So you're a new real estate investor, or you're a more experienced one, but either way, you have gotten out there and gotten some new education. Congratulations – you've read a book, you've been to a seminar, you've listened in on a conference call, and now you have a new tool in your real estate toolbox. Maybe it's how to do a new real estate system or technique, or a new time management system designed to take your business to the next level. The issue here is probably not the value of the system or information, but rather the value you place on it in your life.
The reality is that it takes 30 days to form a new habit, and even then, it may take longer to really cement it (if it's not something you have to do daily, for example). So if you learn something new, you have to get out there and practice it, or else your brain will slip into the old way of doing things. We've all been there… “Wow! What a great seminar! I can't wait to get started!” But then you get back to your desk, you start putting out fires and catching up, and then next thing you know, it's been two weeks and now the details have gotten fuzzy. Unless you took really good notes, and now go back through and remind yourself, how likely are you to follow through? Statistically (and this is a sad statistic indeed) 80% or MORE of the people who buy the $995 guru package never crack the plastic.
Why is that? You just spent a grand on your education (or $40 for a book, or whatever). We naturally don't like change, most of us, and we are comfortable where we are. Our “comfort zone” may include being miserable and broke, but it's ours, dang it, and on a deep level, that's all we feel we deserve. As T. Harv Ecker always says, “How's that workin' for ya?”
Carve out time for yourself. A little bit every day. You want to make sure you read that book? Put it in the bathroom. I swear it works. Even if you have little kids running around, even if you feel like you don't have a moment to yourself, you can take 5 minutes a day (even if it's in the bathroom).
Take notes if you go to a seminar. Write notes as your reading a book. Take notes if you're on a conference call or listening to an audio recording. Like to listen in your car? Take notes from memory at the end of each ride. Don't like paper? Your iPhone's got a notes app, too, and your laptop's got a few more.
Review your notes. Not just once. Once the day after you write them, once a week later, and once more a month later. It will solidify them in your mind and remind you of why you wanted to learn those new things in the first place.
Set goals. Written ones. Look back on every guru's workshop or self-help book you've ever read, and it will tell you the same thing. Create short and long-term goals, and write them down. Our brains are just more effective that way,and you are more likely statistically to reach your goals. Don't forget to write down why you're doing all of this. When your deal goes south, when you make a big mistake, pull that piece of paper out and look at it. Then review your notes again, and remember the enthusiasm you had when you were learning this new thing. Then start over the next day, because you'll get there eventually.
How do you eat a elephant? One bite at a time.