In business, strategy and growth go hand in hand. You create a game plan to achieve your goals--including a mission statement, a step-by-step strategy, and a timeline. You hold meetings, make calls, and invest. And all of this planning comes together to make your goals attainable.

But when you think about your personal goals, I'm sure the path to achieving them looks a lot messier. It's enticing to just go with the flow rather than strategically plan an approach--especially when emotions run high--but devising a personal growth plan can be just as valuable as creating a business plan if you truly want to reach your desired goals.

The simple act of drawing up a plan with the counsel of trusted advisors can not only help you visualize your goals and the necessary steps to achieve them, but it can also remedy a lot of the inertia and uncertainty that held you back in the first place.

These action steps have proven useful for my clients when creating an effective plan for their personal growth:

  1. Create a personal mission statement. Making a plan to achieve your goals is impossible if you don't have any. Spend some time brainstorming and throwing around different ideas. Then, condense your ideas into one succinct and specific mission statement. Just like a professional mission statement, it should leave no room for misinterpretation and clearly answer the question: "What do you intend to achieve--and what are you committed to doing (and being) to get there?"
  1. Choose your gurus. However flawless your personal plan is, if you want to max out your potential, you're going to need the guidance of mentors, advisors, and influencers. Look for a mentor with relevant experience who can act as a sounding board for your ideas, offer feedback, and open doors within established networks that you're not yet part of.And you don't just have to rely on in-the-flesh gurus to help you; books by authors you admire, relevant TED Talks, blogs, mastermind groups, or trusted friends and colleagues can be just as valuable in driving you toward your personal goals.
  1. Plan your strategy. Once you're equipped with a solid set of goals and trusted feedback, you're in a position to craft your own personal strategic plan. It should provide a clear pathway--complete with opportunities you need to capitalize on, relationships you can leverage, and resources you may need--plotted on a timeline, with ideal dates for completing each step.

You don't have to rent office space or put on your best suit to get serious about achieving your personal goals. Simply start by figuring out what you want to achieve and finding some good "gurus"--those honest and experienced mentors and advisors who have your best interests at heart. After gathering their advice, create a clear game plan you are committed to executing on, and the rest will follow. When you see your growth as your personal responsibility and acknowledge that who you are may be standing in the way of who you could become, you won't remain at a standstill for long.

Published on: Sep 19, 2014
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