How Personal Goals Affect Strategic Planning

There are two key philosophical and practical ideas which preceded all goal-setting and strategic planning. They are:

  1. “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll probably end up somewhere else!”

2. “If you don’t know why you are doing it, and what’s in it for you … then your execution will be intermittent, mediocre, and poorly co-ordinated.”

Are either of these things that what you want? Is that what you need Definitely not!
The ability to clearly define, set and achieve goals is one of life’s master skills; and requires the best of our emotion and our logic. It’s the cooperation of these two vital forces that shapes the best results.

The most effective leaders and managers are the best thinkers. They think and set goals in three major areas:

  • 1. Strategy
  • 2. People (… including themselves)
  • 3. Anticipating and Responding to Crisis

Since both leadership and management require mental skills and tools far more than physical skills and abilities, the very best leaders and managers have more mental tools at their disposal than others do.

Your attitude and ability to set and manage goals and to master goal-setting is a skill that is transferable from personal goal-setting to strategic planning. Most, if not all, of the principles are in common; or overlap in practice. Both, at their core, examine the questions:

  • Where are we now?
  • Where do we want to be?
  • When do we want to be there?
  • How can I use the best of my strengths, and the best of others’ strengths to achieve our mission and goals?
  • How are we going to get there?
  • How will we know that we are on track (… at any one point in time)?

Now you are going to explore and learn methods that resemble the combination to a lock. Once you have the right numbers in the right order, you can open the lock. Once you have the right keys in the right sequence, to strategic planning, you can apply them to any product, service or situation in your organisation.

The methods you will explore are used in some of the worlds most effective and profitable corporations and organisations. They will dramatically increase your ability to think effectively about your company and your own situation. So where do we start …?

Firstly … “Develop a clear vision for your organisation. Where do you want to be in five years?

Let’s explore where you currently are in relation to your goal-setting and strategic planning, and do a reality check, So …

  • 1. What method do you currently use for strategic planning?
  • 2. What is a real “goal” rather than a general objective?
  • 3. What are the primary sub-goals is that every company has for achieving its major goals?
  • 4. What is the critical limitation on the accomplishment of your goals in your company?
  • 5. How do you develop plans for the accomplishment of complex tasks
  • 6. What are the two ways that you can organise your activities for maximum accomplishment?

So, How Do Personal Goals Affect Strategic Planning? Some Reasons for “Creating” Your Own Future are:

They both acknowledge that: The Best Way to Predict the Future … is to Create It!

  • 1. Goals Already Affect Your Life.
  • 2. Goals help you to Drive Fear from Your Life by establishing a stronger & stronger Locus of Control. We all feel good about ourselves to the degree to which we feel we have control over our environment.
  • 3. If you don’t set your own goals you will always be responding to … or working on Goals and Plans Set by Other People.

There are Three Core Types of Motivation:

  • Fear … is temporary and external
  • Incentive … is temporary and external
  • Attitude … is permanent and internal

There are Three Road Blocks to Achievement and Success:

  • 1. Fear
  • 2. Doubt
  • 3. Worry (NB: Worry is just fear sustained by indecision)

The Story of 100 Young Men and Their Journey from Age 25 (each was a University Graduate and came from a “good family with plenty of money”) – 40 Years Later at age 65  – Of those left alive (approximately 34% had died).*

What One Thing Did They Have in Common? Just one thing

  • 52% were unhappy, depressed, angry; and financially dependent … on charity or welfare.
  • 52% had no goals and tended to focus on what they didn’t want!
  • 35% were unsettled, dissatisfied, having to work, and linked to debt, credit or loans.
  • 35% had wishes, dreams, but no plans and no reasons to change.
  • 10% were active, satisfied & comfortable and financially ok.
  • 10% had goals, reviewed them often; and acted on them regularly.
  • 3% were happy, fulfilled, successful, rich; and financially independent
  • 3% had very specific goals in writing; each with a deadline and acted on them every day.

Winning isn’t Everything, But Wanting To Win Is!

How do you know those who really want to win? Simply By the preparation they are willing to undertake!

  • Mental … thinking, goal-setting and developing plans
  • Emotional … clarifying, rehearsing, accepting payoffs
  • Physical … scheduling & completing regular action
  • Collaborative … defining win/win’s, and levels of cooperation, commitment & contribution with others
How Personal Goals Affect Strategic Planning - Goals and Achievements - People and Business Insights

In Business & Projects This Means:

  • Creating a Clear Vision for the Future
  • Establishing a Strong Mission
  • Defining & Setting Goals
  • Writing up Plans, Deadlines, Milestones & Timetables
  • Scheduling the Actions & Necessary Steps
  • Selecting The Team, Assigning Roles & Getting Job Specifications Aligned with Everything Above.
  • Executing Every Day on Your Business & Project Plans

What Influences Us to Get Our Goals?

