Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I’m celebrating the luck of the Irish by returning from a business trip to New York – I’m actually typing this entry from my seat in a Tripper Bus. (Gotta love the wi-fi…) I might be a bit slow to reply to comments, but don’t let that keep you from participating in our discussion!
In a previous post in this series, we discussed creating a Mission Statement (drafting a concrete, specific statement about what we want from our writing career, including balancing that career with our personal lives.) We then discussed setting specific goals to achieve that mission. That brings us to today’s topic: Developing strategies to obtain those goals.
Strategies are tools. They are methodologies. They are systems that will advance our agenda, enabling us to accomplish all that we need to do. (Strategies are not actions. They are not tactics, the most-detailed level of our strategic plan. (We’ll discuss those in the next post of this series, next month.))
The strategies step is often the most challenging of the Strategic Plan. This is the time when you should let your imagination run wild. Theorize the most outlandish methods for obtaining your goals. Push yourself to identify methods that you never previously considered. As you brainstorm, write down all the possible strategies you can imagine using — you might discard some of them along the way, but you’ll be certain to have turned every last stone in your efforts.
Last month, I used the example goal of losing weight. To accomplish that goal, I can identify multiple strategies, including:
- I will join Weight Watchers’, using the online plan to maximize my participation in light of expected travel.
- I will consume fewer calories.
- I will consume more nutritious food that better matches my body’s nutritional needs.
- I will exercise more.
You’ll note that I’m not (yet) defining what “fewer” calories means. I’m not (yet) defining the exercises that I will do. Those are specific actions, and we’ll get to them next month.
Also, I’ve discarded some strategies in my finished list. At one point, I considered adding “I will try one extreme diet each month, exploring the benefits for incorporation into my healthy lifestyle.” That conflicted with the balanced approach advocated by Weight Watchers; therefore, I eliminated that “out there” experimental strategy.
So? What about you? What specific strategies can you express to accomplish the goals that you defined last month?