When we hear the word strategic, we often think of our professional lives, businesses, or the military, rarely do we think of our personal lives, the growth we want to achieve. Yet, without a strategy, how will we ever accomplish what we want and need to accomplish?
Being strategic allows us to make a plan, to look at options and choices differently, to weigh pros and cons, choosing the option which will bring us closer to our end goal. The strategy allows us to make plans and create timetables designed to lead us to our goal, it makes our journey richer as it gives us the focus needed to hone in on our goals, to be intentional with everything we do.
Creating a Strategy
Once we choose to live a strategic life, we must set goals and plot our journey. We cannot be strategic if we do not know where we are going. As we look at our journey, we must ask ourselves where we want to end, what success on this path will look like. Choosing an ending does not mean this is where we will stop this journey forever, rather it means, that at this moment, this is as far as we can see, or this is what we know we want to accomplish. Once we hit the end, we celebrate, take a minute to breathe in our accomplishment, and then we ask ourselves where the next journey will end.
In order to create a strategy, we must know where we are going, and from the end, we can work our way backward to the very beginning. If you were to stand at the endpoint you choose, ask yourself, what steps it will take to get here? Focus on the large steps, writing them down in the order you need to accomplish them. Then look at each step, how can you break this down into manageable pieces, things you can do every day? This approach will help you create a strategic path for every journey you embark on.
Benefits of being strategic in our personal lives
Have you ever looked at a skill and thought, I want to learn that skill? The excitement of discovering something we want to learn will drive us the first few days, but soon the magnitude of the journey will overwhelm us, the end goal will look less shiny, and before you know it, the skill you wanted to learn is forgotten. With any goal, new skill, or journey, we must plan how we will achieve it, we must be strategic in our approach.
When starting a diet, we must say how much weight we want to lose, why we want to lose the weight, and what changes we will make. If we don’t know these items, if we just say, I want to lose weight, we will never take the steps needed to achieve our goals. People who achieve their goals, who are growing, gaining new skills, starting new challenges, are those who strategically plan their journey.
Creating a strategy will ensure you achieve your goals. Decisions and options will become easier as you can look at each with the question of which option will strategically lead you to your goal more quickly.
Living in the moment with a strategy
For many, the idea of having a strategy implies their time will be consumed, and they will always be working toward something. While we do want to always be working towards something, time off and relaxation are all parts of a strategy. No matter how much we think we can focus on only work, we must take breaks and rest. Being strategic means we understand this about ourselves and ensure we have opportunities for fun and relaxation.
Enjoying small moments, living in the moment are all parts of strategic thinking. Take time to smell the roses, play with your dog, recharge your brain, help you remain focused on your goals. Being strategic doesn’t mean you stop living, it means you live with intent, you know where you are going and what you will achieve.
Applying Strategy to our personal lives
No matter your goal, no matter what you are hoping to achieve, a strategy will ensure you achieve your goals. If we want to make Sundays a day of rest and self-care, creating a strategy to achieve this will ensure we reach our goal. Our strategy may be to complete all errands and goals on Saturday or to not commit ourselves to any activities on Sundays. No matter what your strategy is, it will ensure you meet your goal and create opportunities to do what you want to do.
Being strategic is a skill that will help us live our best lives, will ensure we accomplish what we want, and have time to be ourselves. Applying a strategy to all aspects of our lives will help us create the lives we want.