  • Our Attitudes … or habits of thinking
  • Our Beliefs – the attitudes we no longer examine or question.
  • Our Values – motivators, drives and passions
  • Our Clarity of Thought & Our Biases
  • Our Behaviour and Communication Styles

Our Attitudes – Our Habits of Thinking … are developed by:

  • Repetition & The Effect of Mental Osmosis;
  • Significant Emotion … positive or negative;
  • Accepted Visualisation;
  • Our Experiences
  • Attention or Reward;
  • Lack of Acknowledgement & Pain.

Can Our Attitudes Be Changed?
The answer is in these questions … Do you want them to be changed; and do you really connect with the payoff for change?

  • Are you clear on what’s involved in changing?
  • Have you got a plan to manage the change?
    Remember: “If you’re failing to plan, then you’re planning to fail!
  • Again, Can Our Attitudes Be Changed?
    The Answer is “yes!” … the Question is “how?”


You can keep your eyes on the prize by:
  • Daily mental preparation and active rehearsal
  • Continuous focus on what you want and the payoff
  • Engaging in effective mind management by managing your mouth!
  • Investing in mental osmosis; and
  • Practising substitution & displacement via supportive self-talk

Taking daily action on your goal plans.

  • By actually scheduling the steps to happen and …
  • Making an appointment with yourself to act and move forward
Self talk sets up expectation

Self talk is:

  • A focusing tool
  • Something you already do
  • A trigger to mental rehearsal
  • Self talk translates into pictures – We “think” in pictures
  • You’ve heard the sayings “Seeing is Believing” …
  • You can’t hit a target that you can’t see” …
  • “Monkey see … monkey do!”
  • Self Talk without Action is … Self Delusion!

If You Don’t Know Where You’re Going … You’ll Probably End Up Somewhere Else!

Happy People
Habit is more powerful than reason!

Have You Ever Done Something Stupid?

  • Have you ever repeated it?
  • Have you ever done something stupid, known it was stupid and done it again?
  • Have you ever done something stupid, known it was stupid and promised yourself that you would never do it again and have done it again, anyway?
  • What does this prove?
  • No it doesn’t prove that we are stupid!
  • What it does do is prove that we are creatures of habit. And, that habit is more powerful than reason (… read that last sentence, one more time, and reflect upon it, because it is so, so true. And, if you know it to be true then you have got one simple choice – to take full possession of your mind and directed by every means available to achieving the goals that are important in your personal and professional life!)

Behaviour by:

  • Choice and by conscious adaptation or via …
  • Unconscious Habit or by “non-chosen” Conditioning
  • Self-driven Conditioning can create new effective habits, more choices and better flexibility for you.
How Long Does Change Take?
  • It takes 21 Days To Change A Habit … of thought – or what can be called an attitude) … not a habit of behaviour!
  • In the main, it takes around 90 days to imbed a permanent change in Behaviour!
  • In reality, it takes around 111 days to change something major – approximately 4 months (… for the majority of the population)

So don’t be discouraged by the lack of overnight “miracles”.

There are no bad goals, but a lot of lousy timeframes!

In terms of personal goal-setting and strategic planning, any formula or blueprint for success is better than no method of all (… especially if it is well thought out; and is executed aggressively.) It doesn’t have to be perfect – but it should be clear and detailed.

  • The better you become and applying proven methods, the faster and easier you can use those methods to make decisions on the future.
  • The ability to send and achieve goals is the master skill of success.
  • Keeping your thoughts organised; and your ideas in play, with momentum and good execution is vital.
  • Begin with this question: “What are we trying to do?” – What’s the goal, what’s the goal, what’s the goal? Clarity in answering this question is 80 to 90% of your success.

“The definition of fanaticism is readable in your efforts after your aim has been forgotten!” – Ambrose Bierce

  • How are you trying to do establish your goals and set your strategies – What is your method or system?
  • What are your assumptions? – Especially with regard to your choice of methodology. Incorrect assumptions are at the root of all mistakes. If your assumptions were wrong, what changes would you have to make? The flexibility to admit, you may be wrong as the starting point of rapid growth; and this is especially important in a time of rapid change. Why? Because the answers are changing in your field, all the time. One of the best times to reassess and re-evaluate is when you begin to feel stress or resistance. At these times, it becomes very salient to ask, “What are my assumptions? … and “Could there be a better way?”

Remember, begin with the end in mind, clearly, clearly define your goals … and be proactive. It makes all the difference!

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