When you hear the word strategy: What do you think of?
There’s a good chance, like many of us, you associate it with business, and you’re not wrong to do so! As a digital strategist and email marketing expert, it’s no big surprise that I believe strategy plays an extremely important part in the success of any online business venture.
A business without goals is unlikely to succeed, and where we set goals, we must also have a plan to achieve them: That plan is our strategy.
Without a clear strategy, it’s impossible to know if the short term actions we’re taking in our businesses are aligned with our long term vision; in other words, if we’re going in the right direction. The word ‘strategy’ though, simply means a ‘plan of action designed to achieve a long term goal’, and for most of us, our goals are broader than just those relating to our businesses.
So, if we recognize the importance of strategy in achieving our business goals, why wouldn’t we bring the same planning and diligence to the pursuit of our personal goals? Well, I’m here to advocate that we absolutely should!
I wholeheartedly believe the importance of strategy goes far beyond our businesses, and right into the fabric of our lives as entrepreneurs, and humans. For a long time, I’ve made a conscious effort to adopt strategies in my life that will not only help me become a better leader and business owner, but a better person too, and which are ultimately designed to help me get where I want to go!
Let’s take for example, my morning routine:
As you’ll know if you’ve known me a while, I love a good morning routine. I believe the way you begin sets the tone for the rest of your day; but it’s not always easy to see the benefits, especially in Winter when your 5am alarm goes off, and crawling back under that duvet sounds so darn appealing!
When I look at my long term personal goals, I can identify that fitness and health (both mental and physical) are hugely important to me. I know how essential it is to feel connected to my body, to have time and space to think, and to stay in shape.
However, because I’m busy running a business, I know that my schedule simply doesn’t allow me that time, so I have adopted a strategy of waking up early each morning, to ensure I get what I need from my day, before I have to start giving to others. It keeps me happy, healthy and energetically ready to not just enjoy my day, but deliver at my best professionally too!
There are many other areas of my life where I’ve similarly implemented strategies that will pave the way for personal or professional success, whether it’s diet, scheduling, automation or investments. What I love about looking at my life (and my business) through a strategic lens is that it helps me to feel aligned, and confident that my actions are consistent with my vision for the future.
I’d love to invite you to do the same! Here are some simple steps to follow:
- Start by selecting one area of your life where you know you have an important aim, goal or ambition: Write down that goal.
- Now, starting from the goal and moving backwards, map out the steps or milestones you know you need to hit to achieve that vision for the future.
- Examine what actions you are currently taking or have taken in this area, identifying anywhere you’re currently wasting time and energy on things that won’t contribute towards achieving your goal.
- Decide what actions or behaviours are most likely to build upon the progress you’ve made so far, and decide what you can realistically commit to doing each day to chipping away at that goal.
- Block time out in your schedule each day for that activity, and make it a non-negotiable part of your daily routine.
Knowing this daily activity is part of a bigger plan will make it easier to commit to, even when you don’t feel like it, because you’ll know each day, you’re one step closer to your goal!
And don’t worry - even if it feels difficult to begin with, it only takes between 30-90 days for something to become a habit, and once that happens, your success is on it’s way...