Goal Setting Success: Developing a Personal Business and Life Plan

Goal setting success is a key strategy for mastering your time, money and your life. If you’re not as success as you want simply look at your goals and plans to achieve them. Many people lose site of the ultimate purpose of setting goals and mastering their time.  When they free up time in one area of their life, they spend it in areas that aren’t fulfilling.  By setting and prioritizing goals in all areas of your life, you are laying a foundation of living your life “on purpose”.  This will allow you to spend more of your time doing things that are important and fulfilling.

Personal Business Plan

To help you start practically applying goal setting now, you should develop a Personal Business Plan. Completing the Personal Business Plan will help you set specific and realistic financial goals for yourself.  This is an important step in the time mastery process because people’s financial health often dictates the status of other areas of their lives.   In business you must manage the finances to both survive and to thrive.  Money is a tool that provides people a vehicle for living the life they want.  Most people complain about not having enough time, money, and freedom.  If you increase the money you have, you then have the option of having more time and freedom for the things you enjoy.  By managing your time and your life you give yourself the option of freedom.  If you don’t have the financial wherewithal, you don’t give yourself that option and thus your freedom is limited.

In addition to using the Personal Business Plan to set financial goals for yourself, you will want to develop a Personal Life Plan to set goals in other areas, including:

  • Family
  • Relationships
  • Career
  • Physical
  • Spiritual
  • Personal development

Personal Life Plan

The key to a successful Personal Life Plan is paying attention to what’s really important.  We pay attention to something by spending time doing it.  If being physically fit is important, a person will spend time exercising.  If one’s family is important, time is spent with the family.  Since there will always be competition for time, it is important to be clear about your priorities.  Knowing what’s really important makes it easier for people to know what to say “yes” and “no” to.

A good example of knowing what’s important is illustrated by a story told by Shelly Lazarus, President of Ogilvy Mather-North America (one of the world’s largest advertising agencies).  Shelly was scheduled to go to a team meeting for a major client on the same day as her son’s field day at school.  Shelly chose to watch her son participate in field day rather than make the meeting.  When her boss asked why she missed the meeting she replied, “We had a team of eight people at that meeting and in two weeks nobody will remember who was there and who wasn’t.  If I had missed my son’s field day, he never would have forgotten.”

When faced with conflicting priorities, do what is most important. Completing the Personal Life Plan will help you focus on what’s really important in your life.

Goal setting without plans is wishful thinking. By connecting your Personal Business Plan with your Personal Life Plan you are putting in place the foundation that will keep you focused and your business and personal life aligned. Doing so increases your chances of achieving goal setting success.


  1. We recently spent some time working in another system that highlighted that people are different; that each person has a different sort of “spiritual DNA” and we’re born different, not the same. I have found, for sure, that for some people, goal setting and achievement comes almost naturally, but for others, it seems almost impossible to do.

    Any thoughts on these differences and how those who are less inclined to goal setting and achievement can still benefit?

    • Henri,
      I agree that some people are more aligned with goal setting than others. Because sales rewards those who perform the best goal setting is a skill most top performers either do naturally or it’s a skill they’ve developed. An analogy is being able to use both hands in basketball. Players who can’t use their “off”hand naturally will need to work harder to be able to do so. Shooting and dribbling a basketball aren’t skills required for “jobs” outside of basketball. So not everyone needs to develop them. However, if you want to play at a high level or professionally you’ll need to have these skills or develop them.
      I’ve studied top performing salespeople for 30+ years and most if not all used goal setting to succeed. People who aren’t good at goal setting or have difficulty doing it may not be a good fit for sales… at least jobs that require high performance. There are plenty of jobs and careers where goal setting isn’t a key requirement. The key to long term success in any job is alignment between the job requirements and a person’s capability and motivation. As my former business coach used to say, “don’t ask a pig to fly”.
      If you love sales but aren’t inclined to set goals have someone else do it for you or develop a system that helps you do do it. Salespeople who don’t like paperwork often delegate these tasks so that they can spend more time selling. This could be the case with goal setting. My only caution would be to make sure that the person wasn’t “pretending” to love sales when the job really isn’t a good fit.”Fake it until you make it” only works if you are really aligned with the job requirements. People ultimately will seek outlets for their deepest motivations. Working outside your capabilities and motives can be draining and unfulfilling.

      • Phyllis Brown says:

        I think that goal setting comes naturally, once it is taught to someone who really wants to make the most of their life, business, or whatever kicks off the desire. It takes a certain amount of humility and a willingness to learn to commit to changing habits. Goal setting is one of the most valuable tool I own, I can always use it, sharpen it, and see the results after using it.
        As far as making a difference in selling, there is no doubt in my own professional life that writing goals made a huge impact. It is as though I put in an order to the universe, and I just had to show up and do the legwork after that. It is almost magical how things begin to fall into place.
        Thanks for reminding me of the power of goal setting. It doesn’t take a lot of paperwork, as I hate paperwork. A little goes a long way. The most important thing for myself, is to check in with my goals, and see the progress. That is what I was taught to do to stay motivated, when things don’t seem to working on schedule. It works, if you use it.
        Thanks for the dialogue.