"The best way to predict the future is to invent it."
--  Alan Kay
Corporations do it.  Entrepreneurs do it (well, some of them). Many successful businesses develop a strategic plan to help them get clarity and focus. 

For years, I've been helping businesses develop their strategic plan.  A few years ago, it occurred to me that you could have a personal strategic plan that would help you individually get clarity and focus on your own preferred future.

Set aside a couple of hours this month to contemplate your Preferred Future for the next 3 years.  Don't get hung up on the small stuff.  Look beyond today and this week and this month.

For this breakthrough strategy, identify the six or seven aspects of your personal life that are seriously important to you.  Generally, we see categories such as:

Spiritual Journey
Social Involvement
Intellectual Growth
Financial Health

In each of these areas, develop a crystal clear vision of where you are going with this.  What's possible.  What does it look like when you're living up to your best expectations in each of these areas? Describe as best you can what it looks like and what it feels like when you have reached the point in each of your key result areas where you are happy with each.  Write in the present tense, as if it is already in place.  This represents a picture of your future as you prefer it to be.

If you can articulate a clear vision of your preferred future, focusing on those areas that are important to you, that vision becomes the picture on the lid of your life's jigsaw puzzle.  That clear vision allows you to set goals in the direction of your preferred future. That vision provides motivation, energy, purpose and direction. It certainly helps you to communicate with the people around you. 

Many people continuously work on personal tasks that are leading nowhere.  I believe Thoreau could have been referring to those people when he wrote: 

"The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation." Many others have made financial objectives their sole concern and have paid a heavy price for their success -- poor health, failed marriages, neglected friendships, no personal development in any area except business.

By developing and pursuing your own personal strategic plan, you will increase your energy, motivation, and your sense of satisfaction.  In other words, your happiness.  It's your choice to make.  Most people are as happy as they choose to be. 

Get busy developing that for yourself . . . Get a Life!! 

By Gary Lockwood who is helping business owners, entrepreneurs, and professionals.  Get his free BizSuccess newsletter at http://www.bizsuccess.com/newsletter.htm
Copyright (c) 2002 BizSuccess
Your Personal Strategic Plan truly sets the vision for where you are going.  (How freeing to spend some time away from the "to do" list!)

1.     It's Valentine's Day today.  Give yourself (the most important person in your life who loves you dearly) the gift of the time to explore you. 

2.     Share your strategic plan with at least one other person.
        This can give the plan more reality.  It makes it more than  something you just "dreamed up." 

3.     Start living your new plan!

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February 14, 2003
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