Those of you who know me, know I’ve had a hard time with my 55th birthday. Yes I realize there are some of ya’ll who are older, but I am here at the moment, not there, and yes I am sorta freaking out.
I believe it’s time to sit down and have a conversation with myself about the direction I need/want to go now. That whole five year, strategic plan, kind of conversation. Everything you do, your thoughts, your decisions, your emotions, are predicated on what is happening at that time in your life. Sometimes moment by moment. And right now I feel a huge shift taking place in me, at this moment.
I feel the need to form an authentic connection with my 55 year old self who is already feeling different than my 54 year old self.
What does that mean? An authentic connection with myself?
This is different than being authentic which is what you show the world. If your connection with yourself is not authentic, can you truly be authentic in other areas.
My first thought when pondering this question was to go to my old standby of core values. While I firmly believe in being true to your core values, to answer this question I feel we must go to the layer even before core values. Are they changing? Do I need to re-evaluate these values and how they operate in my life.
Re-evaluating areas of our life is something we do all the time. Often it is just the superficial. We change our hairstyles, our clothing choices, our food choices. These examples all required a shift somewhere. One day we said, “I need me some new hair.” We looked at photos, we asked friends, we had recollections of styles we had seen and thought were just so cute. We made a plan and we changed our hair.
Over the weekend I will embark on developing my five year strategic plan.
What is a strategic plan?
A goal on steroids
A strategic plan of where you want to go is like setting a goal, only bigger. I’ve done strategic planning, in my work, for decades. It’s an effective tool where a company looks at their strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities, before they build their plan. I will use this model, but tweak it to add core values and perhaps a few other ways of work.
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I identified two major areas that seem to be the most pressing for me – health and financial. Now as I begin the process over the weekend, this could change. I doubt it, but I say it anyway because it’s okay to go into the process with an idea, only to realize that may not be what you need or want now.
What to remember when developing your strategic plan
Let the process take you where it takes you, being mindful that it’s your voice you’re following, not the voice of anyone else.
You do not have to share this process with anyone. You can even destroy the evidence. It makes being honest with yourself a little easier. But you have to be honest, otherwise your plan is built on a false foundation.
Be willing to take a look outside the box
Sometimes you have to take a risk. I’ve taken plenty. Some of paid off big time, others have failed miserably. But I learned from every since risk I took.
Stand up for yourself
There are things you want. Go for them. Within the strategic plan process is an exercise which defines threats. Those threat can come in the form of people who want to sabotage your success. What will you do when that occurs (and it will occur). Include in your plan how you will stand up for you.
Focus on the who not the what
Don’t get to hung up on what. Instead of saying, “I want to lose ten pounds in five weeks” re-frame it to “I want to be the woman who walks four days a week.”
Instead of “I want to save $100 a week” re-frame it to “I want to be the woman who is deliberate and aware of where my money is going.”
Focus on the systems and the rest will fall into place.
But above all else remember this:
Your life is a journey not a destination. Don’t forget to enjoy the trip.
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