Personal Goals

Mapping your personal goals

The Benefits Dependency Network works well for business decisions. It's worth trying it on your personal goals. It might come as a surprise just how similar personal and business decisions are.

Personal Goals and Business Goals have a similar model

Though we think that we apply more rigour and rationality to business decisions, we are all still people at heart. We know that gut-feeling, emotion and reaction are all going to play a part in the choices we make at work. Looking at things from the personal angle, we try to apply some rationality, even if all we do is rationalise the first conclusion we jumped to.

Here's a map of the things to consider when making a personal decision. Try this with something like choosing a holiday or your new fitness regime.


Notice the variety of drivers that influence your personal decisions. They are yours and those of the people around you. They are the obvious ones and the ones that are more deeply hidden. Recognising the right ones is essential but not always easy.

Recognising the right drivers helps you set the right goals. Understanding the reasons behind your choices is a great motivator to see them through.

The enablers and features are the resources you can use. They might be personal attributes like your winning personality or more tangible stuff like the amount of money you can spend.

The activity box is there because something must be done. If you don't use your resources then you won't achieve your goal.

Remember that a benefit is a result that a stakeholder perceives to be worthwhile. So, first, who's the stakeholder in all this? Are you doing it for you or someone else? Is that ok? Is it a true benefit? Getting the sports car isn't in itself the benefit, what's important is how you feel now you've got it. The perverse benefit is the kind of thing you want when everyone else tells you it's wrong. There's a benefit in smoking or people wouldn't do it even when they know it will kill them. At least recognise it for what it is, even if you are determined to go ahead.

Finally, remember that you don't exist in a vacuum. There are external factors that will help or hinder you. There's the help and resources that other people can give you, the things that you may have to do for them, the goals they want to achieve. Be aware of how interdependent you are and plan accordingly.

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