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Several years ago I met Brian Mayne.  He introduced me to the concept of Goal Mapping.  This is where we take a general goal, something like making your life better and putting specifics in place that help you move towards your desired outcome.

There are four parts of goal mapping.  All four are equally important.  Doing a goal map in a specific order helps improve and speed up the process.  When I start an engagement with a client I always start with a goal map.  When I combine a goal map with our alignment process we get great results. 

First there’s the overarching goal.

Here’s something that I think is really cool.  The overarching goal is not measurable.  It might be to make a sustainable business or it might be to live a great life.  Both of those are goals and both are not really measurable with just one or two metrics.

I think this is one of the things I find attractive about goal mapping.  I’ve been not a big fan of goals for goals sake.  Specific goals help you move forward.  Unless you have a really good idea of where you want to go those specific goals just might take you to the wrong place.

Your overarching goal is the center of the map.  The other four areas you need to consider live around your overarching goal.  As we’ll see, the projects that get established through this project will be pretty specific.  If you’re one of those who are only comfortable with specific goals, hold on, I’ll get to you.

Next, it’s all about what you want to do.

Let’s take the goal of having a good life.  The next step is what you need to have a good life.  For me, it would be spending quality time with my wife, skiing a fair amount, having great bike rides, spending time with friends, have a great business and get lots of time to work on things I’m curious about.

I could and often do a separate goal map on each item on my list.  In fact, I’m in the process of developing a new goal map on what the definition of having a great business is.

Third, we visit why the what’s are important.

Now we get to ask one of my favorite questions….why?  I often ask this question in a little different way.  Instead of just saying why, I’ll ask, “What will be different when you achieve a particular outcome?  How does this change your life?” 

Both are why questions and both force you to think about the question why in a deeper manner.  As always, when you ask why, don’t stop at the first answer.  Make sure you dig deeper.  Preferably at leave five levels deep.

Sometimes we have to fix what we want to do.

After you’ve answered the questions about why you want to go back and revisit what it is you want to do.  You might find that you’re going to want to change what activities will help you move towards your outcomes.

This is why I like to do a goal map using a mind map.  Mind maps are easy to fix and they’re easy to make changes.  They also engage both sides of your brain and bring you whole mind into your planning process.

Now, it’s time to figure out who needs to help.

It would be really easy to skip this step.  Please don’t, this is where you find out who your allies will be in helping you achieve your goals.  You will want to have both internal and external people help. 

If your goal is around your life, you’ll want people inside and outside your family.  If it’s about your business, you’ll want people inside your business and people outside your business help you get to where you want to go.

I have never and I do mean never achieved anything worthwhile without the help of others along the way.  Identifying at least the roles of who’s going to help is a crucial part of the process.  It’ll help you understand who needs to be one your team.

Finally, we get to decide how we’re going to get there.

This is where too many people start their planning process.  If this is the first thing you do, that would be a mistake.  If the first thing you do is try to solve the problem before even knowing what the problem or better yet, opportunity is.  Starting here almost guarantees you spend more time and money than you need to.

If you end with how you’re going to get there, the steps are often obvious.  You’ve already nailed down what you want to do, why it’s important and who’s going to help.  Don’t you think the steps might just be staring you in the face?  I certainly do.


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Topics: goals, planning, goal mapping

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