Sunday, December 26, 2010

Creating a Mini Strategic Plan: A More Effective Alternative to New Year's Resolutions

Creating mini-strategic plan as alternative to New Year's Resolution


It's getting close to New Year's Resolution Time. As a result, I'm seeing a significant increase in traffic to my Personal Strategic Planning posts. Personally, I think strategic plans are more effective than New Year's resolutions -- partly because they force to you think through not only what you'd like to accomplish, but also how to go about it. However, my sense is that some people are not yet ready to commit to developing a full-blown personal strategic plan. If you’re one of those people, consider taking less than 30 minutes to do a mini- plan instead.

Creating a Mini-Personal Strategic Plan

The process for creating a mini-personal strategic plan is the same as the process for creating a full-blown plan that I described in my earlier posts -- except that it addresses only one of your dreams. In short, you:
  1. Describe your dream (what you want to accomplish)
  2. Identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities & threats (SWOTs) relevant to that dream
  3. Identify the major goals that must be reached in order to realize your dream.
  4. Identify your strategies -- the steps you must take to reach each goal.
The result of those four steps is a plan that takes advantage of your strengths & opportunities, overcomes the identified obstacles (weaknesses & threats), and gets you on the path to realizing your dream. The completed plan displays your dream, linked to the supporting goals and strategies.  A full-blown plan is usually formatted as a mind map or as an outline. However, you can use any format that works for you. In any event, yours will be a lot simpler than those examples since it will only address one dream (e.g., the financial one).

When you have finished the planning process, you will be able to visualize the goals you need to achieve to realize your dream, and the steps you need to take to reach each goal.

If you have trouble with any of the above steps, they are described in more detail in the posts describing the full-blown planning process.
  1. Discovering Your Vision
  2. Identifying Your SWOTs, and
  3. Creating Your Personal Strategic Plan (developing goals & strategies).
You will follow those same steps.  However, for your mini-plan, you'll only worry about one dream. You can do a mini-plan for any important area of your life – your finances, family/social life, career, etc.  Think about it; with just 30 minutes or less of planning you can be well on the way to resolving the most important issue in your life!

Once you finish your mini-plan, see how easy it is and see how useful the results are, I hope you will reconsider and do a complete personal strategic plan.

Good luck.

Other Personal Strategic Planning Posts

The Core Processes
Discovering Your Vision: Identifying the dreams you want to make come true!
Identifying Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOTs): the "meat" of the process.
Creating Your Personal Strategic Plan: writing your goals and strategies

Additional Posts
A Career Planning Approach: An approach to doing a mini-plan for your career; also useful in other areas.
A Sample Personal Strategic Plan: an introduction/overview including examples & sample formats
Personal Strategic Planning Schematic: a schematic showing relationship between all of the planning posts

Copyright © 2010.         Last modified: 3/26/2013

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