Personal Strategic Plan (The Ultimate Guide + Image Quotes)

Creating a personal strategic plan is essential for achieving your goals so that you can take action and stop wondering, “How do I achieve this goal?” Most businesses do this, but some talented and motivated individuals do not. It makes no sense, but people think about their goals in general but don't develop a personal strategy to achieve them.

This is one of the most important single tasks you can do to change the course of your life, and I'm going to address it in this article.

Video Guide


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Creating Your Own Personal Strategic Plan

Let us begin with a perfect example: John (pseudonym). He used to play football, baseball, and basketball as a kid, but he wasn't particularly good at any of them. He tried and failed to join the basketball team when he was 15 years old. He was too short, but he got in to carry the star player's uniform. The story continues with him continuing to practice hard, waking up at 6 a.m. every day, and finally making it to the basketball team that lost the first three tournaments after a year.

He persisted in his practice, eventually becoming perhaps the most influential basketball player of all time—Michael Jordan.

You could argue that athletes rely on a combination of natural talent and hard work. Still, no one can say that this hardworking individual would have achieved his achievements if he had not practiced and worked hard for years on the same goal.

This is why it is critical to first define your strategy and then implement it. It cannot guarantee that you will become a world-class athlete, but it can ensure that you will have the best chance of achieving your goals with your unique set of abilities.

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We will provide you with research-based, tried-and-true methods for creating your personal strategic plan.

What Is the Definition of a Personal Strategic Plan?

According to a Journal of Management Research article, “effective personal strategy requires the ability to think in multiple time frames, clarifying what one is trying to achieve over time as well as what needs to be done in the short term to get there.”
In other words, it entails developing a vision and a strategy for putting it into action.

When creating a personal strategic plan, it is critical to have a growth mindset. Otherwise, it wouldn't be ambitious enough—and the fact that you're here considering your long-term goals indicates that you already have a growth mindset.

Individuals with a growth mindset, according to a Harvard Business Review essay, “believe their talents can be developed (through hard work, good strategies, and input from others).” They outperform those with a more fixed mindset (those who believe their talents are innate).”

Planning is the most important trait associated with success. It can be more important than talent at times.

There are numerous methods for developing your personal strategy, and I will discuss a few of them. They all have a shared understanding of a high-level vision, a sense of your values, and a plan for getting there.

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Focused Horizons

With his best-selling book Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, David Allen has established himself as one of the world's foremost time management experts. Understanding what you need to get done in a personal strategic plan is one aspect of time management.

His approach incorporates the following horizons:

Horizon 5: Goals and Principles

This is where you define your life's vision. Of course, this is a major undertaking that necessitates considering what you would be satisfied with accomplishing decades from now. Sub-questions include which jobs, industries, impact, and legacy you are interested in.

The “five whys” method is an excellent way to investigate this. In this simple method, you should ask yourself “why?” to help you understand the true reasons for selecting your vision.

If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, for example, you can ask yourself why. If your “why” is to have an impact, you can ask yourself additional questions, such as whether this is the best way to accomplish that.

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If you decide it is, you may wonder why you want to make an impression. Perhaps it's because you have a strong attachment to something.

Your vision should not be limited to professional objectives; it should encompass all of your life objectives. “To be the most successful entrepreneur ever” is a poor example. It is not one-of-a-kind and does not address your inner desires and needs. A good one would be tailored to you and your specific objectives.

By deciding on a long-term goal that is unique to you, you can move on to the next step of determining what your next few years will look like.

This horizon's second component is principles. By selecting your principles, you can re-examine your choices and determine whether they meet your expectations of yourself.

Horizon 4: Three- to Five-Year Forecast

You can plan the next few years now that you have clearly defined your life goal as part of your personal strategic plan. Every ambitious goal necessitates a significant amount of time to complete. You should plan your route and understand that flexibility is essential during these times of rapid change.

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This is the stage at which you decide on specific goals, such as a career path. What would you do if you wanted to be a writer and become a columnist for the New York Times? What can you do if you want to start a successful startup? What can you learn to qualify you as a leading entrepreneur?

When deciding on the next steps to take, it is always a good idea to seek the advice of a mentor. This is someone you admire and imagine your life to be similar to theirs. They are typically at least 10-15 years older and have achieved their objectives.

What would be the next step toward realizing your vision? This is a difficult question to answer, but in general, you should imagine a road that is not always completely clear but still leads you in the right direction.

Horizon 3: Goals and Objectives for the Next One to Two Years

What goals will the coming year have?

Assume you've decided on a specific career path. Now is the time to concentrate on the main criteria and key performance indicators that will help you get there. That may seem far from your vision, but visions are, by definition, speculative.

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If you've decided that you want to be a successful entrepreneur in five years to positively impact climate change, but you don't believe you have the knowledge to do so, a first step could be to work for a startup that is doing so.

When you consider your first year of working for that startup, it may be a good idea to understand your job requirements and prepare to be excellent at them. You'll be on the right track if you do this.

Horizon 2: Focus Areas and Accountability

After learning what you'll need to plan for the next few years, we'll get to the important daily stuff. What are the most important factors in your success in achieving your goal?

This is the stage at which you understand your daily responsibilities and excel at carrying them out. Making a daily to-do list may be beneficial at this point. When deciding on the daily steps you'll need to take to carry out your personal strategic plan, this is one way to hold yourself accountable.

This is also the horizon that will help you avoid procrastination because you will know exactly what to do and when to do it. Check out Lifehack's Fast-Track Class: No More Procrastination if you're stuck in a rut of procrastination.

Horizon 1: Projects

These are the uncompleted loops of your goals that must be completed. Editing that company movie is one example. Another possibility is that you are nearing the end of that report. It can also be something more personal, such as planning a birthday party for your brother.

You have a lot of these, and it is recommended that you review them on a regular basis to ensure that they are aligned with your higher-level goals.

After you've added everything to your calendar, the final step is to actually complete it. There are numerous project management systems available, including Monday, Asana, Notion, and others. They actually have a template for this suggested method in Notion.

Additional Techniques

The method described above is just one of many options for developing your personal strategic plan.

Another is V2MOM, which was created by Salesforce's founder. The idea is to ask yourself five questions—some of which were also asked above—to help you clarify and grasp your vision.

The five questions are as follows:

  • What do you want to achieve as a result of your vision?
  • What are your core values?
  • Methods: How do you acquire it?
  • Obstacles: What is holding you back from success?
  • How do you know if you have it?

Final Thoughts

As previously stated, knowing where you want to go and preparing for it has a significant impact on your life success. That may seem obvious, but some ambitious people do not manage their lives in such a way that they are best positioned to succeed. Spend a few hours thinking about and developing a personal strategic plan to get you started on the right track today.

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