, I don’t know what will.

But it worked; I was hooked. So I want to share with you how it works and how it’ll deliver significant advantages in having some of your larger, hairier goals come true.

The first step is to believe this can work.

The second step is to discover your imaginary timeline. Ask yourself the question, “if you were to point to where your time goes forward, then point now.”

Now show me where your time comes from.

Join the two together, and you have a timeline. Showing the past (probably behind you) and the future (definitely in front of you).

Next, you want to be able to float in your timeline just like you swim in a swimming pool. This is purely imaginary, and people like to relax and do this. Some folks want to close their eyes, but that’s up to you. Floating along your timeline is very therapeutic; you can see and feel all the history and take a glance at your future too.

Now, let’s get into the setting and planting goals. The concept is that you create and define your goal then pop if it has been achieved in the future. Let me demonstrate, and you can follow me with your own goal.

Timeline Demonstration
I have an important goal for 2022: to get involved as part of the team running the Professional Speaking Association (PSA) Virtual Chapter to benefit new and existing PSA members. I’ve been a member of the PSA since its inauguration in the UK in 1999. I have gained from all those years of self-development, ideas and creativity. I want to pay back, so to speak and aid members in running their speaking businesses virtually.

It’s one of those goals where some planning is needed but a fair bit of serendipity. So, I will plant this in my timeline to ensure I achieve it. Behind me is the past, and my future is directly in front of me. Remember, this is purely a metaphor to help your mind’s eye.

As I float upwards into my timeline like the Jetstream in the Northern Hemisphere, I surge forward in its wake as soon as I enter it. My future is panning out underneath me; I can see what’s going on as I flow forward. I stop moving forward when I reach the moment when I’ve achieved the goal. Next, I float downwards into my body at the exact moment the goal has been reached. Inside my own body, I want to check around me to get a feel for what’s happened.

What do I see, feel, hear, smell, taste?

This is my well-formed outcome. I’m sitting on my stool in my studio, looking into the primary camera. In front of me, I have my four monitors where I can see all the audience on Zoom. It’s early evening but dark outside, so probably autumn. We’re all laughing; something has happened to make us chuckle. I think we’re celebrating our inaugural session of the PSA Virtual Chapter. I feel excited and motivated. Who else is with me? Shelley is upstairs listening in.

That’s the well-formed outcome; I’m not sure exactly when it is, but it’s in my timeline, and it didn’t take too long to get there, so probably about 9 months or so away.

Next, I float out of my body up into the timeline and return to the current day. As I come back, I look down at all the things I’ve done to achieve my goal. All the small actions I’ve taken to progress, all the calls I’ve made, people I’ve spoken to, things I’ve done. There’s a lot to do, but I’m letting my mind know what they are.

I return to my current time and pop back into my body.

I’ve planted the outcome into my timeline. Every opportunity I have, I will repeat the exercise to cement the goal in my timeline and embed all the actions into my subconscious.

You create and set the goal using your conscious mind and let the subconscious decide how it will be achieved.

Converting Annual Goals to Quarterly Objectives
Now you have all your annual goals. Mine are always in a mindmap because it helps me keep them all on one sheet. The mindmap has the categories I use. These are my main focus points for the year and contain the goals.

I divide the year into quarters – Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4, so I start in January at the beginning of the year with Q1. It’s nothing more complicated than scanning what else is going on in the quarter and then determining which of my goals I want to get done in that quarter.

I suppose these are now more objectives than goals, but I’m not going to wax lyrical about the difference; it doesn’t really matter.

Objectives and Strategic Next Actions (SNAs)
As the months evolve, I need to set tactics and strategies to achieve the goals. They’re done via SNAs – or Strategic Next Actions. SNAs are those bit tasks or actions that step you towards attaining the goal.

Using my example of the PSA Virtual Chapter. SNAs will be talking to guest speakers, getting members for the chapter, emailing members, deciding on the structure of sessions, etc. These are just run of the mill actions that need to be done – I call them SNAs. This one is a self-development goal, so it is called SNA:CPD.

