Personal strategy: 27 reasons to develop it ASAP
Developing a personal strategy is a distinctive approach to achieving personal goals based on an in-depth analysis of the life situation and trajectory, identification of real needs and opportunities, and the creation of a comprehensive strategic plan.
Personal strategy development is an occasional or periodic task aimed at analysing the life situation and development trends in the society, identifying justified long-term goals, searching for opportunities, identifying threats, and developing a comprehensive plan of personal activities to achieve the goals and expected place in the society.
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The dynamics of modern society is such that life by the momentary fluctuations and needs (often created regardless of our true desires) becomes a series of chaotic attempts to success. This approach is not sufficient, because most people do the same, and most of them will face increased competition.
Personal strategy development: methodology and 11 stages
To move away from the typical approach to achieving your goals, you need to look at your life and people around you from a broader view to cover a much larger time horizon than most people do. This trick is possible using strategic analysis and planning methods.
Such methods are well-designed and successfully applied in business practice. Why do not people use them to analyse and plan their life paths? Because until recently, these methods not suited for such an application. Some time ago, I developed a technique that allows you to fully utilise some strategic analysis tools for personal planning and creating a long-term plan for several years ahead.
This sequence is genuinely justified and has proofed by the practice of strategic business management. We have invested time and resources to adapt this approach to personal planning.
Why can a personal strategy help you achieve your goals?
The answer to this question is straightforward. Without a personal long-term plan, you mainly act in the interests of others.
Let’s do a little mental exercise. How do you see yourself in 5, 10 years or even 20 years? Are you sure that what you just imagined takes into account your interests? Doubtfully.
But it’s not the biggest problem; after all, we all live in society and try to fit into certain circumstances. The problem is that the trajectory of your life without a plan depends mostly on others, not you. You cannot control your movement; you only say yes or no to random opportunities or threats.
Try to recall all of your actions over the past year and tell me, what part of it was not due to your priorities, goals and objectives, but to external circumstances, responsibilities, business or even family needs? Which part of these have you conceived and implemented based on clearly and reasonably defined personal goals?
I suspect that you run the risk of not seeing this last category against the background of everything else caused by someone else, but not you.
How consciously do you manage your goals and abilities?
If you set ambitious tasks in life and want to increase the probability of success, then you must consciously and in advance work on expanding opportunities and think about the consequences of individual strategic decisions. A personal strategic plan will help you choose the right route, check with it and do not lose your way.
The methods discussed in this article will help you create and use new opportunities, bypass possible obstacles and choose the right techniques to achieve your life goals.
Only a personal strategy can give you real tools to find a unique position in business and life, to identify and develop your competitive advantages. Making your strategy will provide you with the skills you need in every area of your life – strategic thinking, goal setting, strategic problem solving and resource optimisation.
What are the reasons to develop a personal strategy for yourself?
In a future article, we will give you a method that will help you determine the need to develop a personal strategy for any person. Now we are developing a tool to assess different areas of human life, which will help you to evaluate your situation as objectively as possible. Based on these results, you can determine the actual need to develop a personal strategy.
In the meantime, you can assess which specific reasons may be critical to your decision. You can also find your motivation.
Six critical reasons for students
There are many reasons to take control of your future and plan your life on your own. But what’s the best way to do it?
You can believe in miracles, but miracles do not happen, there are only patterns that apply to your life too. To develop your strategy is the first step and an essential factor in the realisation of your life goals.
How a personal strategy can help exactly you:
- The right educational path. The problem is that what you are learning now is very likely to be of no use to you in the future. That is why it is so important to choose the knowledge that will serve you for decades. The knowledge and skills that you will acquire as you develop your strategy are just that, and they will all benefit you throughout your life.
- The priority of long-term goals. Evaluating the long-term consequences is the first thing you should do before making any critical decisions in life, for example, choosing your school, profession, career, business or employment, and many other important decisions.
- Investment in your future. Personal strategy is the first and most necessary step to increase the probability of success in life, whether it is a career or self-realisation. As you develop a personal strategy, you will find out how to achieve your goals with the best possible time and resources.
- Minimal loss of your time. People often wish they had done nothing wrong or wasted. Because often they do it first and think later. You have to turn this familiar situation around and think in advance about what we should and should not do in life. There’s not as much time as it seems.
