Saturday, December 13, 2008

4 Steps for Personal Planning in 2009

In a recent meeting of Chief Executive Boards International a member mentioned a Japanese Proverb:

    “Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare."
This seemed to me like a great place to start with a personal plan for 2009. I invite you to consider the same. It's so much easier to take things in pieces -- even if you don't already have an articulated strategic plan for your business, start with a strategic plan for yourself. And give this proverb a try as a starting place. Here's how:

  1. Vision -- What's your vision for yourself?

    • In 2009? (start here -- come back to the next two time frames)
    • By 2014 ? (5 years)
    • At age 65? (Or in 2019 -- 10 years -- whichever's greater)

      Articulating a vision isn't as elusive as it seems. Try visualization techniques,

      • What does one of those future time frames "look like"?
      • What does a week of a that future time frame "look like"?
      • What does a month of that future time frame "look like"?

  2. Consider the question: "What's important?" In his book The Number (reviewed at a CEBI Summit and in a CEBI Webcast and mentioned in numerous meetings since), author Lee Eisenberg makes the point that life expectancies have stretched. In fact, a couple 65 years old today has a 40% likelihood of one of them living to be 90.
    At today's normal "retirement" ages, you could easily have 1/3 of your life left.
    So, what's important? It's probably not work, unless you find a vocation that fits what's important or provides plenty of free time for what's important.

  3. Analyze the Actions -- What are you working on? What are you spending your time doing? Are those things consistent with the vision? Here's an idea:
    • Make a list of how you spend your time -- daily or weekly. Maybe just the top 3 things you spent time on, in descending order of time allocated.

    • Compare the actions with the vision
      • Are the actions sufficient to support the vision? (Vision without action is a daydream)
      • Are you doing enough things to make realizing the vision a likelihood?
      • Most importantly, are there actions happening that don't fit the vision at all? (Action without vision is a nightmare)

      You might also consider applying the same questions to your business:

      • Is the vision for the business actually articulated?
      • Are the actions sufficient to realize it?
      • Are all the actions consistent with the vision? What could we stop doing? Keeping in mind that actions that don't fit the vision could well be creating future nightmares.

      If you have a set of thought processes that you use for either personal or business planning, please click "Comments" below and share them.

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      Terry Weaver

      Chief Executive Boards International

      Chief Executive Boards International: Freedom for business owners & CEOs -- Less Work, More Money, More Freedom to enjoy it

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