This indicates that they are actions towards that goal group.

Other SNAs I have are:

  • SNA:Marketing
  • SNA:Fee
  • SNA:Tech
  • SNA:BizDev
  • SNA:Personal
  • SNA:Writing

Now not every SNA will be towards a goal, but most are. It’s a great way to ensure all your actions have a purpose and move you forward in your business. I use an SNA:Admin for everyday admin tasks in my task list.

Colour Coding Your Diary
Our strategic next actions are clearly defined by our goals, and you really shouldn’t do anything that doesn’t contribute to those goals. However, the real-world kicks in, and we do end up reacting and doing tasks that are not directly relevant but need doing.

To keep these in check, it’s often an excellent idea to colour code your calendar so you can see briefly whether you are on track or not.

Here’s my suggestion:

  • Red – making money
  • Blue – marketing activities
  • Yellow – administration
  • Green – self-development
  • Orange – personal activities.

You can then see at a glance whether you’re being productive or not:

Clearing Your Inbox Daily
Let’s tame your email once and for all; I’ve known salespeople to drown in it. Here’s how.

You can check email regularly for essential items, but it’s best to do this every couple of hours – say 9am, 12 noon, 3pm and 5pm. But only to deal with urgent ones, leave the rest till later when you clear your inbox.

For a quick reminder of urgent versus important, you won’t do worse than Stephen Covey’s Time Management Grid. You can see below that he creates four boxes that determine whether a task should be done or delayed, or even ignored

You must clear your inbox every day. Here’s how.

Choose a 60-minute window every day at some time, best before the close of play. Start with the first email. Can you handle it in less than 2 minutes? If so, address it. If it takes longer than 2 minutes, then put it into a task to be dealt with at another time.

If you don’t want something, such as a subscription, see if you can unsubscribe. Be ruthless with these.

If it just needs filing somewhere, just drag it into the folder on your PC where it belongs.

Work your way through your emails in this manner, and you will clear your inbox. And you must do this every day. Believe me, you’ll feel good when you do.

Setting and achieving your goals is an essential task to be conducted annually. This has been my blueprint which you can freely use to maximise your mortgage business.


About Author

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Paul Archer is an Online Sales Trainer, Speaker and Conference Host. He’d be happy to assist you in moving your workshops online during this challenging period. Email him on or LinkIn with him at The world of sales development has changed, many have missed this and boldly go on to run courses in the old-fashioned way. You want to develop your people – professional advisers, salespeople, coaches - and know there is a better way. He can help you. Think about music. I mean the music industry. In 2000 music became free, illegally at first with Napster, downloads became cheap as chips and streaming now cost $10 a month. In the same way, traditional self-development is now free. Everything is available online. Music artists and bands now make their money performing live. The live experience is what fans will pay money for. Recorded music is merely to create demand for the live experience. He brings his 35+ years of sales expertise and experience to you in two ways: Online, on-demand, just in time. He doesn’t run “just in case” training courses, they’re a thing of the past. Development should be “just in time”. Curated video, live videocasts and webinars, podcasts — books, articles and blog posts delivered via his Learning Platforms, YouTube or your in-house systems. Live. He can bring his expertise to your teams in live sessions, but these are rare now and need to be exceptional events. Conferences, seminars and events, he can educate, entertain them with my unique speaking style that has been enjoyed by thousands of sale people and advisers across the globe. Forty-five minutes, 2 hours, maybe a day – you choose. You figured there was a better way to develop your sales teams, you are right, and now you may want to make contact with him so you can talk further. You can Linkin with him at, and he’ll start a conversation or head to his YouTube Channel for more at email him at or phone him on +44 7702 341769, and where ever you are in the world he’d love to hear from you. Paul is a prolific writer and blogger – maintaining three blogs, with attracting thousands of hits from all over the world. He has published eight books. His latest tome "Pocketbook of Presentation Skills” was released in January 2020 and is available from Amazon. The third edition of his book “Train the Trainer of the 21st Century” is also available from Amazon.

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