The famous Harvard study conducted years ago followed a class of graduates for 20 years.   There were two groups….one who wrote down specific goals for their future and the other group that did not.   At the conclusion of the study, it was found that the students who committed to written goals had risen to the top 3% of wage earners in the country.   The other group underperformed by every virtually measurable standard set forth by the study.

What does that say?  Commit to a written plan with measurable goals for 2012.

Start with the basics in your community.

1.)  Fire underperforming service providers.

“The best thing our associations did in 2011 was to really take a look at their vendors and jettison the dead weight,” says Nathaniel Abbate Jr., a partner at Makower Abbate &
Associates PLLC in Farmington Hills, Mich., who represents associations. “They got rid of suppliers, vendors, management companies, attorneys, and others who weren’t getting the job done.”

2. Cut costs to build goodwill.

“We’ve made cuts to try to save money,” says Jessica Rider, treasurer of the 116-lot Bryan Springs Subdivision Association in High Ridge, Mo. “We’re working to earn the trust of neighbors so they’ll continue to pay their dues, and when we try to raise dues, people will agree.

“When we initially took over the board, we had a company that had been taking care of all the collection of payments and payment of bills for the subdivision. We discontinued
their services, which is saving us about $1,200 per year. Also, instead of mailing out newsletters and other communications, we decided to walk them around to each
house; instead of printing so many documents, I put up a sign at the front of the neighborhood saying HOA statements are available and people can call if they want one. We also changed the snow-plowing company, which is saving us additional money.”

Anything is possible with a written game plan.