Create Your Personal Strategic Plan

Dec 27, 2009 by

By Brian Tracy

Your success in life is determined, to a large extent by your ability to think, plan, decide, and take action. The stronger your skills are in each of these areas, the faster you will achieve your goals and the happier you will be with your life and career. Personal strategic planning is the tool that takes you from wherever you are to wherever you want to go.

Difference between Train and Plane
The difference between people who use strategic planning to organize and direct their lives and those who do not is like the difference between taking a train and taking a plane. Both will get you from point A to point B, but the plane—personal strategic planning—will get you there much faster and without frequent stops.

Systematic Way of Thinking
Skill in personal strategic planning is not something you are born with, like eye color or perfect pitch. It is a systematic way of thinking and acting and is, therefore, something you can learn, like riding a bike or changing a tire. With practice, you can master the many different elements that make up this key skill, and you will get into the rhythm of thinking and acting strategically for the rest of your life. When you do acquire rhythm, you will realize extraordinary results. Your life and career will take off, and the sky is truly the limit.

Save Time and Money
Why is strategic planning and thinking so helpful? The answer is simple: it saves you an enormous amount of time and money. When you review and analyze key strategic questions of concepts of your career or business, you find yourself focusing on the critical tasks necessary to achieve your goals. At the same time, you stop doing those things that keep you from achieving success. You do more of the right things and fewer things that get and keep you off track. You set performance goals for people and projects. You become skilled at measuring and tracking results. You move into the express lane in both work and life.

Design Your Life and Career
Your goals in personal strategic planning are similar. The key difference is that rather than improving your return on equity, your planning efforts will allow you to realize a greater return on energy. You might say that personal strategic planning will increase your return on life. A business measures its equity in terms of financial capital. On the other hand, you measure your personal equity in terms of your own human capital. Your personal equity consists of the physical, emotional, and mental energies you are able to invest in your career. Set a goal of achieving the very highest return possible on the investment of your energies.

Critical Question
Ask yourself this critical question: What is it that I do especially well? Examine the areas where you excel or are clearly superior to others in your field. You need to know what you can claim as your personal competitive advantage. This is the lifeblood of personal strategic planning. Your success is tied directly to how excellent you become at the most important part of your work.

Action Exercise
Clarify your career or business vision. What could your ideal career or business look like? What could you be doing most of the time? How much would you be earning? What kind of people would you be working with? What level of responsibility would you have? What kind of industry would you be in?

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