For this week I promised you a very powerful goal-setting exercise that I send each year around this time, and here it is. This very specific, precise, and life-changing plan will guide you step-by-step through a process where you will: 1) Create MEANINGFUL life and business goals, 2) Prioritize them with incredible clarity, and 3) Determine with ease the action steps you should take to accomplish what you desire in a realistic amount of time!
This strategic plan puts YOU in control, giving you the motivation to bring what you say you want into reality so you can reach great levels of success. The entire time you work the plan, you will be moving with definitive force toward your most important personal and professional goals.
Taking action on this goals setting session WILL take a little bit of time, but the PAYOFF will be TREMENDOUS! If you take it seriously and look at it as a potentially life-changing session, it will put you light years ahead in your life and business.
Following is the EXACT TEXT and PLAN that I share each year with my coaching clients and my network of professionals. I have also personally guided individuals through this process one-on-one, to see them realize amazing professional growth and success (at the very end of this message is a testimonial from a client).
GOAL PLANNING that ACTUALLY WORKS!
I encourage you to start this year off with a strategic plan that focuses in on the business goals and activities that will catapult you into financial freedom, leaving you a lot of valuable time for family, friends, new business opportunities, and many fun adventures.
You are going to learn how to leave behind all of the unprofitable "busywork" that gets you nowhere, and become a master of your own life and destiny.
You may have just left behind a year of dissatisfaction and frustration. You may have often felt overwhelmed which probably kept you from taking the actions you MOST needed to take. You may have thought about time management. The truth is though, that many of the time management principles that are "out there" simply tell you how to do more things in less time, or more things in the same amount of time. This approach poses a HUGE problem if the "things" you work on are not the right things to begin with! You need a TIME MASTERY APPROACH, where the tasks you spend your effort and energy on are totally in line with your values and in line with where you want and need to go.
In a nutshell, you need to:
• Establish meaningful business (and personal) goals
• Prioritize these goals
• Create a list of tasks to accomplish each goal
• Prioritize these tasks based on which are the MOST IMPORTANT
• Concentrate the majority of your daily efforts on those important tasks
Begin with a Goal Planning Session
Mastering your time begins with finding the right direction for your business and for your life in general. You have to know where you are going but more important than that, you have to choose where you want to go! This will require an initial small amount of planning on your part. Let's call this your ""goals planning session" (this can be a "business goals planning session" or a "life goals planning session" or both wrapped up into one). Either way, you should do one of these goals planning sessions about every 6 months since business goals and life priorities do change, and short term goals get accomplished quickly.
Your time mastery session will involve establishing and prioritizing meaningful business and personal goals, and prioritizing projects and specifically tasks in terms of how they fit into your long-term goals, your mid-term goals, and your short-term goals.
Once your goals are set, each day you will take a few minutes out to plan and you will decide DAILY which activities and tasks are most valuable for you to work on to help get you closer to accomplishing your targeted goals and dreams.
With this approach, every day you will inch a little closer to realizing your goals and dreams, even when part of your day is spent on menial tasks and routine items that most of us must do. A time mastery approach will help you to best use some of the prime hours of each day.
Following is THE exercise in goal planning that will change the direction of your life and business for the better. Please don't make the mistake of believing you do not have the time to do the following exercises. You simply cannot afford not to.
TIME MASTERY Business Goal Planning Session exercise:
- Get out three sheets of paper, one each for your list of your long-term business (where you want to be in 4-5 years), your mid-term goals (where you want to be in 1-3 years), and your short-term goals (things you want to accomplish in the next 6 months). You can adjust the time frames to best suit yourself and your life, but make your short term goals within a few months. Put the labels at the top of each page.
- Take about 3 minutes for each sheet, and write your goals very quickly. Do not stop and think about it. If something comes to your mind, do not judge the thought, just write it down. When you are through with each page of goals, spend an additional minute or two adding to the page or fine-tuning it. Do this exercise for each page.
- It may help to know that a goal is not "something you do". A task is something you do. A goal describes where you want to be or what you want to accomplish, for example, "I want to my yearly sales revenues to be $2,000,000.00 within 2 years, or, "I want to write a book on interior lighting".
- Next, take the sheet of your long-term goals, and circle the 3 most important. Now label them A, B, and C, with A representing the long-term goal you want to focus on first or that you find to be most important to you at this time in your life, and B and C representing the long-term goals you will work on after long-term goal A is accomplished. Do this same activity for the other two pages (mid-term goals and short-term goals).
- You will now have 9 goals circled; 3 long-term, 3 mid-term, and 3 short-term goals. Each of these goals has an A, B, or C next to it. Now, Take out a clean piece of paper, and transfer the A goal from each sheet onto the new sheet.
- The new sheet will now have 3 top priority goals—-one from each category (a top priority long-term goal, a top priority mid-term goal, and a top priority short-term goal). This is your Focused Goals Target.
- The final step in this goal planning session is to make a list of all of the possible tasks and activities you could do that would help you towards accomplishing each of the three goals on your Focused Goals Target sheet.
- Create a page for each of these three goals (your top priority long-term goal, mid-term goal, and short-term goal) and list everything you can think of that would help you to attain this goal. This is another brainstorming session so you should just write and not make judgments. Take several minutes to do this for each goal. Then revise this list, adding more activities and crossing out others that will not work.
- Now it is time to prioritize tasks to ensure that you will make the best use of your time each day. Go through the list of tasks (do this for each page) and circle the ones you feel will give you the most result for your effort. You may end up circling 6 or 8 of them. Then draw a star next to the ones that you would like to work on first.
- Schedule these tasks into your daily to do's, focusing on the ones with the stars first. Daily, when you plan your business activities, try to schedule in at least one or two tasks from each list to accomplish that day. Before you know it, you will be checking goals off of your Focused Goals Target because you will be accomplishing your business dreams and life goals in record time!
Have a Wild Week of Focused and Exceptional Planning,
Margo M.Ed. is a Business and Design Coach in the Home Fashions Industry. She creates and delivers custom training programs for managed businesses and their sales consultants to help them communicate better with customers and increase sales and profits. Margarett is a Writer and Professional Speaker, and the President of The DeGangi Group and The DeGangi School of Interior Decoration, with both on sight and on-line courses in Interior Decorating, Marketing, and Redesign. For almost 20 years she has helped individuals and managed business owners in the interior fashions and decorating industries to earn more while fully enjoying the process.
Two of Margo’s popular products for furniture store owners and their sales professionals are The Decorating School Crash Course Power-Ed Pack (9 design lessons on video/audio with 12 hours of content), and the matching Decorating School Crash Course Learner Files to measure learning, provide added interactivity, and motivate sales consultants to own their opportunities for growth.