Thinkers normally get paid highly. As much as nearly everyone wants to make it in life, not everyone has mastered the skill of thinking well and thinking long. In fact, people heap up loads of distractions every time they have to think and strategize for their year. Why? For the most part, our default disposition is to do stuff. We always want to be in a doing mode rather than a thinking mode.
There is a quote that instructs us on this subject:
“The reason as to why people get lost in their thinking is that it is unfamiliar territory”
~ Paul Fix
It is Professional Work
It takes me at least 8 weeks to take someone through an organized thinking process to strategize for their year or their life. There are just so many variables to look through in the process. Strategizing for your year is a tedious, slow, murky, and laborious process. I dare say that this is professional work, and that is why many people would rather not even venture there.
When we assume that everyone knows what planning is we are doing them a disfavor. Click To Tweet A great number of people seldom do this intentionally, largely because it is either overwhelming or they do not know how to go about it. People do not know, for instance, how much time they are supposed to use to plan for their year.
New Year Resolutions
If we are to do a thorough job, then we need to do this planning exhaustively. One of the reasons why people would not want to plan is that they have so much to do, and planning is just one of those activities. This is the first step in getting it wrong. How many times have you had the so-called “New Year Resolutions” and they never did stick? I spoke about it here.
- Cluttered Life: There is just so much to juggle in life. Planning in itself demands for ample time and space.
- Action Culture: People are used to doing rather than thinking and meditating. Some actually think that thinking is not as productive as doing.
- Not Used To: As Paul Fix said, thinking is unfamiliar territory for many. They do not know when to start, what to do, and how to use the results of their thinking.
- It’s Murky: Your life has so many variables, so many desires and wishes and so much to overcome. At times, you have no clue where to start and how to go about it. Thinking then becomes a major peace depriver and a bother.
The Key Word in Successful Personal Strategizing
If we are to do it well, the key word to use is “Complete”. In other words, we have to approach this from an exhaustive angle leaving nothing to chance. It begs the question, then: How exactly are we going to do that? It is already a tedious task just to get started – how about doing a thorough and complete job?
The 3-Point Crash Course in Personal Strategic Planning
Perhaps the thing that will be most responsible for your success in this year and beyond is the ability to answer personal strategic questions. The quality and frequency of you doing this is important in creating a powerful and successful life. If you ever find thinking and strategizing something that is a puzzle for you or something that you are not inspired to do, the following pointers should help you a great deal.
1. Empty Your SchedulesOne of the reasons why people would not want to plan is that they have so much to do and planning is just one of those activities. Click To Tweet
If you are going to do a “Complete” job in creating a personal strategic plan, then you have to make sure that this is the only thing on your agenda. Listen to this quote:
“If I am given six hours to chop down a tree, I would probably spend the first four in sharpening my axe”
~ Abraham Lincoln
This is my advice: Do not approach your strategic planning in a rush. Do not think it is something that you can do in a few minutes of the day. Of course, you could think of something in a few minutes, but it might not necessarily be complete. Answer the following questions:
- Is it possible that you can block out a “season” of time to do nothing but this?
- Is it possible that you could make this an absolute must, a necessity next to breathing?
- Is it possible that you can eliminate all the distractions of a “daily routine” so as you can plan?
To take some time or a season of your life to focus only on this activity would be one of the best, if not one of the most revolutionary, things you ever did for yourself.
2. Divide Your Life Into “Spokes”
The reason why we have the wheel of life touted by many coaches is that it allows us to dream in departments. The greatest secret of creation is that the whole works with absolute genius because it has parts. Approaching your yearly strategic plan without breaking it down into different correlating parts is a recipe for disaster. You could compartmentalize your life as follows: Spiritual, Mental, Physical, Business (and/or Career), Financial, Family, Relationships, and Lifestyle.
Answer the following questions:
- Could it be that you can strategize on just one department at a go?
- Could it be that you can take a day to think through a department? (That is, if you do not have much time?)
3. Separate the Dreaming From the Strategizing
What kills a good session of strategic planning is a failure to give dreaming ample time. “Dreaming is serious business,” says Marcia Weider, the CEO of Dream University. Dreams are what connects us to the Divine, allowing us to download incredible things that we can pursue. There is a problem, though: How do we actualize these dreams? If you go to strategizing too soon, you tend to kill the dream. So take some time and dream first. Go crazy if you must. Only after you have done that can you sit down and start putting pen to paper to work out the possibility of your dreams.
Listen to this:
“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that neither knows victory nor defeat”
~ Teddy Roosevelt
Answer the following questions:
- Could you allow enough time to go wild with your dreams?
- Could you dare mighty things that would stretch your thinking without worrying about how they will be realized? Could you have fun with this?
- Could you take ample time to break down a dream and see the possibility of its realization from all angles? Really take time and chew and chunk it down?
If you take this approach, chances are that you would do a much better job than the normal “New Year Resolutions”. Your yearly strategy must be complete and thorough, and you can do it if you give yourself some ample time to do it. I wish you all the best.Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.