Goal-Planning: Achieving Your Goals with a Personal Business Plan
So January is almost over! And for most of you, so is your commitment to your New Year’s Resolutions!
(Photo Credit: Atlanta Parent Magazine- Jan 2016 issue)
SETTING goals is just the first step. To achieve your goals you must engage in goal PLANNING!
Goal-setting takes 30 seconds. It is simply listing what you want to achieve. But goal-planning may take 30 hours and requires being mindful about what you want to achieve and deliberately incorporates your limited resources (time, money, energy and people) to get the results you want.
A goal without a plan remains just a goal – many people have visions, intentions, ideas, and dreams which never happen, because they are not planned.
A plan can develop your vision for the future. A plan can guide your career. A plan can help you prepare for retirement. A plan can help you perceive opportunities available to you. And a plan can help you build a balanced life.
Bottom line…A plan puts things into action and makes things happen!
To achieve a goal you must plan how to make it happen! (Yes, I have mastered the art of repetition…I am a Mom after all!)
If you want to double your business in the next year, the most important factor is…YOUR personal business plan.
Develop your personal business plan by answering these 5 questions:
- Where am I?
The biggest mistake in goal-planning is that people are not completely honest about where they presently are. Without judgment, be real about your current state…just accept that this is presently where you are, but it doesn’t have to be where you stay because you have choices and can choose something different for yourself!
Then give thanks!!!
- Where should I go?
Having clear goals begins to define the plan.
Start with a simple brainstorming list. Spend some time brainstorming and throwing around different ideas. Your brainstorming list will probably contain an overwhelming number of potential starting points. The key is narrowing them down into a manageable and realistic number of goals.
Take your brainstorming list and organize it and list your must-dos: the items that if left neglected, your business will fall apart! Then narrow it down further to the biggest areas of impact. These biggest areas of impact are the areas to which you should offer most of your attention. When there’s not enough time to do everything, it’s important to put your efforts toward those activities that are most efficient, effective. These will make up the heart of the personal business plan.
Then determine your bulls-eye. Define, when exactly you will reach the goal.
But challenge yourself.
A goal that doesn’t take much effort to accomplish isn’t really a goal. Setting an objective that has a slim chance of realization, however, can leave you feeling discouraged. Aim for a perfect balance between the two — something that stretches you but doesn’t break you.
And write it down, thoroughly and coherently, so if a stranger read it they would know exactly what you are trying to achieve.
- What must happen before this?
You cannot ‘do’ a goal. Instead you must do the things that enable it – usually several things, in several steps.
This is the point in the strategic planning process where we finish looking at who we are and prepare to think about what we do.
So to develop a plan to achieve your goal, try working backwards from the goal to understand the steps required. Simply ask yourself this question at each stage of the plan, working backwards in realistic bite-sized stages, to where you are today.
This identifies what needs to be done. Then get specific. Be sure the plan includes specifics such as time lines that will allow you to measure and track progress.
- Who is your guru?
However flawless your personal plan is, if you want to max out your potential, you’re going to need the guidance of mentors, advisors, and influencers.
Look for a mentor with relevant experience who can act as a sounding board for your ideas, offer feedback, and open doors within established networks that you’re not yet part of. Choosing your guru can be invaluable in driving you toward your personal goals.
Then share your plan.
I personally love it when someone shares a plan with me. It shows initiative and forward thinking. There are few things more impressive than when someone has clear-cut objectives and works hard to meet them.
Equally important, this person will hold you accountable. It’s a lot tougher to hit the eject button on a plan after you’ve shared it with someone you respect. And everyone can use a cheerleader in the workplace from time to time!
- How do I get there?
Once you’re equipped with a solid set of goals, an action plan, and trusted feedback, you’re in a position to start scheduling. Prioritize the activities along the path you have chosen to reach your goal. It should provide a clear pathway–complete with opportunities you need to capitalize on, relationships you can leverage, and resources you may need–plotted on a time line, with ideal dates for completing each step.
“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now,” says personal time management author, Alan Lakein.
When you complete this step, you will have a well-balanced view of what you want to achieve and how you would like to be spending your time over the next few days, weeks, or months.
Imagine waking up every day and knowing each day matters, and having a plan and a course of action for what to do with it.
With your plan in hand, it’s time to take action and implement it. Creating your own personal business plan will help you to define your purpose, clarify your objectives, and plan your actions. But don’t just shove it in drawer. Creating the plan is just the first step. Put it in a prominent spot where you’re going to remember to review it every day. If you’ve got a great plan, it can and will inspire you every time you see it.
So stop just setting goals & start PLANNING how you will achieve them.
This year, plan for success!
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