New Year’s resolutions fail for the same reason that so many businesses do – because people let their strategy and resources limit their vision.

Here’s a simple example. Jeremy has $500 and up to one week off for his vacation so he believes he has only two options – a weekend getaway or couch-surfing at a friend’s house for a week. If Jeremy actually took the time to think about his dream vacation, he would identify that he would love to spend a month cycling around Europe. Unfortunately, because he is using his current (and very logical!) strategies of working within his resource limitations, Jeremy never even allows himself to consider what his dream is. He accepts the need for compromise as a logical reality.

The real reality is that if he just took the time to focus on what he really wanted, there is a good chance that he could create strategies for achieving it. He might have to give up the shorter vacations, trim his entertainment budget for awhile and put in some extra hours at work, but having his dream vacation would ultimately be much more fulfilling than many little “compromise” vacations.

The same principle applies in business. The biggest barrier any entrepreneur faces in achieving the full potential of their business is this tendency to let their current strategies and resources limit their vision.

We were hired by a manufacturing client a few years back to help with their annual strategic planning. They had revenues of about $7 million annually and had grown about 12% each year over the last 5 years. Their strategic planning for the coming year was focused on ensuring another 12% growth. By working with them to expand their vision from what they knew how to do (12% growth) to what they really wanted to do (triple their revenues and be a fun, creative and exciting place to work), we helped them design strategies to grow the company to $30 million over the next three years.

Many people think keeping your dreams realistic means you are more likely to achieve them. Research shows the opposite. Small, realistic goals are easier to put off. Big goals with ambitious deadlines spark people to begin taking action immediately, while motivating them to keep moving forward consistently over the long term.

Coming up with workable strategies for achieving big dreams doesn’t have to take extra time – simply the ability to harness extra creativity. Fortunately, when the dream you are working towards is truly compelling, you are more likely to persevere until the creative strategic insight occurs. You are also more likely to persist in overcoming any barriers that may get in the way of executing these strategies.

As you are setting your goals for 2012, set aside your strategic limitations and allow yourself to imagine what you really want. Remember that when you allow strategy to follow vision – not the other way around – you will amaze yourself and everyone around you with your personal and business accomplishments in the coming year.

p.s. If this makes sense, but you think you might need some help getting out of your own way to ensure an amazing 2012, go to our website and click on the gift box to find out about a great deal we are offering on strategic planning for both individuals and entrepreneurs.

Andrea Jacques – President
Kyosei Consulting International, Inc.