Goals: Do You Have Strategy That Will Show Your Way? (Part Four)

Do you have strategy that will show your way? [Marcin Rzucidlo / Life Puzzle Coach]
This is the fourth post of the goals related series. The previous ones are:

Do You Have Personality That Will Support Your Way? (Part Three)

I shall either find a way or make one.

Hannibal

Let’s make a stop and see where you are on your way to your goals:

What you have worked out so far gives you a very important factor of success.

It’s clarity.

Have you ever watched a movie in the cinema that was out of focus. Or maybe, like me, you are short sighted and looked at the world without your glasses or contact lenses.

It lacks clarity and makes you feel uncomfortable.

Once you have defined your goals, motivation and identity, you have the clarity. Clarity of direction.

Now, it’s time to get clarity of action. To find the way.

Your strategy: the how?

Once you know the answers to questions of ‘what’, ‘why’ and ‘who’, it’s time to find the answer to the question of ‘how’?

‘How’ is the question of strategy. How will you get to your goals? What way and what vehicles will you use?

Normally, it is enough to have one good strategy to follow in the direction of your goal.

But to have a good strategy, you have to start with more options.

When you have one option, one strategy, it can be a good one.

When you have two, you can choose a better one.

But it’s only when you have three options, you can choose the best.

So, our first step will be to come up with possible options (or strategies) of getting to your goal.

How? … It’s a good question 🙂

I have always believed in the power of good, quality questions.

  • Quality questions lead to quality answers.
  • Quality answers lead to quality decisions.
  • Quality decisions lead to quality actions.
  • And quality actions lead to quality results.

That’s what we are after.

So, when you want to come up with a great strategy to achieve your goal, start with this simple, quality question:

How can I …?

To turn your goals (your vision) into strategies, start with framing them as “How can I …?” questions:

  • How can I reach the weight of 80kg?
  • How can I earn $xxx.xxx this year?
  • How can I feel more happy and fulfilled?

Use it also for your mindset, habits and skills.

  • How can I shift my focus to more positive side of things?
  • How can I stop procrastinating?
  • How can I learn to read faster?

Because quality questions prime our brain to look for a quality answers, good strategies will start appearing in your head.

You get the idea. Now, let’s structure that for order.

Brainstorm, Mindstorm and Priority Matrix

We are in a strategy session. We need ideas. Having spent fifteen years in the corporate world, I got used to brainstorming.

Brainstorm is an activity in which you want to come up with as many ideas, concepts and options as possible. It’s a creative exercise where quantity is more important than quality.

You pose a problem (for example, How can I…?) and you think of and write down whatever comes to your mind as a solution.

At this stage, do not judge solutions’ feasibility. Do not limit yourself. Assume everything is possible. You will evaluate the options later.

Of course, you can also involve anyone else in your brainstorming session for more creativity and inspiration.

Brainstorm is one way you can come up with strategies that will lead you to your goals.

But, I have a more structured method to share with you.

Mindstorm is the concept I learned from Brian Tracy. It’s a step-by-step method that I have tested on myself and it worked. Follow the steps:

Step 1. Define which goal/problem/issue you want to focus on.

Step 2. Put it in the form of the question: “How can I …?”

Step 3. Take a sheet of paper and write this question of top of it.

Step 4. Then, using creative brain(mind)storming write down twenty (!) ideas on how you can answer this question.

Why twenty?

Because first five to ten will be the obvious strategies that you know, but probably you don’t apply (otherwise, you wouldn’t face the issue).

Around number ten, it becomes difficult to come up with new ideas. That’s the critical moment. That’s where you must stretch your imagination and creativity.

That’s the threshold where you allow yourself to come up with creative and original strategies. Such that either you have not thought about before or you can use to combine, develop, refine and apply to really make a difference in accomplishing your goal.

It is critical not to stop when you run out of ideas before you reach number twenty.

There is one non-standard approach that can facilitate this process even more. I described it here: How to come up with awakening ideas.

Step 5. Once you have your list of twenty, you can congratulate yourself and you can move to prioritization of your strategies.

Prioritization of your strategies will tell you which of them will be most effective (in terms of results) and efficient (in terms of process).

For each option that you came up with, assess how much it will contribute to accomplishing a given goal (low, mid or high impact) and how much effort you will need to exert (low, mid or high effort).

As such, you will be able to fit all the options in the following prioritization matrix.

priority matrix

The strategies that are most likely to work for you come into the “green zones.” They have relatively high impact on accomplishing your goals and are relatively effort-effective (I do not want to use the word ‘easy’) to apply.

IMPORTANT! In case you don’t have green strategies, run your mindstorming session again.

Finally, you will end up with a number of strategies that by design are to lead you to your goals and will allow you to shape your mindset, habits and skills.

This way, you increase the probability of realizing your vision.

I have prepared a special workbook that will take you step by step through the process I described. Download this workbook and I will lead you through mindstorming and prioritization, step by step, one goal by one.

In the next (and last) post of this series, you will learn how to turn those strategies into specific action plans. It’s a crucial step on your way to your goals, because as you know…

So, do you have plans that will make your way?

Sign up here, not to miss the next post.

Make a fabulous day 🙂

– Marcin

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