Many individuals feel as if they are going through their days randomly and without any type of purpose or plan for their personal success. Everyone wants to know where they are going in life; unfortunately, most people don’t have a clue. Many of the techniques and rituals used in business can be utilized in your personal life to promote growth and provide a blueprint for your life. Some of these very useful corporate tools include:
A Mission Statement
The first step a successful business takes when it is formed is to come up with a mission statement. This statement is a very brief summary of what the business is all about and what its goals are. It is a device that is used to keep a company on track with its objectives.
Come up with a mission statement of your own. Type it out and leave it where you can see it every day; frame it if you like. The important thing is to constantly refer to it to make sure you are on the right track with your own goals. When you have a big decision to make, the number one question you should ask yourself should be “Will it help me achieve my personal goals?” If it does not, you may want to re-examine the issue or place it on the back burner until its relevance becomes clear.
Managers and supervisors in the business world keep themselves focused by writing out an agenda for each day. They list duties, meetings, and paperwork that needs to be done within a timeframe. Referring to their agendas keeps them focused and on task during a busy day.
Individuals can do the same. Purchase a simple planner which lays out the time slots of your workday. Fill in these slots with tasks that you want to complete, things you want to accomplish, and places that you need to go. There is great satisfaction in crossing off each task as you accomplish it. Anything that is not completed during the day can be transferred to the next day or even removed after you evaluate its necessity.
Everyone needs help in achieving their goals. That is why many companies use committees to take on larger projects or brainstorm new ideas. Create your own “committee” to bounce ideas around with and to ask for advice and suggestions. These individuals could include your spouse, friends, family members, or co-workers, but it is usually best if this person has a like-minded personality and/or similar goals. Many people mean well when they try to help, but they may not always understand the path you are on or may even be jealous of your motivation and/or your success.
Not all companies have long-range plans in place, but those that do are very forward thinking. Having these plans will keep management focused on what the next years will bring to the business and what the management needs to do for the company to continue to be profitable and successful. Expansion is one of the main topics of these long-range plans. Every business wants to become bigger, better, and more prestigious, but those that are successful have written plans in place that are visited and reviewed as new trends and more competition appear.
The important aspect for you as an individual to remember is that everything you do today will have an impact on your future success. Lay out written plans of where you’d like to see yourself in five years, ten years, 15 years, and even 20 years. Review these plans often. A great rule of thumb is to review them at least twice per year – on New Year’s Day and then again in June or July.
If you have ever been to a business meeting where there are large amounts of time spent on planning, you will see the use of many visuals. These could include powerpoint presentations, flip chart information, flowcharts, videos, storyboards, and graphs.
You can do similar exercises that will keep you focused on the vision you have of your life. Create a vision board. Cut words and pictures out of magazines that represent your dreams and aspirations. Categories which may be included could be travel, relationships, work life, hobbies, family life, and general motivation. Place this vision board where you can review it every single day.
You can also watch motivational videos. When you are in a slump or don’t feel as if you are making any progress, these can be very inspirational and can assist you in motivating yourself to step up the pace.
Timelines can also be effective. Draw a timeline to lay out where you want to be and what you want to accomplish within a specific time. Refer to it often to keep your goals fresh in your mind.
In business, many companies will assign a more experienced senior staff member to mentor a fledgling employee. You can do the same in your personal life by choosing an individual who has accomplished what you hope to accomplish in your life. This person could be someone you know, a historical figure, or a person who is in the public eye. You will emulate and learn from this individual to achieve some of the same results that he or she achieved. For example, if you want to be a great female writer and director, you may want to read the biographies of Nora Ephron to determine how she became so successful.
As is clearly evident, the methodology used extensively in business can definitely be applied to your own life to help you be successful. This will help you create your own personal visions of progress and accomplishment. You will be motivated to stay the course to become the individual that you aspire to be.