Personal strategic planning is a disciplined thought process that produces fundamental decisions and actions that shape and guide who you are, where you are going, how and what you do, and when and why you do it. All of this is done with a focus on the future.
The purpose of personal strategic planning is to help you:
- Provide direction, meaning, and purpose for your life.
- Make decisions that positively affect your future.
- Focus your energies on what’s most important.
- Achieve the greatest results in the shortest period of time.
- Significantly increase your level of performance.
- Enjoy more time, money, balance and freedom.
- Eliminate uncertainty, anxiety, doubt and fear.
- Leverage your skills more effectively.
- Enhance your quality of life, and overall peace of mind.
- Be more, do more and ultimately to have more from life.
Personal strategic planning is based on the premise that life will not go according to plan if you do not have a plan. A successful plan must include the following:
- Personal Philosophy: Every person has a personal philosophy, consisting of some rules adopted from one’s parents, culture, religion, acquaintance and so on. Generally speaking, these rules are not well thought out and contain a wealth of inconsistencies and contradictions.
- Legacy Statement: Your legacy serves as your life’s defining statement. It serves a two-fold purpose. First it provides an overarching framework for all mission statements and goals to follow. Second it answers the question, “What do I want to be remembered for?”
- Mission Statement: A mission statement is a declaration of who you are, why you exist, and what you intend to accomplish. In business, the organizational mission answers the big question: “What is our business?” In personal planning, the question is “What is my life’s business?” In both cases, the answer must define the reason for being.
- Core Values: Our values act as our compass, guiding us through life’s terrain. One certain way of knowing that you are living in accordance with your values is by defining guidelines and measurements for value centered living.
- Code of Ethics: Words quietly influence our attitudes and opinions. Codes of conduct, personal creeds and pledges all reflect an effort to make sense of things, organize behavior and better understand ourselves.
- Lifetime Objectives: Your objectives should be written within the framework of your Legacy & Mission Statements. The key to any Personal Strategic Plan is to visualize your desired outcomes in advance. Be sure to write and rewrite your Lifetime Objectives as affirmations of the future you are working to realize.
- Goals: The key in writing your goals is to make them measurable, specific and time-bound. Goals need to be written for the ten critical areas of life, which include: Personal, Health, Recreation, Family, Friends, Community, Career, Financial, Household and Spiritual.
- Personal Board of Directors: A personal board will accelerate your progress by providing both wisdom and support for the attainment of a specific purpose.
- Maintenance & Performance Check-Ups: On a monthly basis, you should pause to evaluate your performance. What progress have you made? Where have you been challenged? What do you need to do differently? It is also important to step back and consider whether any goals are unachievable.
- Personal Reason Why: You won’t become successful until you identify, support and empower your reasons. Your why’s provide fuel for achievement and are the reasons behind all action and inaction. The hallmark of all high achievers is a burning “why.” They know what they want, how and when they will achieve it, but most importantly they know WHY they want to become successful at achieving their goals.
You can significantly increase your odds of success if you know who you are, what you want, where you are going, how you will get there and what you will do once you arrive. The best way to predict your future is to create it. Therefore, a well-defined Personal Strategic Plan, properly executed, is your meal ticket to success.