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Making a Plan and Setting Goals: Use These Top 10 Strategies

written by: Mike Sweeney•edited by: Jean Scheid•updated: 5/1/2011

Linking your personal goals to your business goals is an important strategy and helps ensure they are mutually achieved. Creating a goal setting strategy that encompasses planning is a key first step to successfully reaching your goals. This article reviews ten key strategies.

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    10 Key Strategies

    Success 

    1. Define Success

    Define success for your personal life and also for your business. How do you know when your personal life is a success and when your business is a success? Where do the two match-up? Defining success will help you clarify the actions needed to achieve your definition through strategic planning and goal setting.

    2. Define Happiness

    Define happiness as it relates to you personally and also for your business. It will be different from your definition of success. However, you could include some aspects of your success definition in your happiness definition. Can you be happy without being successful as you’ve defined it? If you faced some personal issues and the business was not moving along at the pace you expected, could you still be happy?

    3. Identify Personal Values

    The values you define will help guide your decisions along the way. You may be faced with some tough decisions or have to choose between activities. How will you make that decision? Use your personal values to decide for you. For example, if you must choose between an important business call or attending your child’s school activity, what is the determining factor? Your identified personal values will help you here.

    4. Develop Activity Goals

    List out the activities that are important different from your business activities. These could be volunteer activities, hobbies, health and fitness goals, family vacations, school activities, books to read, etc. Set up targets for the ones that are important to you. Remember how you defined happiness. These activities could help you achieve your definition. For example, if volunteering is something that makes you very happy, then be sure to set this as a goal with the specific activities you will need to pursue to see it through.

    5. Measuring Tools

    How are you going to measure how you are doing? Set-up on your computer in a spreadsheet format, or draw something on paper the goals you’ve set-up and the timelines for each one. As you achieve each milestone indicate it on your measuring tool. Otherwise, you really won’t know how you are progressing without this tool. Measuring tools will keep you focused and provide an easy reference tool for you to review on a periodic basis.

    6. Timelines

    Establish a variety of timelines and link them to your measuring tools. Decide on the timelines that work best for you based on what you would like to achieve. For example, you could set a monthly goal and have a calendar that lists the activities and goals that fit within that month. Maybe it’s quarterly or annually. You decide what works best.

    7. Action Plans

    Clearly written action plans are necessary for all your goals and an important step in planning and goal setting. The action plans are the specific activities that will be achieved along the way. These can be broken into small chunks, and depending on your timelines, they can be as simple as the daily activities necessary to achieve one of your goals. Your action plans should be varied and include daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual activities, all depending on the goal it is being attached to.

    8. Reward System

    Design a system that indicates when activities are being accomplished toward specific goals. Create rewards that are fun and meaningful when you accomplish specific goals. If your family is involved in some of your goals, include them in the reward system. It will add some fun and enthusiasm to the process.

    Happy Businessman 

    9. Evaluate Your Goals

    Constantly review how you are doing. Determine whether the goals you have defined are still valid and the activities you are performing are still relevant. A lot changes in the world around each person, so it is important to be willing to adapt to the change. However, if you are not evaluating your strategies, it becomes very easy to get off-track and pursue activities that may not have as much meaning anymore.

    10. Find a Mentor

    From a business perspective, find a person you trust who can be your mentor. See what he or she thinks about your strategies and goals. Mentors can be a very valuable tool in moving the business in the right direction. On the personal side, include your family and close friends in the process. They can also act as mentors or sounding boards, and provide some valuable perspective.

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    Sources

    Article Flame - Goal Setting Tips retrieved at http://www.articleflame.com/Art/1542/140/20-Goal-Setting-Tips.html

    Inspirational Sayings in Action - Goal Setting Strategies retrieved at http://www.inspirational-sayings-in-action.com/goal-setting-strategies.html

    Image credits:

    scottchan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

    graur codrin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net