29 Oct You Need A Life Strategy
One of the most underrated methods of living your best life is having a personal strategy.
We often hear ‘strategy’ related to business but not so much about strategy and personal achievement.
To be clear, achievement for me is defined as feeling freedom through living your best life. (I was going to say for the purposes of this conversation but, really, that applies to everything for me.) ;+)
Strategy is how you (or a company) would navigate the current environment to get what you want – and it requires clarity, understanding your strengths and identifying opportunities. It requires knowing yourself well. And it requires the right connections for sustenance, whether that’s relationships or access to resources. Basically, strategy helps you be at peak performance.
A strategy – again, whether in business or in life – is implemented through the small decisions you’re making every day about how you spend your time, energy and money. Your personal strategy is how you choose to allocate and spend those resources.
Each person will have a unique approach in combining these elements to actualize their potential because each person has a distinctive purpose and perspective. There is no right or wrong – only whether you are getting what you want or not.
1. How To Strategize
First, you must know what you want – vividly. What does success look like for you? What do you believe will make you happy? What will it take for you to feel more freedom every day? Write out your description of those scenarios; then distill your targets (usually called goals but, for me, when you don’t hit a goal, there is disappointment – but targets keep your momentum). Have 3 – 7 life targets in mind (and they may include business targets as well).
Second, assess your strengths, weaknesses, likes and dislikes. Be honest about it. Myself, I really hate doing admin work. There is power in the details but it’s just not my thing. My thing is helping others recognize their soul song, make transparent the hidden dynamics of business and show how every challenge is an invitation for growth in some way. I teach metaphysical insight, which is my purpose and delegate everything else I possibly can to have more energy for what I’m really here to do.
Third, consider your opportunities – including the leaps. You do not need to know how you’re going to get ‘there’; instead, you just need to identify the potential opportunity and decide if it’s something you want. This also means assessing your environment, relationships and leverage points (what can, with the smallest initiative, yield the greatest positive results?).
Fourth, evaluate your personal vitality. If you need more rest, nutrition, hydration, exercise… whatever it is, do it. (Why? Because not doing it is only costing you time and the ability to live your freedom sooner. Not giving yourself the gift of physical energy will also have ramifications in your later years.)
Now that you know the ‘terrain’ you are working with, it’s time to make a map on how to traverse it – your strategy.
Are you choosing to be in the best shape of your life?
Are you choosing to have a great significant other relationship?
Are you choosing to buy a new (first) home?
Are you choosing to take a high-end two-week vacation?
Are you choosing to be a 6-figure entrepreneur?
Notice I did not say ‘want’… why? Because when you want something, the energy is on the wanting vs. the object of your attention. Your energetic focus is what sets your strategic course in motion. So rather than to be continuously wanting, it is better to empower yourself through choosing a particular target and inviting the energetic support on that outcome.
Oh – one more thing. Often when you start moving toward your target, you get closer to it and realize it’s not what you want, which is perfectly ok. The point is that you are in motion and you can invoke your power to choose a new target at any time.
2. Four Ways to Think Strategically
Now that you are clear on your internal targets, external circumstances and total environment surrounding what you believe will give you maximum freedom and happiness, you need to explore your options.
Brainstorm – Think of as many creative options as you can on how to ‘win’ your targets.
SWOT It – Consider how to your leverage your strengths, neutralize your weaknesses, optimize your opportunities and minimize threats.
Problem-Solve – Ask ‘what can I do to solve X?’ and see what solutions come into your mind. For example, if you want to buy a new house, what is the real issue preventing you from doing it today? Most people will say ‘money’ but that’s not really the final answer because you need to solve how to have the money you need. Look for the root cause of your ‘problem’ and solve that to develop a strategy.
Keystone Commitment – In arched bridges and doorways, there is one ‘keystone’ at the top of the arch that holds the whole thing in place. Similarly, you may find that just one commitment or behavior could bring everything together for you. For example, if you choose to have more energy but find yourself on the run and don’t eat until lunchtime, a keystone commitment may be to order breakfast the night before so you have a fresh breakfast waiting for you (without having to think or prepare).
3. Evaluating Your Options
Now you have your total landscape and your options on how to proceed. Take each of the options and opportunities you have identified and evaluate each one using the context of step 1. Be sure to consider the ‘shadows’ (potential negative outcomes) of each option as well as the positive benefits. Consider the financial, operational and / or ‘joy’ factor in each option; tangible (cost / benefit analysis) and intangible (will I feel better?) outcomes are really helpful in choosing the best way to move forward.
As you evaluate your options in achieving what you want and, ultimately, how to feel more freedom every day, think about why you would choose that option. Is there anything you would be missing if you choose that option? What beliefs do you have that are supporting that particular option? Is there anything else you should consider before choosing that option?
You may find it helpful to share your thoughts with a friend or colleague. They can often see ‘holes’ where you can’t because they have a different vantage point.
4. Your Net Strategy
Your life strategy is the summary of how you will spend your current and projected resources to achieve the specific targets you choose so you can enjoy more freedom every day.
I will upgrade my life in 21-day cycles. This cycle will be focused on drinking 120 ounces of water every day.
I will save 40% of all incoming revenues – 30% to cover income tax and 10% for my new car.
You can see how your planning process will crystallize into clear strategy in how you will go about achieving your targets.
Take the time to consider every quarter how you are doing with your strategies and if you need to course-correct anything to have even more momentum going forward. Make sure your targets are still relevant and that you feel passionate about achieving them; if not, decide if you want to release or replace that target.
© 2017 Lynn Scheurell