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Planning for Success

Jan 4, 2013
By Dennis Clemmer

Categories: Strategic Planning

Planning for Success

January 4, 2013

Planning for Success by Dennis Clemmer

Three days from now Notre Dame and Alabama will be playing for the National Championship of college football. I am an avid fan of Notre Dame which doesn’t sit too well in this part of the country. But that is beside the point.

Recently I was reading an article about Notre Dames’ preparation for the game and a member of the team commented that their focus was on daily practice goals. In his view the accomplishment of the daily goals was instrumental in being successful on game day. Wishing or hoping they would win the game was not part of the strategy.

Obviously setting daily goals doesn’t guarantee a win as there are factors that are outside players’ control that may result in a less than desired outcome. Injuries would be one such factor. A key player being knocked out of a game can play a major factor in the outcome.

When I joined North Group I was challenged to set personal annual goals. I did so at first, more out of a desire to demonstrate my commitment to the group, than a belief that it was a useful discipline.

After 12 years of developing annual goals I have come to realize how doing so helps to structure my behavior during the course of the year. Since my goals are not just about what I want to accomplish within the business, they guide my activities related to spiritual development, family life, physical well being and leadership.

The December 27th Lancaster Newspaper devoted a section of the paper to personal fitness and the importance of setting goals for achieving this. One of the articles highlighted the issue of commitment/staying motivated. The personal fitness industry is well aware that follow through with goals set at the beginning of the year is a real challenge.

Staying focused on goals throughout the year happens best for me by meeting quarterly with an accountability partner. While I am somewhat embarrassed to acknowledge this, approval of someone I respect is a motivator and knowing that every three months I will be asked how I am doing keeps me actively working at the goals I set.

Developing annual goals for the past 12 years has taught me the following:

  • Setting goals in broad areas – spiritual development, family life, business, personal fitness and community service – keeps me from being one dimensional
  • Meeting with an accountability partner increases my level of self awareness and uncovers other areas of my life that need attention
  • Making corrections midyear for over ambitious goals is okay
  • What I learn in the process is of greater value than achieving the set goal

I challenge you this year to consider setting goals for yourself, finding an accountability partner and enjoying what the journey teaches you.

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