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Mini Goals at Hughes Marino

How a little program delivers good fun while developing an important habit – and our invitation for you to play along!

By John Jarvis

Goals are great! The process of setting goals forces us to crystallize our thinking about the future. And once we know where we want to go, we can develop a specific action plan to get us there. Simple stuff, right? Sometimes we hit the target, and sometimes we fall just short. Except that in this occasional “falling short” lies a boggy mess of guilt, shame and frustration that makes goal-setting and accountability a heavy burden for many of us.

When I was asked to develop a goals program at Hughes Marino, I had all of this in mind. I didn’t want to be the guy who chases you down the hall and asks if you have accomplished your goals. They’re your goals, and if you meant it when you said it then surely you would do it. Otherwise why did you say it?

Ah, things change, you say? Stuff happens. Circumstances develop. I get it. Happens all the time. Except that when we regularly set goals and do not accomplish them, we are actually developing and reinforcing exactly the wrong habit!

How are you known? Are you known as someone who does what they said they would do?

So I decided to scale back the Hughes Marino goals program. Big, audacious goals are fantastic! And I built a program of mini-goals. Simple, fun, important-but-not-urgent little goals that we we could do every month. Twelve times in a year. Commit to it, then do it. Say it, do it, repeat.

SVP Dave Bates watched the sun rise from his dirt bike while camping in the Sierras.
SVP Dave Bates watched the sun rise from his dirt bike while camping in the Sierras.

What is the point of these mini goals? At the end of each year, we will have practiced twelve times being impeccable with our word. We repeatedly make commitments and honor them. Sounds easy enough, but it isn’t easy at all. Unless we make it a priority, the month can slip past before we find the time to “organize a gathering of friends” or “watch the sun rise from a special place.” In truth, if we want to make sure that we get it done, we need to make it a top priority, take action immediately, send out emails, put it in our calendar, set it up and get it done. We said we would, now let’s do it.

john-jarvis-volunteering-with-coastkeepers
I accomplished May’s mini goal to “spend a day in service to others” by volunteering with San Diego Coastkeeper for a beach clean-up. My dog Jackson participated too!

Being impeccable with our word is a spectacularly lofty ideal. The word impeccable does not give us much wiggle room. Either we are or we are not. If I tell you that I will get it done, and then I do not, what am I telling you about me? And about my word? And about where you rank in my priorities?

Words matter. The words that we choose form our reality, for better or for worse. This is why we strive to be impeccable with our word, and this is what we are practicing twelve times every year with our light-hearted mini goals program.

Give something of value to someone you don’t know” was our mini goal for January - I made a donation to the remarkable Comfort Cub program.
“Give something of value to someone you don’t know” was our mini goal for January – I made a donation to the remarkable Comfort Cub program.

Mini goals? Actually a major opportunity for growth and learning, and enjoying the journey, which are two of our Core Values at Hughes Marino.

We pick our twelve mini goals as a team, and we mix up the program a bit each year. Last year we rolled a pair of dice at the beginning of each month to pick the goal for the month, which introduced an element of surprise.

hughes-marino-art-mini-goal
Our July mini goal was to create a piece of art. HM Team members Briana, Chantrelle and Erika took that goal and ran with it! Read about their projects in detail on our Instagram page.

This year our big change is to invite our clients and friends (and for that matter anyone who is game) to play along!

Want to join us in this challenge as we strive to be impeccable with our word? Send an “I’m in” email to minigoals@hughesmarino.com and follow us on social media where we will broadcast the mini goal at the beginning of each month. Be sure to include the hashtags #hmminigoals and #hughesmarino in your captions so we can celebrate our accomplishments together, and be on the lookout information on our fun filled mini goal campaign for 2017!

I won’t be chasing you down the hall to make sure you honored your commitments, so don’t say it unless you mean it.

Say it, do it, repeat. Good fun.

John Jarvis is a senior vice president of Hughes Marino, an award-winning California commercial real estate company specializing in tenant representation and building purchases with offices in San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Contact John at 1-844-NO-CONFLICT or john@hughesmarino.com to learn more.



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