If you have ever started a business, you know that strategic planning is key to your success. The biggest goal for your business is to succeed, so a lot of time, resources and effort are put into this stage. What about your personal life though? If we know that strategic planning is essential to the success of a business, why don’t we use personal strategic planning for the success in our own lives?
When it comes to our personal life, we tend to overlook how much control we have in having a fulfilled and happy existence.
In simple terms, strategic planning is made up of defining a strategic direction for your business and then deciding what resources you need to allocate to follow this strategy. Personal strategic planning is the same, defining your personal vision and goals and creating a roadmap to achieve those goals.
Most people are put off with the thought of having to set goals and follow them or perhaps they feel disillusioned. Unfortunately, unless you set your goals well, you will find it challenging to achieve them and you will most likely be left feeling discouraged and disillusioned. A lot of individuals want success but they don’t want to set goals, why? If you don’t see the importance, you need to read about ‘Why setting goals is essential for success in any area.’
Personal strategic planning helps you to get to where you want to be in half the time. If you have a vision of something better for yourself, and you use strategic planning, you will be more focused and your energy will automatically be directed to taking you to that next level in your life. You know you need to use strategic planning if you are not getting the results you want at the moment.
So where do you start? There are many different approaches you can take; here is one way to get you started:
1. Set targets – This is the first stage where you define your goals and/or objectives. What do you want to ‘move towards’ or ‘away from’?
For example: I need to improve my public speaking skills
2. Create your roadmap – What are all the different ways that you can achieve this objective? If you come up with a few strategies, chose one that you feel will be the best. For example:
- Sign up for a public speaking course
- Get a coach
- Become a member of a public speaking group
- Do research online and practice with friends
3. Plan – Now that you have your vision, your strategy, what goals do you need to set?
Chosen strategy: Become a member of a public speaking group
Goal: To sign up for a public speaking group in my area by the end of May 2013.
4. Action steps – Once you have defined your goals, you want to break them down into action steps. What actions do you need to take to end up where you want to be?
- Do research on different groups
- Contact the group to find out more information
- Attend a meeting to determine if it is a good fit
- Make a final decision and sign up for the group
5. Deeper awareness – You need to be aware at this stage of:
- What resources do you already have to achieve this?
- What resources do you need?
- What are your perceived obstacles?
- How will you overcome your perceived obstacles?
This phase is about gaining a deeper understanding of where you are now, in relation to your vision and what may be standing in your way of materializing that.
6. Planning – The final stage is taking your action steps and putting them into a plan. Look at everything you need to do, estimate how long it will take; sequence and prioritize your actions. Select the action steps based on the above criteria and put them into your calendar.
How committed are you to achieving this? Find ways to stay motivated and don’t forget to reward yourself when you follow through with your plan.
If you need the guidance and support of a professional to help you achieve your goals, take advantage of my free consultation session to see how I can help you.
Remember to always Dream Big and Live Your Life without Limits!