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Features : Editorial Last Updated: Feb 6, 2013 - 9:49:59 AM

Creat your own personal Board of Directors
By Stephanie W. Mackara, JD
Feb 6, 2013 - 9:49:13 AM

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"A goal without a plan is just a wish."  
This quote was penned by French writer Antione de Saint-Exupery who lived in the early 1900’s. Written over one hundred years ago, it still has significant merit today.  Every year brings with it new possibilities and a fresh start.  It is this renewal that raises our spirits and our hopes that this year can be better than the last.  We enter each new year with a set of resolutions or goals, dreaming about how “if only” we could _____(fill in the blank) our lives would be further enriched.
How many of us make it to this point in the new year only to have ignored or worse yet, forgotten our admirable resolutions? Over my 40 years I have found that writing down my top 5 initiatives, whether personal or professional, helps to provide a map of sorts to focus my efforts and most importantly, once written, makes me accountable to them.  As a mother, wife and business owner of a financial service firm, this is a very important and necessary process for me to plan, but I have found that most people aren’t planners and even if they are, they simply lack time to focus on a plan for their own life. I know it is difficult so I thought I would share a new way of looking at your goals and a sure fire way to carry them throughout the year.
Many folks on DI either own a small business or at one point in time have worked for a larger organization that requires them to create and measure themselves against a business plan for each coming year. I would like to challenge you to think of your life, and associated goals, in terms of a business plan.  Run your life like a business. We take the time in business to write a plan each year, to measure our successes and learn from our mistakes, why not in our own lives? First, you must identify your general objective. It is very important that the objective is both achievable and meaningful to the business, (i.e. you). For example, I will exercise more is way too broad. Instead reframe it to be, I will exercise (run, XFit, yoga etc.) three times a week in order to lose unwanted pounds and stay healthy. Identify, define, why and how. Most of us only identify, without a clear definition, along with the how and why, your goal, as Antione would say, is all but a wish.
The second step, and most valuable is to create a Personal Board of Directors (PBoD). This is absolutely my favorite and most rewarding goal that has paid multiple dividends over the years. Just like in a business, your board is intended to hold you accountable, to question your plan, to provide advice. Once you identify your goals, socialize your goals with your personal board of directors. These members probably already exist in your life: close friends, spouse, mentors, trusted advisors etc. However, to make this work, you must “formalize” the board. Make it known to these individuals that you are adding them to your “board”, let them know your goals for the year and meet with them regularly to discuss your progress. Now, as the days and weeks move on, your board members will help to keep you on track to make sure your goals are met.  
Once your board is in place you will find them a valuable resource for idea sharing, support, constructive criticism and encouragement. Build your own PBoD and find your goals and dreams become a reality.   

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