- The emphasis on practical work. As a result of developing a personal strategy, you will get a clear plan to achieve your life goals. It is likely to contain several long-term interrelated projects in different areas of life and specific sequential actions to implement these projects.
- The sooner you have a personal strategy, the better. At what age is it appropriate to create your long-term plan? The sooner you think about it, the better. Even if you are still in school, it is essential to understand that for the correct educational trajectory it is crucial to consider not only personal strategic goals but also trends in the economy, industries, countries and the world in general.
Twelve critical reasons for those who want more from their careers
Sooner or later, everyone faces the need to change and rethink their life.
The first thing to do in this situation is to rethink the path you have travelled before making any critical decisions in life. Your trajectory may affect all of these decisions: the direction of your future career and professional development, starting your own business, downshifting or a complete restart of an occupation.
If you have at least one of the following questions, then developing a personal strategy is the best way to meet your needs:
- Why am I tired of my job, and how do I deal with professional burnout?
- What to do next, what to learn, what industry to grow in if the job does not meet your expectations?
- What goals should you set yourself, and why?
- What direction to choose and how do I evaluate my prospects in it?
- How to set criteria for personal development and achieve independence?
- How to make dreams come true?
- How to “reboot” your life and not lose your achievements?
- How to build a new professional development strategy based on your experience and knowledge?
- How to start from scratch or get new sources of income in a modern economy?
- How to move to another profession and change the format of the job (e.g., to leave the office)?
- How to overcome the “glass ceiling” in professional development?
- How to find your niche and choose an exciting and promising specialisation?
Experience shows that retraining and entering a new field, for example, programming, works only for a small part of those who try. And although we study such a successful experience in the course, we should do a thorough strategic analysis in order not to spend efforts on something that will not work.
Eight critical reasons for people who are 40+
If at least one of these statements is true, then the development of a personal strategy best meets your needs:
- You plan significant changes and do not know how and when to start implementing them.
- You realise that your career in the company is fading and there are difficulties with self-realisation.
- You see that young employees, being less qualified, are more preferred for new positions.
- You feel that it is difficult for you to understand new technologies.
- Thinking about changing activities, starting your own business, commercialising a hobby or downshifting.
- You can’t figure out into which market niche or profession you can channel your energy.
- You are worried about the uncertainty of your job prospects and your future in general.
- You’re asking yourself questions: Which scenario to choose? Do you hold on to a current job? Will it be lost and when? How high are the chances of finding a better job, and how high are the chances of finding a job that is much worse, or not finding one at all? Is it worth starting your own business, and if so, which one? Is it an easy way? How can it affect your primary resources: time and health? How age-dependent is this strategy? In what areas of activity will your age and experience be an advantage, and in what exactly the opposite?
In fact, who is over 40 has no choice. Hoping for a miracle, as you understand it, is useless. Moreover, our main asset (accumulated experience) in many industries and activities nullify entirely every few years.
People of retirement age have been sitting in management positions in many companies for a long time. They are not going to retire – the so-called “ageing of managers” process, which makes the chances of your corporate career very unlikely. Where young people are in charge, your chances are even lower.
The economy is not growing or growing too slow; companies are shrinking and optimising. All these are clear signs that the dismissal will happen sooner or later. The corporate world in such an economic environment drastically reduces the likelihood of your successful career if you have not made it to your 40th birthday. And if you lose your job at 40-45+, the probability of maintaining your standard of living and finding a similar position is extremely low.
That’s why it takes a deep dive into what can help you get out of this situation. Personal strategy is the first step of this steep path.
One critical reason for those who consider themselves successful
Can you guarantee your success today for years to come? Nothing is forever under the sun. Falling from heights is usually much more painful than just not developing gradually. Therefore, it is one of your priorities to find options for which to prepare in advance. It is unlikely that this can be done successfully without developing a personal long-term plan.
I have one more question for you. Don’t you have more ambitious plans or dreams? Are you sure that you can achieve them without a long-term strategy? Don’t fool yourself.
What should we consider when developing a personal strategy?
Our survey results indicate that most people are interested in personal strategies and personal planning (see chart). Yes, many people do, but not all of them create strategic plans.
