Numbers Never Lie: Setting Metrics for No-Excuse Goals

“A goal properly set is halfway reached.” - Zig Ziglar

As an accountability focused coach, I have a front-row seat for my clients' goal setting process. This process includes the whole track, including planning and setting up their metrics for success.

Though the other phases of goal-setting are just as important, I’m going to focus on metrics today. According to conversations with clients, potential clients, and attendees at my workshops, most people who don't advance on their goals rarely keep track of their numbers.

Ignoring numbers is a huge mistake -- numbers never lie.


Fulanita came to me for coaching around business growth. She's an established real estate professional who was closing on properties here and there, but she wasn't keeping track or setting goals to keep track of.

We started with her why. We chipped away at what she truly wanted and soon she came to discover her reason for doing the work she did. This is the first step to massive changes.

Now things were going to change. Now she felt compelled to put the pedal to the metal.

We worked on her dream board, map-minding like there was no tomorrow. During our strategy session she dreamed out loud, setting her goals and getting down to the nitty-gritty.

This is where the work comes in -- what I call "the numbers."

Everyone has a formula. Everyone’s formula might be slightly different depending on the goals, but there is a perfect winning formula for you too and all you have to do is reverse engineer it.

Her ROI was decent -- when she was working. She was good at sales but had somehow fallen into that same pattern that happens to so many realtors. She’d close a deal, make her commission, and ride the wave of financial relief that came with it.

I'm not saying this happens to all realtors, but I promise you it happens to a large portion of them. Believe me, I was in the real estate field on the title side for 28 years - I’ve seen it all.

Fulanita was no different. She was a hard worker, but I felt that her downfall was a lack of clear goals.

What she really needed was:

• Goals on income

• Closings

• New contacts

She needed to build her business,not just pay the bills.

We took her big picture and broke it down, then we broke it down, then we broke it down some more. At the end of this goals nesting doll was a detailed list of metrics - these were the numbers she had to hit each day, week, month and quarter, to make sure she was staying on track.

Once these metrics were in place, since she’s a listing agent, we came up with her formula which happened to be 50/10/2/1.

We determined that she had to make 50 calls per week, you know the usual - expired listings, old clients, referrals, etc so that she could get 10 meetings/viewings, so that she could get 2 listing agreements so that she could get 1 closing.

The first month or so, that closing metric was a little hard to pull off. It's hard getting into gear for your goals, and most of us often won't see instant results. Like everything worthwhile, it comes with time and some dedication.

By her second month, the momentum had already been established. She didn’t lose sight of the end goal; she kept plugging away, trusting the formula because she trusted the numbers.

Based on those metrics, she just stuck to the plan, checking off her numbers

• Month 2 = 1 Closing

• Month 3 = 3 Closings

• Month 4 = 5 Closings

That’s where we are today but I know the numbers will continue to stay on the rise. The only real difference between her results today and her previous results is that she’s keeping track


Numbers are simple. I take it that's why many people don't like working with them. When you're staring at numbers, you can't talk yourself out of it. They're there, in black and white, waiting for you to do the work.

Fulanita's formula provided the numbers and, with a sprinkling of discipline and consistency, everything fell into place.

The beautiful thing about setting up a formula is that if your initial formula isn’t working, you tweak it. If it’s working well and you want to increase your results, you double up. The method works - you simply need to decide how much effort you are going to put behind it.

So take it upon yourself to break down your big picture. Don't let it overwhelm you -- overwhelm it.

Here is another example, one that a lot of my coach and speaker clients could definitely benefit from:

Writing that book you've always wanted to write:

• 200 pages in one year (that's more than enough time!)

• Just about 17 pages a month.

• Just over 4 pages every week.

• Just about half a page every day.

Half a page. most of us write more than that in emails and social posts every day. That's a BOOK in a year, and I know for sure that most of my clients could easily do it in half the time. If you find that you're motivated and your goal was too easy on you, split your year into halves or quarters, and simply multiply each metric by 2 / 3.

Rearranging your formula (want to write that book in six months?)

• 200 pages in six months (1/2 year = 2x every other metric)

• Just about 34 pages a month

• Just over 8 pages every week

• Just over one page every day.

In truth, the bottom line is what the bottom line has always been - if it’s going to happen it’s because you are going to make it happen. But if you want to make it happen and want something unshakable to hold you accountable, trust the numbers. The numbers NEVER lie!

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