When you think of strategic planning, you probably picture a room full of executives in a large corporate meeting room. While that may be valid, we can invite that same kind of strategy into our own lives. Those corporate suits are simply devising a plan to accomplish their goals. Doesn’t that sound like something that could help you right now? If you feel disappointed with your life results, consider these nine ways to live life more strategically.
- Do You Have a Plan?
What do you want out of life? Do you have a life plan? If you don’t have a plan or mission in life, it will be hard to live strategically. It might not feel spontaneous to plan out your entire life, but having an overall plan will ensure you are working towards the life you want. Plus, life is so unpredictable, there will be plenty of excitement!
- Set Specific Goals
Having an overall life plan or mission was a great start, but you also need to get specific. Set some specific goals you want to achieve. Focus your goals on both the long and short term. Remember, specificity is important. “I want to retire early” isn’t a goal. It’s a dream. A goal is: “I want to retire when I am 55, with X amount of dollars saved.”
- Ask Yourself Tough Questions
Strategic living means you need to get real with yourself. You need to ask yourself the tough questions like “Do I have the skills to achieve my goals/” “Am I wasting my time?” “Am I on the right track?” Be honest with yourself, and then figure out strategic ways to address your weaknesses or failings.
- Observe Trends
‘Trendy” is often used as a bad word, but why? Observing trends (both your own and the world around you) is a powerful tool for those who want to live more strategically. A quick example – many of us are saving for the future. How much better off would we have been had we observed and reacted to the cryptocurrency trend?
- Track Any and Everything
Strategic people track as much info as they can. After all, the more data and information you have, the more informed your decisions will be. A quick way to get started is to track your wins or successes. You might spot a pattern that makes future success even easier. Other things to track include your time, emotions, etc…
- Reflect and Adjust
While there is something admirable about those who put their blinders on and run head-on towards their goals, this isn’t always the most strategic choice. You need to make (i.e., schedule it!) time for reflection. What is working? What isn’t working? Adjust your goals to reflect this information.
- Are You Taking Care of Yourself?
Strategic living isn’t just about your career or finances. You want to make smart decisions about every area of your life. A big part of strategic living is making sure you take care of your own needs. How can you reach your life’s goals if you aren’t healthy or managing your stress?
- Communicate Your Life Plan With Loved Ones
You don’t have to go around shouting your life’s plans to everyone, but it is helpful to let the people closest to you know. This way, people will know what you are working towards, and they can make sure they aren’t working against that. It also builds accountability and creates a support system you can lean on when needed.
- Never Stop Learning
A big part of being strategic is recognizing your weaknesses or lack of knowledge and then addressing them. A wonderful way to do this is to commit to lifelong learning. This not only keeps you sharp but also keeps your skills and knowledge up to date. You will find reaching your goals more attainable when you never stop learning.