Saturday, April 18, 2009

Personal Goal Setting and Management - Planning for the Year Ahead

The start of a New Year is a great time to plan for what you want to achieve. What better time than to invest in yourself and set a course for the future. As you reach your goals you will need to set new ones.
How do you do this in a powerful and focused way?

Here are 10 Essential Questions to ask now to make the most of the next year.

1. What is your 5-year plan?

What do you want to be doing professionally and personally in five years time? How do you want to be feeling? For example what will you be doing, how much income will you be earning, where will you be living, how much time will you be spending with your family?
Keeping in mind your five year vision will help set goals for the next 12 months.

2. What is your vision for the next year?

How do you see the year unfolding? Visualise yourself in 12-months time, reflecting back on the year. What does it look like? What does success look like in a years time?

Use this vision to add to your goals. If your planning on a holiday imagine yourself on the beach for example. This will inspire your goals and then make feasible plans to make the vision a reality.

3. What is your mission for the next year?

Who will you help? What problems will you provide solutions for? What new skills will you learn? This is the doing rather then dreaming. How will you go about achieving your goals and vision.

4. Set five key goals to be achieved.

Keep to no more than five specific goals. Write them down. Goals set the big picture achievements for the year. Have both personal and business or career goals. It might be something small like painting a room or something larger like moving house. Write it down.

5. What are the specific strategies or tasks that will help you achieve these goals?

These are the "how to's". Make them specific and achievable. Use the OAT formula - Outcome - Action - Timeline.

6. How often will you review your goals?

Write in your diary now a reminder to review them at least every 3 months. Some people like to review them on a monthly, weekly or even daily basis!

7. Conduct a personal SWOT Analysis.

In the past year, what were your Strengths and what were your Weaknesses? What are the Opportunities for the next year? What are the Threats stopping you achieving your new goals?

8. Reality Check.

How will you measure whether you have achieved your goals? What are the milestones or performance criteria that set the benchmark for measuring your success?

9. How will you balance work with personal interests?

What will be the mix of fun & learning, health & fitness, career & finance, love & belonging?

10. How will you reward yourself for achieving your goals in 2003?

How will you celebrate?

Having all this mapped out is as important as effective business management. Managing your goals, prioritising and evaluating ensures your next 12 months will be as successful personally as professionally.

Thomas Murrell MBA CSP is an international business speaker, consultant and award-winning broadcaster. Media Motivators is his regular electronic magazine read by 7,000 professionals in 15 different countries. You can subscribe by visiting Thomas can be contacted directly at +6189388 6888 and is available to speak to your conference, seminar or event. Visit Tom's blog at

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