Choose your Hard
Growing up, my Dad loved Johnny Cash’s song “A boy named Sue.” Whenever he heard it, he would sing along, and his eyes would light up, and he would laugh. He could relate to his life growing up in the depression and his relationship with his father. His experiences growing up, fighting in WWII, and 30 years in the Navy shaped his philosophy of life, which he imparted to us: “Life is hard; give everything you do 110% and keep the faith.” Life is hard, gets complicated, and can overwhelm us, so having a plan makes a difference. That’s why we all need a personal strategic plan. That’s where the hard comes in, hard work and hard choices.
Last week I discussed four questions to develop an organizational strategy that gets at the vision, field of battle, bid for success, systems, and capabilities. These questions apply to our personal strategic plan, and various methodologies exist to develop that plan.
My preferred method applies a seven-step process to the seven general areas of life. Remember those; business and career, family and personal life, money, and investments, health and fitness, personal growth and development, social and community activities, and spiritual development. So here goes:
Values: What are your governing principles, values, virtues, and traits? These are the essential principles, and clarity is important. Some call them core beliefs or core values. Clarity is important.
Vision: What would it look like if your life was perfect, without obstacles? Use the seven areas to help you define that vision.
Mission and Purpose: The mission is the who, what, when, where, and how you will achieve your vision. The purpose is your “why.” The mission and purpose are the engines for your vision.
Goals: In the seven areas of your life, what specifically do you need to accomplish to attain your vision? Your mission and purpose should illuminate these goals. Consider what knowledge, skills, and networks will assist in reaching these goals.
Habits: What habits of thought and action do you need to develop to become the objective you, the person you described in your values and vision, and achieve your goals?
Routines: What daily routines and consistent daily activities will contribute to achieving your goals and becoming “the objective you”?
Actions: What actions must you take immediately to begin realizing your vision?
So that’s the process. Remember, if you want to make a change, you must DO something! Choose your hard because the decisions available are to start something new, increase doing something, reduce doing something, or stop doing something. I recommend starting with your personal strategic plan.
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Remember, “all things are possible through prayer and heavy deadlifts.”™