How many times have we heard about the strategic plan? What about New Year Resolutions? Have you written those? We all know that A. it's an integral part of growth B. & B. It's not as easy as it sounds I've heard from a few people something along the line with 'I don't know how you can live by such strict calendar/plan that you set yourself, 'why do you put it all in your calendar?' And to me, those questions or criticism sounds like 'I don't; know why are you so organized,' 'I don't know why are you so focused, just chill.' Well, it's not like I'm not having fun, or entertainment, not meeting friends, or going to concerts movies. I do it all, and yes, all of it is on my calendar.
It isn't straightforward for many people, I know. But to me, having a clear strategy, plan and schedule is a part of my success journey; it is the part of my routines that allow me to build my dream If you are the one who will not agree – look back and see how many goals you have achieved.
- Do you have goals?
- Do you have dreams?
- Why aren't you working on it?
Being disorganized never helped anyone to get anywhere close to their dream. And the process starts way before your calendar ad scheduling. It would help if you started from strategy and plan.
Whatever system you choose or your style, you need to define your goals and the steps to get there. How to get there – is your strategy. The list of actions and activities you need to go through to get there – is your plan.
So why do you need your 2023 strategy? Because you want to see change, you want more done, you want to achieve something special. This is why. Some still believe that strategy is for business only. I'll have to disappoint you – it's not. If you don't have your vision, strategy, and plan, you are just free-flowing in the world, chaotic or down the river flow. Is that what you want from your life? If your answer is yes, - we have nothing to talk about. If your answer is no – let's make your dreams come true.
Personal strategy is crucial because it gives you direction and confidence and shows you how to bring your dreams into reality. However, strategy today is not for businesses only. Being focused means knowing what you need to focus on at every moment.
Another point – dreaming isn't enough, strategy isn't enough, planning isn't enough – you need to take action. So every day, you need to do something that moves you closer to the dream. How do you do so? Managing your schedule and adding tasks that get you closer to your dream. This is why my calendar is not chaotic. This is why I have a strategy and plan. And no matter how badly I want just to lay down with a comfy blanket and binge-watch my favorite show, first – I focus on tasks that matter, and then I have time for everything else. And believe my once you get yourself organized – you do have time for everything - binge-watching, walking, wine-tasking club, extra weekend trip, or anything else. And it feels so much better relaxing after having tasks completed when you know it's not procrastination or you haven't moved closer to your dream.
So, dreamers, let's get you to doers' side - strategy is your step one. Sit down and write down your goals or your craziest dreams or, if you prefer, new year resolutions. Then, pick the top three that matter the most once you've done that. Once you have a goal, you need to create a strategy.
For example, you want to write and publish a book. The part of your strategy will be a timeline – how soon you want it completed, how you want it to be published. The role of your plan, on the other hand, will be the list of tasks – ideas for the book, research on feasibility, analysis and choice of tools, classes (if you need it), registering for a class, or just adding to your schedule 'write two pages a day' recurrent task, and so on.
It looks simple, but some goals require better analysis, and some are tricky because sometimes we have no clue how to approach this new 'thing.' In that case, seek professional assistance. I can help you with that with a 1-on-1 strategy session. There are many tools, exercises, and little secrets you can utilize to help you with your personal strategy development and execution, and there are many tools to keep you productive no matter what circumstances you are in. So let's make it work for you; the time has come for you to live your dream.
There are various techniques you can use, same as for business. For example, you heard about OKR, OGSM, and KPI. You can use any of those for your personal strategy and plan development or follow the simple process outlined above. It's easy to get confused, distracted, or discouraged while working on your strategy. Instead, try to focus on the big picture, feel the feeling – you, once you achieved that goal or dream of yours. Please close your eyes ad feel it for a moment.
Try my favorite – point A- point B exercise to transition from goals to the strategy and the plan. Take a piece of paper or open a new word file and create three columns. The title of this page will be the dream or goal that you want to achieve, and this exercise will help you narrow the tools and steps you need to take to complete it. We will call column A or point A on the left. This column lists your resources – what you have right now and what you achieved.
For example, if your goal is to increase your annual income by 50%, you list your current job, how much it pays, other incomes – royalties, income from investment: your skills, diplomas, and certifications. Then, we create the right column. We call it column B or point B. As you probably noticed, point A is what you have, where you are right now, and point B is where you want to be. So, for example, point B will be your target income with a 50% annual increase in this case. You can also write down the percentage of income you want to be residual types of gains you want to add or the target industry you want to transition to make more money. Thus, you got your point A and point B columns lists. Now, in between, you have an empty column. This is the one that will define your strategy and plan. This is where you list things you need to achieve or do to get from point A to point B.
Following our example, you want to increase your income, and you might need an extra education or certification, new education, and internship. You might need to add side hustle or reorganize your investment strategy. You can do a lot. And believe me, once you think about it, you'll get many options in this column. This column will be your strategy. Your next step will be to make a plan. It would help if you defined your timeframe and planned accordingly – for a month, quarter, or a year upfront to create a plan.
You'll feel tempted to fit in everything in a shorter period than it might require in reality. Don't do this. It would help if you were realistic about the timeframe. If you find a shortcut, you'll use it. Otherwise –plan accordingly, or you'll get nowhere with your plan. I mean here, if, for example, you require extra education to transition to the new industry, you might need 3-4 years plus an additional year or two as a beginner.
Once you have a strategy and plan in place, your next step is to follow your plan consistently, don't skip tasks, and keep moving forward! You'll see the change once you'll celebrate your first little win. And you'll see the benefits once you achieve your dream. Wishing you all the best on this journey.
Need help? Book 1-on-1 personal strategy session here