Archive | Personal Strategic Planning

Happy New Year

New Year celebrationI may not be one for New Year resolutions, but I am one for goal setting. What is the difference? Well, one big difference is that a properly considered goal, that you are truly committed to, is not created at one minute past midnight!

The art of goal setting is a process I will delve into in more detail in a future post. For now, when you are creating your goals, try giving them a name that is meaningful to you, set a date that is very specific (in other words get down to a day, a month and a year), have a target that is measurable and finally, envisage what it will feel like when you achieve that goal. Capture those feelings by putting them into words.

It is this last step that creates an emotional connection with the outcome of your goal. It can become the motivation and inspiration you need, to do the work that is required to achieve your goal.

It is an absolute must that you write your goals down. It is also a must that you share your goals with the people that are close to you. Chances are, it will be these same people that you need help and support from, in order to achieve the goals you set.

The New Year is a great time to be refreshing our existing goals and to be setting new ones. My advice is simply to do it away from the hype of New Year celebrations. Give it real thought. Make sure that your goals are in alignment with your end destination. Finally, once you have written them down, really do commit to them.

Happy New Year! I wish you every success in the year ahead.


Design a future that inspires you

The process of strategic planning starts by creating a vision of the future. In the case of personal strategic planning, that means a vision for the life you want to live in the future.

Let’s say you began visualising your future life right now. How would you go about it? Would you take a look at where you are today and try to imagine something that is a little better? If so, then I believe you are going about it the wrong way.

I believe the process for creating a vision for your life should begin with a blank canvas. Then, start imagining the best possible life that you could lead…..your ideal life. Imagine what your life would look like if you were truly happy. Imagine what it would look like if you were the healthiest you have ever been. Imagine what your life would look like if your financial position was thriving. Imagine how would you feel.

As this picture starts to take shape, think about the people you will be spending time with and the activities you will be doing. What will you do for fun? How much time will you be spending in your business or career, compared to the other things in life that are important to you? Where will you be living? What kind of car will you be driving? Where in the world will you travel to?

Take some time to think about these questions and more. Collect your thoughts by writing them down in one central place.

I have found over the years that once you begin this process of thinking about your ideal life, your vision will begin to take shape over time. So it is best to keep your thoughts documented in a single, easily accessible place. In this day and age that may mean an electronic document in the cloud. Be prepared for thoughts about your ideal life to come to you at random times and in all places. Capture these thoughts when they occur and continue to build more clarity and depth to your vision.

I would encourage you to spare some time to regularly reflect on your vision and pay attention to the feeling that it creates inside you. Do you feel excited, motivated or even inspired?

This vision that you create for yourself should be extraordinary. Don’t settle for something that is just a little better than where you are today. Your vision  for your life needs to be inspiring, because you will need to draw on this motivation to drive you to take the action that is necessary, in order to turn your vision into your future reality.


Personal Strategic Planning

The late Jim Rohn, a leading expert on personal success, famously said “Happiness is not an accident. Nor is it something you wish for. Happiness is something you design.”

I would elaborate on that by saying that most things in life that really matter to us, do not happen by accident. For example, good physical health only happens when you exercise. Good relationships only exist when you spend quality time with people. Wealth is only achieved when you save and invest your money.  For any of these things to occur consistently, you need to plan to do them. The more strategic you are about this planning, the better.

It interests me how strategic planning is a well accepted practice in the organisational environment. There seems little doubt that strategic planning is important to achieving organisational success. Why is it then that such an important and effective process is not applied more consistently to achieving personal success?

The concept of strategic planning is simple – start with the end in mind. That means creating a clear vision of where you want to be in the future. Then align the actions you take today with that end vision. The action you take will help you make progress toward your vision.

I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to develop expertise in both organisational and personal strategic planning. In this blog, I will focus exclusively on personal strategic planning. I look forward to sharing what I have learnt with you and I hope that it empowers you to design a future you love.


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