Strategic goals are conceptual, directional and long-term. Because strategic planning is visionary, the tendency is to neglect our strategic goals in favor of more tangible operational plans.
“Goals provide the energy source that powers our lives. One of the best ways we can get the most from the energy we have is to focus it. That is what goals can do for us; concentrate our energy.” – Denis Waitley
Don’t underestimate the importance of maintaining a central focus on strategic goals—keeping your strategic goals at the forefront will help you stay the course and achieve those goals more quickly.
In this fast-paced, highly technological world, we are bombarded with stimuli, and numerous forces work against our ability to focus. We can try our best to reduce all the “noise,” but in reality, we will never be free of it, so we must work that much harder to discipline ourselves to remain focused on our goals.
Consider adopting a few of these disciplines to aid in keeping your focus:
- Keep a “goal list” and revisit it periodically (say quarterly?) to keep a check on how your day-to-day tasks are supporting your longer term purposes.
Take a “thought inventory”. What’s making you “tick” lately? What are you thinking about? What drives your thoughts and motives during the day? A self-check on where your mental energy is being used will usually reveal if you’ve gotten off-track. Having a strategic mindset is critical in determining ROI metrics.
- Do NOT allow yourself to fill all your time “doing,” it’s imperative that you carve out “thinking” time. If you let yourself get so busy task-mastering, you won’t take the time necessary to strategize. And that’s when the tasks start to take charge of you, instead of you ruling the tasks. Set aside quiet time every day, where you can identify if a refocus is necessary.
- Find an accountability partner and keep each other in-check. Oftentimes the voice of reason needs to be someone’s voice other than your own. Help each other recognize whether or not your efforts are concentrated on fulfilling your strategic goals.
What are other ways that you maintain your focus? Do your day-to-day operations support or detract from your strategic goals?