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How to create a goal map [template included] 

Creating a goal map is a great way to stay focused on your personal and professional goals. Find out how to create one and download our goal map template to get started today.

Man working on a goal map

Creating a goal map for your business is one way to chart a path toward success. Whether you have a new business or you’ve been operating for years, it isn’t always easy to create goals in the first place, let alone achieve them. 

As an independent business owner, understanding your personal goals can similarly help you achieve more balance in your personal life, which can carry over to your business. 

Goal mapping is the process of defining your goals based on what’s most important to you, then outlining what you need to do to achieve them. Learn how to create a goal map for your professional, personal and financial goals, and use our free goal map template to get started. 

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What is a goal map?

A goal map is a document that shows your ideal goals and the steps along the way to achieve them. Typically, they look like flowcharts, but you can design goal maps in any way that helps you visually. 

What do you want out of your business? What are your goals and how are you going to achieve them? This is what a goal map can help you figure out.

How to get started mapping your goals

Grab a piece of paper and write down what you value in your personal and professional life. Next, you’ll determine what’s most important to you so you can create your goals and integrate them into your daily life.

The different parts of your life journey are interconnected and take up your time and energy. It’s essential to look at your personal and professional goals because the two work hand in hand. Your goal map takes this into account and helps you create an overall picture of how you want your life and business to look, touching on both company goals and creative goals, instead of just focusing on one piece of the puzzle.  

Get the goal mapping template.

Learn how to set personal and professional goals with our goal mapping worksheet so you can grow your happiness and your business.

When creating a goal map, start with your personal life

To create a useful goal map, first, take a look at your personal life. 

Let’s rate the areas of our life that give you the greatest satisfaction on a scale of 1–5: 1 being the most satisfaction and 5 being the least: 

  • Family time: Meals together, quality time, and date nights
  • Personal growth: Through books, new skills, hobbies, and your creative life
  • Money: Your net worth, earnings, expenses, savings, debt, and giving
  • Health: Energy, sleep quality, and exercise
  • Relationships: The quality of personal friendships, work friendships, and meaningful connections

These five categories can give us a good understanding of our feelings of satisfaction in our overall life. This will not be a one-and-done assessment. You will need to go back to your answer key to understand whether the steps you take are improving your circumstances or just pushing off the problem for another day.

Evaluating business goals for success when creating a goal map

As an independent business owner, you’re responsible for the success, viability, and growth of the company. You need to look at your business as a living entity and base your decisions on what the business needs to stay alive and prosper. Look at these five main categories when evaluating your business goals and creating a goal map.

  • Management and staff: Consider the cohesiveness of the group, the ability to achieve your goals together, and the needs of your employees to help them be successful.
  • Growth: Are you maintaining a trend of profitable growth? Are you increasing your offerings or removing unprofitable areas? Have you revisited your pricing strategy to be in line with your competitors?
  • Money and sales: Do you have working capital, positive cash flow, and good sales? Does the company give back to the community? What is your debt-to-net ratio?
  • Health: Are you in a growth industry, or is your industry in decline? Is your company growing, or has the company become stagnant?
  • Relationships: Your relationships with your client base, reinvigorating your past client base and creating positive buzz to develop new relationships and impact your customers lives.

How to use your goal map

The identification of your biggest areas of satisfaction and wins will give you the fuel to work on your least satisfactory life areas. What are the issues you need to focus on, and how can you take action steps to change the outcome? 

To oversimplify the issues, you can say that your dissatisfaction with money means you don’t make enough or that your lack of time at home means you need to quit working so hard. But rushing to a judgment and taking quick action could lead you down the wrong path. Instead, let’s take our goal map findings, create smart goals for your personal life and use those new life goals to evaluate your job, business, and career goals.

For example: if you find dissatisfaction in your lack of time at home and want to stop working so hard, take a look at how you operate your business or manage your workflow. You can make changes to better fit your needs and spend less time working (using a clientflow management platform helps enormously with this). You can also then make specific changes to your daily habits regarding what you need to receive from your job, including time off, pay, and the ability to increase your knowledge and personal growth. 

Outlining what you need to achieve your goals

Once you have focus areas that align with your values, you can use your goal map to start determining the actions you need to take to achieve your goals. For instance, if you value your management and staff the most, you may need to outline steps for training. 

Using our goal map template, you can dig even deeper by determining your stakeholders, key dates, business metrics, and individual tasks. 

Let’s say one of your focus areas is management, and you notice that you aren’t spending your time where you want to. A good goal would be to reduce your workload by a certain amount of hours each week, so you can prioritize as needed. Your tasks might be implementing calendar blocks, automating some emails, and delegating more tasks. 

If you are focusing on relationships, join an industry group, use the monthly meetings to meet new vendors or clients, and expand your social network.

If you have employees as a small business owner, take into consideration how personal and professional goals interact for your employees, as well. Employers can create opportunities for employees to bring in their personal goals and relate them to the company’s goals. Find ways to help employees offer meaningful input and set smart goals for the company to satisfy their personal needs. Try to find a common goal or goal themes that can inspire concrete outcomes that can benefit both you and your employees.

Some additional examples

How can the company support a flexible work schedule to allow maximum home or family time while ensuring completion of the job? 

Are you able to facilitate the hiring of or provide the services of training one or two days a week in the office before or after work to help your team improve overall health?

Understanding personal and professional growth with a goal map

No matter how we manage the results after completing our goal map, we must first figure out what we need to be happy and successful on a personal level. Once we’ve got that figured out, we can use those results to create an environment at the office in which we can find success. Understanding that personal and professional goals work hand in hand will help both businesses and employees find long-term success in their chosen professions.

Checking back in to re-evaluate how your action plan is working will create a sense of accomplishment and increase job satisfaction for all involved. 

Another way to ensure meaningful changes in your life and business is to use a clientflow management platform. This streamlines everything you need to manage your business into one place, giving you the peace of mind you need.

Keep your business organized

Manage each step of your clientflow and ensure nothing slips through the cracks. 

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