Therefore, being a leader at a vital source of competitive advantage – the ability to plan and adapt plans to change – is not that difficult. The ability to plan is precisely what makes Homo sapiens different from the rest of the living world.
As you develop your strategy, you will objectively assess your situation and develop realistic ways to reach a new level or the best approach to adapt to change.
You will have to learn, change and work hard to grow and adapt successfully. But what exactly will you teach, where will you work and what will you do?
How not to make a mistake in this choice and, if you still make a mistake, how to provide backup options or quickly rebuild your strategy? You will never be able to answer these questions more accurately than after you have developed your strategic plan.
A detailed analysis of your abilities and skills, the ways of their development, a precise setting of goals, methods of their realisation and calculation of the necessary resources is the only way to clarify your future life.
Only you can make vital decisions for yourself. Our methodology can help you do this.
So what should you consider when developing your strategic plan?
Do you need a strategy to realise your long-held goals, or do you want to work out your actions for the stressful scenario of your future life?
A personal strategy may involve different scenarios. The depth of these scenarios depends only on your time and attention invested in creating your plan.
The solutions that motivational trainers and career consultants offer you do not even take into account a hundredth of your characteristics.
When they call on you to change your life, they use formal and unproven approaches. Each person is unique not only because of choice but also because of many internal and external factors.
Fashionable coping strategies: private practice (freelance), monetising hobbies or creating your own business carry many risks.
These risks significantly increase if your experience and knowledge do not match the chosen path. Your developments should be harmoniously combined and used in a new type of activity.
What does it take to develop a comprehensive personal strategy?
All of us have a pretty tight schedule. Regardless, it is amazingly easy to fill any free time with electronic entertainment. So it is unlikely that you will develop your strategy without allocating time for this work once in a day or two for the next two or three weeks. So this is the only way to start and complete your project (strategy development project).
But as a result of this work you will get a subtle side effect, which will come in handy in your work – you will significantly improve your skills in strategic management of companies. How is this possible? It’s straightforward: using business approaches applied particularly to the personal planning process.
During the development of your strategy, you:
- evaluate your competitiveness and its components, for example, different types of intellect (mental, social, emotional, and so forth), abilities, competences.
- you will create a personal objectives field by running it through several methods,
- increase the scale and time horizon of thinking,
- you’ll conduct a detailed career guidance test (option),
- consider opportunities for adjusting your educational and career trajectories,
- decide on the crucial question of whether to work for hire or run your own business,
- learn the basics of the Scrum methodology, which will be useful in any project activity,
- make a macro analysis of your environment, assess the opportunities and threats of your situation, your strengths and weaknesses,
- you’ll have primary protostrategies for several years,
- create your business model of income and expenses (infographics to help you create a financial plan),
- simulate your cash flow model (income and expenses),
- formulate your mission and vision,
- analyse your lifestyle to fit the mission in 20 areas of life,
- create a strategic map for several years,
- identify and plan several personal strategic projects in detail and optimise the resources required for their implementation,
- start the actual work to achieve personal goals,
And most importantly, you will combine all of the above items and even a little more in a clear plan of action, the implementation of which will correct the problem areas in your life and open up new horizons.
You can choose the option that suits you in the personal strategy development program of our school. We recommend selecting the main course as the most optimal and effective option.
Who would benefit from developing a personal strategy?
Will this be suitable for those who think they are doing well and will continue to go better?
No, it won’t. People like these just won’t have enough motivation; they will need more warning signs to understand the problems. If you do not even think about ambitious achievements and significant changes in your life, if you think only about short-term goals and slow down after achieving them, then a personal strategy is unlikely to help you.
- you have conceived complex, significant changes in life or
- the scale of the accumulated problems is enormous, and there is no straightforward solution or
- you understand that to achieve your goals; you need not just to work harder, but to use tricky combinations and nontrivial multi-movements
then we’re on our way (if, of course, you are ready to work, not just “read the materials and think about new ideas”).
Description and conditions of the program, which contains several free lessons you can see here.
By creating a personal strategy, you will become wiser and get a lot more opportunities. After all, the main thing is to recognise them in time and instantly involve them in your orbit.
All of this is why you need a personal strategy for in the first place!©Deem Rytsev - the author is the founder of Strategium.Space and NooSphereum.Org and specializes in strategic management in his scientific and business activities.
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