In part 1, I talked about how important goals are, and mentioned how planning is essential to success. Let’s talk a little bit more about taking your goals and creating a plan…

Once you know what lights you up, setting longer term, medium term and shorter term goals can help set you up to succeed in every aspect of your life, including business and marketing.

Keep in mind, as you begin to set the more specific goals and layout the plans to get there, that things will shift and move as you progress. You’ll want to review what you have on a regular basis, both to stay connected to the overall mission, and also, to make necessary adjustments along the way.

Set a timer and spend a little time thinking about what you would like your business to look like in 5 years. When people begin to approach this, they often get stuck because they feel like they need to make it perfect. You don’t, so let that go. Think of this as a draft, you are free to change any part as you wish.

In fact, the first time I did this exercise, I created a wonderful vision… and, as soon as I was done, realized that I only truly wanted about 80% of it, so started over almost from scratch. I had to get that version out of the way, and then notice it didn’t really light me up, in order to get to what I really want to create.

Once you have an idea of that 5 year picture, start to think about what you would need to accomplish in each year, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 in order to realize the 5 year goal. What would need to happen by the end of each year for you to get there?

Then, once you have some idea of what needs to happen in the 1st year, you can begin to layout the plan to achieve that.

Sometimes it helps to make this a fun and creative project. You can use markers, crayons, cut out pictures and words from magazines. Engage as many senses as you can and as you clarify, feel the emotions you would feel as you achieved each step. Really put yourself in the place of knowing the experience.

As you do that, you open yourself to the possibility, the excitement, the inspiration and the motivation to follow-through.

If you struggle with this kind of process, it often helps to engage a friend or peer to help you think things through. Find someone you can exchange thinking time with and help each other create this 5 year map to something big you want to create in your world.

You can also engage the services of a coach to help you get clarity around each piece of this process.

Remember, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. If you don’t take the time to think about these things, in a year, 2 years, 3 years and 5 years from now, you may end up in essentially the same place you are now, simply because you didn’t PLAN to create something different.

What do you want to create?

And, if you’re curious how to apply this goal setting and planning process to your marketing, be sure to sign up for the early bird notification for Marketing in the Morning™ – I’ll be sharing some tips in an upcoming free webinar. To get more information, click here.