Once again, Happy New Year!
I'm very excited about everything that comes along with a new year. I always feel a renewed sense of purpose and energy this time of year and I use that energy to outline my goals and plans for the months ahead. It's a practice of mine for the last few years to spend time at the end of the year reflecting on the year before and setting myself up for success. For me, it makes the difference between a year of jumbled thoughts and activities and a year of well-executed plans and noticeable growth.
Without clear direction, goals are just like plans, easy to make but hard to execute. You can easily get caught up in the planning of it all and spend a bunch of time going from one task to another without ever really accomplishing anything.
That's always been my problem. I am an AWESOME planner; I honestly feel like I would die if I lost my planning book. However, when it comes to actual action, I must have a vision of where I want to go or I get burnt out and nothing gets FINISHED.
Which is why a Strategic Vision is such a great tool for helping us get closer to our goals. A strategic vision links your present situation with your desired outcome and helps uncover the steps you need to take to get there. It also helps to make sure your actions are aligned with your goals and helps you stay the course when you feel like giving up.
Take a look at the Strategic Vision graphic (available for Download HERE). It outlines some of the major elements of a Strategic Vision. Your vision should inspire you and require you to be ambitious and try new things. More of the same will always bring more of the same so make sure your vision requires you to truly step out of your comfort zone. Your vision should be future-oriented, as in it represents what your life will look like once you've accomplished your goals. It should also reflect your values and the things that are important to you, the things you are passionate about. Lastly, your vision should promote excellence in all you do as you position yourself to make your dreams a reality. As you commit to living your dream life you commit to nothing less than the best in terms of the things you do and the company you keep.
Strategic Growth Planning works in the same way as it helps you create a strategy for how you will execute your plans. Its like a road map for your success, complete with all the actions you need to take along the way. Along with having a vision for your future, strategic growth requires you to set goals and think creatively about how they will be accomplished. Coaching and support from those with experience is invaluable along with the strategic use of your time on ONLY those things that will move you closer to where you want to be.