I hear tons of the supposed experts telling others that they need a strategy, yet very few of them actually have a strategy of their own and even fewer can tell you how to create one for yourself.
The word "strategy" implies planning. What's your plan? Let me ask that differently: what's your plan for your life, for your career growth, for your fulfillment, for your health, for your relationships, for your spirituality, and for your finances?
Do I mean that you need a plan for all these areas? Absolutely! You must plan each category of your life individually and create a collective plan too. This collective plan is really your strategy for success. So how should you proceed?
For each area of your life, brainstorm and write out exactly what you want. Go into excruciating detail. Write out why you must achieve your end result and exactly what you'll lose by not achieving your end result. Next right out quarterly, monthly and weekly benchmarks that must occur to achieve your success.
That's your strategy, or plan for your success. The tactical plan is the actions necessary to make the strategy work. For the tactical pick your top 3 highest value action items for each category of your life that will beat your benchmarks, and execute them every week. Capitalize on Pareto's Principle where 80% of your success will come from the top 20% of highest priority efforts.
Review your strategy every Sunday. Take an hour for yourself, review your professional and personal strategy, celebrate your victories and mitigate your shortcomings. Does this take time? Absolutely! Will this strategy reward you? Thousands and millions of times over. An hour of "you" time is better than anything else you can do. Turn off the tv, the radio and your email and start strategizing.
We’ve all heard the expressions, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail,” or my favorite growing up from dad, “if you don’t have a plan for your life – someone else does and you won’t like it.”
Nothing could be truer. Talk to anyone of substance or success in life and you’ll find they have a detailed plan for every area of their lives. Do you have a plan for your personal and professional life?
Your plans don’t have to be grandiose or beyond your wildest expectations. But you do have to have results in mind and create actionable and measurable items to achieve your desired outcomes. What areas should you have plans for at a minimum? These aren’t the only areas of your life, and they will definitely get you started on the right path.
• Career development
• Job specific skills
Where are you going to end up if you don’t know where you want to be? My guess is a life unfulfilled and empty of accomplishment. So what's the secret to creating a plan. Simple, write your plans out and review them regularly – not one time.
Create your grand vision for your life and career and your plan of actionable items to get there. Break them down by quarter, month, week, and then daily. Review your objectives monthly and create a plan for each week of the month based on what you know you can manage? You should. Then as the weeks come up, take some quiet time on Sunday and plan out your week in more detail. Then each night, plan out the next day for your daily movement towards your goal. You'll find your days a whole lot less stressful by simply planning out the night before.
Again, you don’t have to have the perfect plan. Your plans will get wrenches thrown in them all the time. Be flexible in your approach, and have a plan though. Measure and modify as needed.
Again, it’s about having a plan so you’re not living someone else’s. Any plan beats no plan, and the act of creating one will start to set you free, change your life’s course, and lead to a more fulfilling and profitable future.