“Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not something to be waited for, But rather something to be achieved.”
— William Jennings Bryan
A personal strategic plan can help any professional or business owner (we are all self-employed as personal career managers responsible for our own success) to gain power and take control. A plan can make the difference between being trapped and being empowered.
Steven Covey wrote in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, “It’s incredibly easy to get caught in the activity trap, in the busy-ness of life” without getting any closer to what you would consider personal success.” Working hard and being an effective juggler is not the same as choosing success. Choosing success involves first defining success. The definition should reflect your personal values, aspirations, how you want to be spending your time, and a good understanding of what makes you feel alive! Without getting clear on what’s important, it is hard to make good choices. Be honest with yourself.
Having strategy and focus in your business life, and a mess in your personal life is likely to prevent you from achieving personal success, even if you achieve astounding business success. Research shows that if an individual sets only career-related goals, they usually fail to achieve them or remain unsatisfied upon their achievement. When an individual sets goals that take their whole life into account, they are more likely to succeed and realize satisfaction that will inspire them on to even greater accomplishment. How are you doing in all parts of your life- family, socially, physically, ethically and spiritually, career-wise, financially and mentally? Are you happy with the current use of your time? What is your ideal?
Depending on where you are in your life, the concept of retirement can create a great deal of anticipation and uncertainty. Will you ever be able to retire? What will retirement look like? Is there some new definition of retirement?
Why not take away some of the expectation by thinking about how to do more of what you love to do right now? If we make time to stretch our minds, our bodies and connect with the people we want to be with, we don’t have to put our life on hold until later.
Planning for personal success should be approached with just as much diligence as planning for a successful business. Find others who can support you in putting together a personal roadmap. Your personal strategies just like any business will have ups and downs and will need to be managed. Who is on your personal advisory board- CPAs, financial advisors, strategic planners, coaches, lawyers, etc.? Are they working in partnership with your best interests at heart?
ITS YOUR CHOICE
Everyone has unique situations, challenges, and blind spots. You can let the obstacles win, or you can choose to make this your year to soar!
Ralph Waldo Emerson’s definition of success:
To laugh often and much; to win respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”
What is your definition?
Author: Helene Mazur
Helene is the founder of Princeton Performance Dynamics, an executive coaching and strategic planning facilitation company for business and non-profit leaders and their teams. Helene’s passion is helping her clients to focus their goals, see new perspectives on their current situation, put in place realistic, motivating plans, and execute to achieve new levels of success.
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