In the previous post, I discussed how strategy is one thing people often fail to do when talking about vision. It’s great to have a vision for your life or organization, but if you don’t have a roadmap on how you will get there, then you have not really accomplished much. The roadmap is the strategy. It answers the question: How will I get there?
Three tips on strategy:
1. Strategy should involve easier steps early on. Give yourself a few wins to create momentum and gain confidence that says, “Yes I can do this!” As you go along, the steps will get harder and the strategy will require more of you. You’ll need the early wins later on.
2. Strategy should be flexible because it will fail. Every. Single. Time. You don’t know the situations that await you around the corner or down the road so you can’t plan on them until they happen. Your strategy may say to run ten miles this week, but it does not take into account the surprise business trip. Don’t get all jacked up about it. Adjust your training. It’s not a failure.
3. Strategy should include measurable benchmarks. How far have you gone? You need a reality check to know if you are making progress. This takes honesty. Your successes and losses will motivate you. Don’t go by your feelings. Measure the progress.
Two Important Questions
If you have been following my blog then you know I have been asking thoughtful questions in an effort to motivate you to own this process. It is one thing to hear advice, but it is another thing to create your own. Here are two strategic questions to consider:
1- “What are my resources?” Every significant change requires an investment from you. Do you have the resources to make the plan happen? Are you willing to pay that price? Your vision will require investments of time, money, relationships, emotion, and energy. Do you have those resources? If not, what do you need to do to get them? For instance, some people don’t have the emotional resources to make changes. I had to develop my mental resources when I trained to ran a marathon. The physical part was easy in comparison to the psychological.
2- “Who will help me?” Who are the people who can help you? What do you need them to do? Will they do it? The path of life change is never to be traveled alone. You need people for encouragement, direction, feedback, and support. I have a friend who keeps me on track right now. If you are married, is your spouse onboard? What about your children? Or your parents? Invite them to your challenge. Their engagement in your new future will make a great difference.
Are you thinking, “Man, that is just too much work.” You’re right. It is a lot of work. In my own strategic season, a friend asked me, “What’s at stake here?” That question clarifies the real issue. What if you don’t do pursue this path? What if you stay the way you are?