It’s all well and good ‘living in the moment’ and ‘making most of now‘, as the happiness trend goes. But unless you are acutely aware of what direction you want your life to take you are likely to be living in that very same moment for quite some time.
The reason companies have strategic plans is to make sure they will succeed and make money. Shouldn’t individuals adapt the same kind of thinking? ‘Money is not important to me…’ you whimper. Firstly, I think that’s b**l s**t, but even if it’s true, you should have a vision and plan for your happiness and health, if for nothing else.
We keep our head in the sand because it’s more comfortable. We seek to do things we know, things we have been rewarded because it gives us a sense of acceptance. Most of us have bigger dreams though. One day we want to be rich and successful, and perhaps even famous! We can almost see ourselves taking that left turn to the private jet area (when approaching the London City airport) but year after year we keep going straight, joining the riff raff in the economy line!
Most people choose to go through the emotions on a day to day basis reacting to impulses rather than creating them. Does this sound familiar: you react to emails as they come in and call it working. You react to the demands and wishes of people around you rather than actively put out your own wishes. You react to job opportunities rather than design them. You wait for the world to decide on your future rather than call the shots yourself!
If you want to change your life and turn it from reactive to proactive you need a vision and a plan for yourself.
Here’s five points you should consider in your ‘strategic plan’:
1) What should you focus on? What are your core talents? What are you naturally good at?
What ever you choose to do in life it makes sense to build it on your core strengths. Think about strengths you were born with. You can always learn new skills but you are either talented or not in certain things. (Read our earlier blog post on the difference between skills and talents here.)
2) What are your core values?
Establish the way you want to live and interact with other people. What kind of ventures do you want to be involved in? If your core value is integrity stop spending any time with manipulative people.
3) What is your purpose in life? What are you passionate about?
Yep, a big one. ‘Passion’ is the buzz word these days, but it is worth spending time on this and writing it down. If you are looking for your purpose, then that’s your purpose.
4) What is your vision?
Based on your talents, core values and passion you should be able to write down a vision on how you want to live your life. It could be something like ‘I want to live a healthy and loving life filled with challenge, variety of experiences and learning, surrounded by interesting, innovative and intelligent people. I want to build a successful business that will make a positive impact on people’s lives whilst maintaining good emotional and physical balance and happy family life.’ – How does that sound for a vision?!
5) Action plan
Divide your life into 4 key areas, such as Relationship & Love, Family & Home, Work & Finances and Health & Hobbies. Then write down a long term (5 years) and short term (6 months) goals for each. Take the most urgent or manageable goal and break it down to 5 tasks you are going to implement in the next 4 weeks.
It pays to make time to write down what you want out of life and how you are going to go about getting it. This is not set in stone, and like any good strategic plan, it should be updated regularly.
Remember, unless your life vision is utterly boring and lame, you will also have to:
– step outside of your comfort zone
– learn plenty of new skills
– meet completely new set of people
– ditch your unhelpful old habits
– end toxic relationships
Have you written your ‘strategic plan’ before? What do you think is important? Any tips or experiences you could share?