Ya Gotta have A Plan: Goal Setting and Business Planning

To expand on my last blog post about creating a vision, the end of the year is always a good time to examine goal setting techniques, business planning, and creative visualization.

This is true both for our personal lives and for our business lives. And the techniques are surprisingly the same.

There are a couple of key points to include when creating business and personal goals for yourself. This is part of the road map to get from where you are, to where you want to be.

On a personal level, you can’t just say I want to be 40 pounds lighter by the end of next year and then “Throw positive energy up in the world” and hope things will change. Don’t get me wrong, I am a HUGE proponent of positive energy!

The same thing goes for business planning. You can’t just say, “I wanna be a billionaire, so fricken bad.” (thanks Travie McCoy) There has to be a plan!

If you’ve read past posts from me, you know that one of my strongest beliefs is that positive energy creates positive thoughts, positive thoughts create positive ideas, positive ideas create positive actions, and positive actions create positive results.

But look at that formula. There are several steps past just positive energy and becoming a billionaire or skinny. You need to progress through all those steps in order to achieve that goal. In order to get to the end goal it’s important to spend time developing a road map: a plan. There needs to be a directed flow of that positive energy.

So we all know with the weight loss example above you can’t just simply put positive energy into the universe and change your body. You need to create the road map for success. First create the framework of the plan that will lead to success. Those elements may include.

  • Getting off my butt and exercising more
  • Eating healthier
  • Drinking more water
  • Gauging the effects of what I’m doing and making adjustments (Weighing and measuring yourself)

Okay so now you’ve jotted down a list of things you have to do in order to achieve that weight loss goal. Does it stop there? (I hope your answer is no)

Those are the thoughts: Now you need the ideas. How am I going to get there….

Getting off my butt and exercising…. Will one day a week make a difference? Will 3 days a week make a difference. And even more important if you jump right in to a 6 day a week workout will you loose your steam before winning the race? What do you need in order to move forward with this plan?

  • You could join a gym and go to classes 3-5 days a week
  • Commit to 30 minutes a day of walking (outside or on a treadmill)
  • Dust off the exercise videos and get up early 3 days a week and put on your spandex

I’m sure there are many more ideas to achieve this goal that you can add to the list.

This may just be the beginning stages of fleshing out our plan. These examples may be followed by….for the first 60 days to start forming better habits, then I will add more. By creating the whole plan in your mind and on paper. You begin to solidify that visualization of the idea. The more detailed the plan the more easy it is to follow. And also the more you break it down into manageable steps, the less likely you are to give up on it before reaching the target.

Do the same thing for the next element of making it to your end goal.

Eating healthier and drinking more water. That can be a pretty arbitrary goal. It’s important first to identify what it is that you are doing that’s not working and then figure out how to change it. So some of the steps to eating healthier may be as follows:

  • Write down what you are eating (Be honest with yourself)
  • Research or find an expert to help look at your current diet
  • Start making adjustments accordingly

Only with the knowledge of what you are doing, can you start to adjust that and make the changes necessary to help change for the better. One of my favorite quotes really hammers this point home.

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.” – Anthony Robbins.

Finally it’s important to test and measure your results.

If we stick with the weight loss analogy, then it’s easy enough, you get on the scale, and you take a tape measure and check things out from time to time. But with any goal setting you need to know when and how to measure results. Do you get on the scale everyday expecting to see change over night. (Some of us do, but it will probably be a frustrating endeavor) Likewise do you only weight yourself once a month? This may not be often enough because you aren’t fine tuning those adjustments that may need to be made in your diet and exercise to reach the end goal.

This is always the toughest. The measuring and reporting. The not frustrating yourself if you don’t see changes immediately. So in the case of most goal setting, you can, and should, create mini goals. With the weight-loss scenario you can say 1 pound a week, 40 pounds 40 weeks.

If you are trying to get rich you can say one new client per month. (And of course you have to have the plan on how you are going to procure that new client)

This is just one way to take an idea from energy and vision through execution and fruition. But don’t forget to add the dedication, the positive intention, and the willpower to do it. You can create plans all day long, but if you are waiting around for someone else to do it for you, or for it just to happen to you, it’s likely going to stagnate.

By reading your plan once a day or at the very minimum once a week, and reminding yourself that the intention is to stick to these goals, then you will achieve your vision. Whether it’s achieving weight loss, increasing your client base, becoming a billionaire, or even becoming famous, have a clear cut path to get from point A to point Z.

Notice I didn’t say point A to point B. All too often people jump from the idea to the end without putting those important building blocks in place to create the solid foundation necessary to reach their goals.

The secret to success is taking the time to identify those critical building blocks, and to put them in an order of priority. It will only make the plan stronger and more complete in the end. Remember, the more detailed you can be in the visualization, the more likely you will be to achieve that goal.

What is your goal?