If you’ve ever worked in a corporate environment, you’ve probably heard the term “strategic plan.”
This is the document that defines an organization: states the mission, vision, goals, and sets a timeline for achieving the goals, usually a three-year or five-year plan…long enough to undertake some large projects, but not open-ended.
Have you ever thought about creating a strategic plan for your own life?
After all, you’re the CEO, president, founder, leader of your life. Doesn’t that give you responsibility for designing what your life will look like in three years, or in five?
More than responsibility, it gives you opportunity to design the life you want.
Whether you’re in a good place now, or want to be in a totally different situation in the future, working through the process of creating your plan will be eye-opening, rewarding, and challenging.
I promise you that.
So what does it mean to be strategic?
It simply means that you plan with vision. You think about where you’re headed, and you look at what it will take to get there.
If you want to be in a different job, live in a different location, get married, start a family, create a business, write a book, retire…whatever you want in your future, you have to plan for it. You have to map out the process of getting from here to there.
So do it.
Pretend you’re a corporation.
- Can you state a personal mission?
- A vision statement?
- Can you list short term goals?
- Can you list long term goals?
- Can you forecast a financial picture for the things you want to do?
- Can you summarize in a page or two?
- Who will be included in your plan?
- What bumps in the road can you foresee?
- What strategy can you consider to get around the bumps in the road?
When you can answer these questions, and maybe even more detailed ones that I listed here, you’re ready to write.
Take the time to put your thoughts down on paper or screen. Your plan will give you a map to refer to, as you implement your strategies, and you can correct if necessary.
At the end of your plan…three years? five years?…you’ll be able to look back and see if you followed your guide. Were you able to forecast accurately? Did your goals change as you progressed? How did your plan match up with the reality you created?
If you’re good at this, if you feel pleased with your end result, once you hit your target, it’s time to make a new plan. Another strategic blueprint for your next phase of life.
Your life is worth planning, worth designing, and worth the serious effort of strategizing.
Don’t go through life living randomly. It’s great to be spontaneous…choose a movie on a whim, or make an impulse buy.
But don’t treat your life like an option, something to manage by default…whatever you fall into for a job, a relationship, where you live.
You deserve more than that, and the only way to get it is to plan for it.
To be strategic.
To be deliberate and intentional.
Life will give you opportunities to be impulsive and spontaneous. Take advantage of those moments.
But make a plan for the big picture. Be strategic.
You’re worth it. So go do it!