Maintain Momentum in Your Strategic Planning Process - dummies

Maintain Momentum in Your Strategic Planning Process

By Erica Olsen

Creating momentum in your life, just like in business, takes increasing the activities that move you forward and decreasing those that hold you back. Sounds like a snap, but living the life you desire isn’t always easy to achieve. You have habits and cycles to overcome.

But by creating momentum, you can move past those habits and toward the life you want. Momentum, by its nature, requires a lot of upfront push to get the ball rolling. Following are some tips to jump-start the momentum in your strategic plan and life in general.

Planning tip: Make your picture of success a reality

If you can’t see your vision of success, you’ll never get there. As you begin working through your planning process, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What does success look like for me day to day?

  • How do I want to spend my time?

  • How do I want to define success for myself this year?

  • What do I expect to see differently as a result of investing our company’s time in a strategic planning process?

Jot down your answers and post them where you’ll see it every day.

Planning tip: Pick a BHAG

A BHAG is a big, hairy, audacious goal that you want to achieve this year that will help you step into your vision of success. So what’s your BHAG? Write it down along with the one thing you can do today to make it happen.

A study was conducted among a graduating class at Harvard University to see how many graduates had concrete goals about how much money they wanted to make. Only 3 percent had written down their goals. Ten years later, that same 3 percent was making more than the other 97 percent combined. Now that is power! Before another minute goes by, put some thought into your BHAG and get it down on paper.

Planning tip: Create a brain trust

Identify a handful of people in your life who you trust to help you move your life forward. Consider pulling from a wide range of backgrounds, ages, experiences, and opinions. Mentors are great sources of guidance and are often the most critical and provide the best insights. Call on them together or individually to help you move past any roadblocks and keep the momentum going.

Even if you don’t have any pending issues or questions that need immediate attention, continue to meet with your mentors and spend time focusing on those tabled items that always come up in discussion but haven’t been addressed. Or meet without an agenda. You may have an enlightened conversation, giving new thought and energy to your plan.

Planning tip: Find the time

One of the biggest challenges to having the life you want is finding the time to do all you want to do, whether at the office or at home. But admit it: The two areas affect each other.

Track how you spend your time for a week. At the end, tally up the time spent on each activity, such as meetings, paying bills, preparing reports, checking e-mail, running errands, and so on. Look at each category. What things can you do to cut time in each area? If you struggle with preparing meeting agendas or keeping up with the books, pass the task off to someone who’s better suited for the job.

Or set up your spam filter or organize your inbox to make it easier to sift through the e-mails. Be creative, and you’ll soon free up time that allows you to focus on what’s most important, like your planning and execution process.