As a fitness and business coach I am ever reminded of the synergy between living a healthy lifestyle and creating a strong and thriving business. As I continue to raise the bar of my personal fitness goals I become stronger, healthier, and much more confident. When we live a healthy lifestyle we stand up straighter and walk with a gate of one who is truly successful.
A sound business plan should always include objectives for both professional and personal development. As times change we develop new strategies to strengthen our position in the marketplace. To truly position ourselves as leaders we must not discount the importance of including health and fitness goals as part of our strategic planning. Of course, in order to do this we must first understand what that entails.
In my years of military, corporate, and non-profit management I have experienced working with individuals and organizations that had sound strategic plans and those who had no plan whatsoever. In fear of stating the obvious I will summarize in saying those who worked with a sound business plan were much more successful (not to mention efficient) than those who worked without.
I have taken the liberty of researching several strategic planning models that are out there and have extracted a few key elements for creating sound objectives. By thoroughly answering the following questions you will set a firm foundation for success.
- Where am I now? – The first step in any endeavor is to understand where we are today. Without a firm understanding of our starting point there is no hope in creating an effective plan of action. It is important to take this step seriously and give an honest appraisal of where you are.
- Business – Where is my business exactly? Have I firmly identified my niche and if so, how well am I doing in this business?
- Fitness – What is the true state of my health? Have I taken a full analysis of where I stand or do I just hop on the scale from time to time and take only a glimpse of one element of what my health is all about?
- Where do I want to be? – This step needs to be taken just as thorough as the assessment of the current position. To vaguely state that we want to be a successful entrepreneur or limit our health goals to getting that elusive set of 6 pack abs will limit our ability to create a complete and effective plan.
- Business – Where exactly do I want to be? Take the time to really sit down and visualize what your success looks like. See where you want to be financially, geographically, getting a sense of the freedom that will come with achieving this goal.
- Fitness – Be careful to stay away from just the “what I want to look like” objectives and be sure to include elements such as health, endurance, and strength. This is not to say you should not have goals with regard to your body shape or size but tread lightly on the weight aspect and include clothing sizes or what you’ll look like in your business suit or beach wear.
- How far do I have to go? – This is the part where we really get a good look at the road ahead and can start setting realistic timelines. My hope for you is that this gap is great enough to create significant momentum to make you incorporate more elements in to the achieving of the goal. Think of it this way, if we set our sights on jumping a distance of one foot we can probably do it with both arms at our sides and with relative ease. If we set our sight on jumping a 10 foot span then all of the sudden we’re incorporating facial gestures, arm movement and a good running start to get there. Isn’t that 10 foot jump much more fun?
- Business – Write on one end of a page where your business is now, on the other where you’ve determined you want to be. Now, start filling in the things you’ll need to get you from point a to point b. Include things like research, training, supplies, workers, anything you think you will need. Do not limit yourself by thinking about what you can afford, act as if you have unlimited resources to get yourself through this step.
- Fitness – Set up a page just as you did with the business model. Fill in all the elements you’ll need to get to your end goal. You will find the necessary resources are quite similar to the business resources. You’ll need research, training, supplies, employ the help of others etc…
I will end the questions here as the purpose of this exercise was to just get you thinking about the importance of creating a plan but moreover how relatively easy it is to get the ball rolling in creating change in any part of our lives. There is no way to spell out everything you’ll need to reach your objective as this would require individual consultation and planning.
I do want to stress the importance of writing this exercise rather than just letting it be a stream of good intentions left to fade away in our mind’s eye. Keep in mind that when businesses seek financial backing they are held to task on creating a sound and achievable business plan. We would surely be laughed right out of the bank if we were to present ourselves as idealistic dreamers with nothing to show on paper. Why then do we not hold our own selves accountable as entrepreneurs? Challenge yourself to take on the role of the bank manager and if you present your ideas with no written plan laugh yourself back to the drawing board and get the job done.
Remember, an entrepreneur by definition is “one who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise.” You are the most significant asset of your business; assume the same responsibility for your personal objectives as you do for your business objectives. Reduce the risk of failure and create a sound strategic plan.
Your Partner in Success,