Strategic planning is critical to maximising goal achievement.
Working towards a goal requires commitment and resilience. Nothing worthwhile is ever easy; it is almost a given - it takes hard work. On this point, almost everyone can agree.
What we tend to underplay; however, is the strategic planning required to achieve our goals. Without an effective plan, we can easily become a victim of circumstance - rather than grasping control of our destiny.
What elements of effective planning increase the likelihood of achieving your goals?
These are our tips:
- Begin with the end in mind. Visualise the achievement of your goal and embed it in your psyche. Then come back to your starting point (where you are now in relation to the goal) to develop and document a structured plan. Include a scope and sequence of incremental actions and achievement milestones.
- Keep the plan simple. The plan needs to be actionable for you to achieve your goal. If a plan is too complex, or unrealistic, it may create challenges that become demotivating.
- Make the actions procedural. Create new patterns of behaviour, or routines, that reduce the risk of overthinking what needs to be done and when.
- Continually ask yourself – What else? This will ensure you have considered a wide range of strategies to create the best possible plan.
- Ensure your plan aligns with the achievement of your goal. It may sound simple, but if your plan does not align with your goal it is very unlikely you will achieve it.
- Plan to access resources that drive goal achievement. Resourcing should be strategic, evidence based, time and cost effective.
- Monitor achievement milestones and evaluate your progress towards goal achievement. This provides continuous feedback, which is motivating and promotes goal attainment.
- Revise your plan when and where required. There is no use continuing to commit to a plan that has proven to be ineffective.
- Make your plan visible. Display the plan in a prominent place where it can’t be ignored.
- Share your plan. It increases your commitment by increasing your accountability.
What is holding you back? Start planning to achieve your goals!