Strategic Planning is most often associated with a business.
Yet, if you stop and think about it… when you need to reach personal goals, it becomes so much easier with planning.
Strategic (adjective) as identified by the Oxford dictionary is defined as – Relating to the identification of long-term or overall aims and interests and the means of achieving them.
Putting time and thought into how we go about achieving both business and personal goals is equally important. Yet this is not something very many of us tend to do. At least not consciously.
For the most part, we often don’t think of our personal lives in terms of strategic planning. Yet strategy really does play a huge part in each of our lives.
If you want to achieve a certain outcome then you need to have a very measured approach.
A pathway. A series of stepping stones that take you forward towards your goals.
Without that pathway. The map. The strategy. Life tends to just wander along in a leisurely (or perhaps chaotic) fashion.
There is no firm direction.
Without strategic direction, there is less chance of achievement and satisfaction.
Strategic planning is all about aiming for what is right for YOU and for your business.
You are unique and your plans will be different to mine – but there is a commonality to all plans…
As we move along with our business/life/career we each NEED to know the direction we are heading in and WHERE we want to end up.
Why? Because without clear goals it is impossible to tell if we have actually achieved our goals and arrived where we want to be.
Naturally, goals can and often do change as we move through life. That’s part and parcel of business growth and life in general.
So many times I speak to women who have achieved an enormous amount in their lives and yet still feel a sense of lacking.
A sense of lacking
The sense of lacking can often be as a result of lack of clarity. The clarity is missing because there is no clearly defined goal.
Goals are not set and so there is the constant sense of needing to strive for more because it’s never clear that the destination has been reached.
Think about it… we experience the truest sense of achievement when we know we have actually got something we were aiming for.
In my own life, I have received lots of accolades, but these did not really provide that sense of achievement. Other people may have defined these as achievements, and yes, in a way they are right.
BUT …because these were never my goals I did not gain the sense of having “arrived” anywhere. It was a bonus to be recognised for a job well done. It was never a goal to achieve personal recognition.
For me – one of my most recent biggest senses of achievement came when I was able to spend a year living and working in Europe.
It had been a goal I had for many years.
Planning out how this could be possible without enough language skills to operate at a corporate or community business level and still earn enough money to live on was a challenge. A big challenge!
I made it a reality by putting together a 4-year strategic plan that would get me there. The plan involved ticking off each of the steps one at a time.
Small goals. Bit by bit.
The result was achieving my “sabbatical” year in Spain.
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