The end of the year brings reflection. It’s a wonderful time to pour a cup of coffee, sit back and relax and recall the events of the year. From a real estate investor’s perspective, it’s the time to review the wins as well as the losses and in the event of a loss, find out what went wrong and avoid theplan for next year mistake. When reviewing the past, keep the future in mind because it will help you craft your real estate investing goals for 2014.

There are so many resources for goal-setting that it’s simply redundant to provide a master plan here but when specifically addressing the needs of the real estate investor, identifying your goals, writing out a plan, checking your progress and making adjustments is your mantra.

When setting your goals, it’s critical to be specific. Very specific. For example, you determine that your goal for 2014 is to make $250,000 investing in real estate. That’s great. But how exactly are you going to accomplish that feat? Not only that, besides the “how” what about the “when?”

If you want to make $250,000 next year, are you going to hit that mark in one fell swoop or a series of mini-accomplishments? Will you buy 10 units, rehabilitate them and make $25,000 on each property? If so, when will you reach that goal? One per month? Maybe it works to achieve one closing per month for the next 12 months, each with a minimum of $25,000.

Which neighborhoods will you target? Who will you contact to help find those properties? Get specific about what you want to do and how then write it down. Literally. Take a pen and paper and write down your goals and reflect on them as you make your mark. As 2014 begins to unfold, check your progress daily to see if there are any adjustments you need to make along the way.

It’s really just like a road map. You have to know where you are right now and know where you’re going. Follow the road map and make corrections when needed. For those who have an established goal setting program, they’ll recognize the pattern. And for those who do not have a written plan for 2014, this is the way to start.