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How to develop your personal strategy

A personal strategy will help you make better resolutions in 2020

Seven-year-olds have a wonderful sense of curiosity, which combined with a rapidly developing sense of awareness of themselves and the world, encourages them to ask A LOT of questions, sparking some pretty interesting conversations–at least around our household!

Earlier this week, our seven-year-old daughter asked me: “Momma, what is a reser-…resa..resoolu…shun?” 

“A resolution?” I asked. Good question, kid. 

I went on to explain, “A resolution is something that someone resolves to do or not to do. It’s kind of like a goal someone sets for themselves or a promise they make to themselves.”

Beyond this year-end moment of reflection, more broadly speaking, how do YOU decide what are going to do and what you are NOT going to do? With a world of choices, opportunities, and knowledge literally at our fingertips, deciding which goals to set and accomplish can be understandably overwhelming.

The notion of resolving to do or not do something in a world of countless decisions triggers the need for a filter.

Always embracing my former major in Psychology, I have often wondered how this decision-making filter works, and how we might use a filter like this to improve our lives. 

Is there a better way for us to make these “to do” or “not to do” decisions – especially as we are operating in a cluttered, hyper-connected, non-stop, always-on world? Is there a way for us to make better resolutions and better choices in our life? 

I would argue, yes – there is, and at the risk of over-simplification, I believe the answer lies in one word: STRATEGY. If we are going to make better choices, we need to have a strong strategy (i.e. a better filter).

So, how do you develop a strategy that will help you get from where you are to where you want to be?

There is a TON of great thought-leadership material out there on strategy to help inspire and guide us.

If you are completely new to the world of strategy, check out the following video from Erica Olsen and the On Strategy consulting firm for a quick “101” on the strategic planning process. Think about how you can apply some of the basic frameworks and thought-processes to your own life or business decisions. 

If you are seeking to delve deeper into the world of strategy, check out this list of the top strategy books of all-time. My personal favorite is Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works by A.G. Lafley and Roger L. Martin. 

While most of these popular, widely distributed strategy books are set in a business (or war) context, the basic notion that strategy forces people and organizations to make specific choices about their future is directly applicable to one’s own Personal Strategy.

The path between where you are today and where you want to be in the future should be guided by your Personal Vision. The guardrails that will keep you on this path form the basis of your Personal Strategy and can serve as your filter for the choices you make and the actions you take (and don’t take!) as you navigate your personal and professional life.

Here’s to us all making STRATEGIC Resolutions for 2020!

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