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article (636 words):
“Your Personal Strategic Plan” - by Gary Lockwood. The
world has become a complicated place in which to live. A personal
strategic plan can help you get clarity and focus on your own preferred
future. This article shows you how to create your Personal Strategic
Personal Strategic Plan”
Corporations do it.
Entrepreneurs do it (well, some of them). Many successful businesses
develop a strategic plan to help them get clarity and focus.
For years, I've been helping businesses develop their strategic plan. A
few years ago, it occurred to me that you could have a personal
strategic plan that would help you individually get clarity and focus on
your own preferred future.
The world has become a complicated place in which to live. The past few
decades have seen enormous, accelerating changes in:
* technology and social
* the organizations in
which we work.
We are faced with all the uncertainties and fears that come with not
knowing what’s going to happen next; but knowing that, whatever it is,
it will come very quickly and without warning.
In the midst of all this, we all have our hopes, our dreams, our
aspirations; the things we want to do and the places we want to go. This
is why it’s so important to make wise decisions about how we invest
our time and energy. Why do you feel that there’s more to do than you
can possibly do? Because there is more to do than you can possibly do.
You must make choices. Often difficult choices.
It is imperative that we are doing the right things, every bit as much
as doing things right. You’ve heard of the 80/20 rule -- 20 percent of
all activities will produce 80 percent of the meaningful results.
What’s your 20 percent? What are the handful of activities that will
produce the results that you want, that will make a difference, that
will take you in the direction you wish to go?
This is what strategic visioning is all about. The purpose of this
strategy is to identify those aspects of your business and personal life
that require special attention. After all, you can’t do everything, so
let’s get focused on those things where it is critical to produce
Set aside a couple of hours this month to contemplate your own Preferred
Future for the next 3 years. Don't get hung up on the small stuff. Look
beyond today and this week and this month.
Picture yourself thirty-six months from now reflecting on your
significant accomplishments of the period. What will have had to happen
to make you happy with your progress? This helps us to answer the
question we must ask ourselves each day -- why am I doing this, is it
taking me where I want to go with my life and is it helping me to become
the person I want to be.
When you are establishing your personal strategic plan, it is very
important that you write it down. I know, you may not want to put this
in writing, but there are two compelling reasons to do it:
1. The very act of putting your vision of your
preferred future in writing
helps to clarify your thinking. Instead of floating around in your head,
writing the personal strategic plan helps you to articulate it better
and helps you to be more coherent.
2. Written vision statements help trigger the Reticular
Activating System (RAS). Your brain has an automatic filter (the RAS)
that screens out most of the sensory overload that is imposed on us
every waking minute of every day. The RAS allows sights, sounds, ideas,
etc. to come through to your conscious brain if the RAS determines they
are relevant. Relevant to what? Relevant to your currently dominate and
clear thoughts. By writing your vision, you help your RAS to pass
through to your brain important ideas, people, and other input.
For this breakthrough strategy, identify the six or seven aspects of
your personal life that are seriously important to you. Generally, we
see categories such as:
In each of these areas,
develop a crystal clear vision of where you are going with this.
What’s possible. What does it look like when you’re living up to
your best expectations in each of these areas? Describe as best you can
what it looks like and what it feels like when you have reached the
point in each of your key result areas where you are happy with each.
Write in the present tense, as if it is already in place. This
represents a picture of your future as you prefer it to be.
If you can articulate a clear vision of your preferred future, focusing
on those areas that are important to you, that vision becomes the
picture on the lid of your life's jigsaw puzzle. That clear vision
allows you to set goals in the direction of your preferred future. That
vision provides motivation, energy, purpose and direction. It certainly
helps you to communicate with the people around you.
Many people continuously work on personal tasks that are leading
nowhere. I believe Thoreau could have been referring to those people
when he wrote:
“the mass of men lead
lives of quiet desperation”.
Many others have made financial objectives their sole concern and have
paid a heavy price for their success - poor health, failed marriages,
neglected friendships, no personal development in any area except
Financial success, no matter how great, can never compensate for poor
quality of life. In the scheme of things, a properly functioning
business is supposed to be the servant of a full and satisfying life
that includes good health, close and loving relationships, an exciting
spiritual journey, recreation, culture, and a powerful contribution to
If you’re puzzled about how to thrive in the face of relentless,
accelerating change, remember this breakthrough strategy. Develop a
clear vision of your preferred future, then get laser focused on the key
activities that will take you in that direction. You will see
performance gains, you will achieve your goals faster and easier, you
will have a happier, more satisfying life.
By developing and pursuing your own personal strategic plan, you will
increase your energy, motivation, and your sense of satisfaction. In
other words, your happiness. It’s your choice to make. Most people are
as happy as they choose to be.
Get busy developing that for yourself... Get a Life!!
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