The Plan

Bill Abbate

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When you hear the word strategy, what comes to mind? Something difficult, complicated, and confusing?

Nothing could be further from the truth!

If you have not considered outlining a basic plan for your life, nothing is stopping you from doing so but yourself. Let's look at a simple, straightforward way you can quickly form such a plan. Your future depends on it!

Plan or strategy?

While the word strategy may sound intimidating, its meaning is simple.

strategy (noun) - a plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim. Oxford Languages

In other words, a strategy is merely a plan!

"Strategy is a fancy word for coming up with a long-term plan and putting it into action." Ellie Pidot (1975-present)

Do you have a basic plan for your life? If not, there is no better time than today to create it. It does not have to be elaborate. It only needs to point you toward an outcome.

Why you want a life strategy

Perhaps you are wondering, "But why do I need a strategy? What makes it so important?"

How will you ever achieve your potential without a plan or strategy for your life? Do you want a life of mediocrity? If so, skip the rest of this article. Just remember this 3000-year-old wisdom:

"A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest— and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man." Proverbs 6:10-11 NIV

If you wish to avoid mediocrity, let's move forward. While it makes sense that most people would prefer to avoid failing, too many don't. Avoiding failure is a simple matter of planning. One of the founding fathers of our nation said:

"If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail." Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

Hence the need to develop a plan or strategy for your life. Let's look at how you can quickly devise your life plan.

How to easily create your life strategy

To begin developing your strategy, answer the question: "What do I want my life to look like when I reach the end?"

"Always start at the end before you begin." Robert Kiyosaki (1947-present)

Give this question some serious thought. This is your life, after all!

Once you understand what you want your life to have looked like, your chance of achieving it increases dramatically. Without a vision, the possibility of failure increases significantly.

"A vision without a strategy remains an illusion." Lee Bolman (1941-present)

When you see what you want your life to look like, you are in a position to begin working on the plan to take you there.

"Hope is not a strategy." Vince Lombardi (1913-1970)

Don't worry about the skills you need to achieve the outcome you wish to reach. You have time to develop them along the way. The most important thing is to have a clear future in mind.

"Success is 20% skills and 80% strategy. You might know how to succeed, but more importantly, what's your plan to succeed?" Jim Rohn (1930-2009)

A life strategy will separate you from most people in the world. To their detriment, too many never take the time to think about their future, much less develop a plan. But you are not like most people! Rather than being thoughtless, be thoughtful in your planning.

"Strategy is about making choices, trade-offs; it's about deliberately choosing to be different." Michael Porter (1947-present)

Remember, it is important to do what is necessary while avoiding the unnecessary. In other words, know what to do and what not to do so you can make the right choices.

"The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do." Michael Porter (1947-present)

The important thing in your planning is to pick the direction you want to go, working consistently with that end in mind.

"In reality strategy is actually very straightforward. You pick a general direction and implement like hell." Jack Welch (1935-2020)

Put the outcome you desire on paper. As discussed, your life strategy does not have to be complicated. The important thing is to be clear about the outcome. The better you see it, the greater the chance of achieving it. Make it as long or short as you wish, so long as it is clear.

Your next step

With the written strategy in hand, it is now important to begin working toward it. This is where tactics come into play.

What exactly are tactics? Tactics are simply thoughtful actions taken to achieve the strategy. You can also consider it a short-term act supporting your desired outcome.

tactic (noun) -an action … carefully planned to achieve a specific end. Oxford Languages

Tactics are concrete and practical. A good tactic will take you closer to where you want to go.

"Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat." Sun Tzu (544-496 BC)

Once you can see the outcome and have written your strategy, begin working on the actions needed to get there.

Always check your progress. When you get the results you want, keep moving forward. When you do not get the desired results, adjust or change tactic(s).

"However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results." Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

Final thoughts

Envision what you wish your life to have looked like when you reach the end. Write a clear, concise strategy to support your desired outcome, and develop and implement tactics to achieve it. Check on your results at times and adjust as needed.

Will it take some work to live your best possible life? Yes. Will it be worth it? Absolutely! All you need do is to have a plan and put some action behind achieving it.

"Without strategy, execution is aimless. Without execution, strategy is useless." Morris Chang (1931-present)

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Semi-Retired-Leadership/Executive Coach -Personal & Career Growth Expert -Editor and Leadership Writer at Illumination -Author

Richmond, VA
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