Achieving your ultimate goal: Start Your Strategy

Ok from the exercises you have completed in the previous steps –Step 1 Self-Assessment and Step 2 Goal Setting, you now have your start point and your end point.  Now you must start working out how to join the two together.

You are going to start developing your Strategy.

This first thing is to understand the difference between Strategy and Tactics.  Again, I wrote about this in a previous article https://www.pamwarren.co.uk/personal-blog/put-on-your-duke-of-wellington-hat/

So, your Strategy is your plan of action and your Tactics will develop from what you have at your disposal to accomplish your strategy.

Focus on your Ultimate Goal

For now, ignore your past from your self-assessment (step 1).  Concentrate on and start with your ultimate goal in Step 2, goal setting.  From here work backwards listing out everything you can think of that would accomplish the ultimate goal.

  • List the skills you would need.
  • List the organisations (or type of) that could help you realise your goal.
  • List people and connections that would help.
  • List the research that would help.
  • List the qualities you envisage would perfectly fit a person achieving the goal you have set.

Keep listing anything and everything you can think of that ends in the result of your ultimate goal.  Work methodically backwards, point by point, until you feel you are close to your current position now discovered in your self-assessment (step 1).

Once you have this new list pull out your original ‘I am here now’ list and compare them.

Partner up the skills/qualities/principles/assets etc you currently have with the ones you have identified as being necessary to accomplish your ultimate goal.  Not everything is going to fit from your original list and there will be some on your strategy list that have nothing partnered with them.

Et voila – you now have the initial insight into what needs to happen.

Weed out what doesn’t help your ultimate goal

From your original ‘I am here’ step 1 list you will have things left over.  You can now look at these dispassionately and really think ‘are these necessary for my goal?’.  There will be a substantial number where the answer is ‘no’. That doesn’t mean they are necessarily defunct. There will be skills and attributes that are always handy to have in reserve, they are just not necessary for you to start on your journey towards your ultimate goal so ignore them for now.  However, there will be others that really are not needed or are a waste of time and effort – dump them.

Small caveat with dumping: principles that are not required for your strategy are hard to dump.  You have grown up with them, woven them into who you are and hold them as a line you will not cross.  However, you must either let go of the ones that will harm your progress or work separately to adapt them into a tweaked principle that will help rather than hinder you.

As an example, one of mine was ‘Taking pride in everything I undertake’ – doesn’t sound too bad does it? What I realised was that this principle was putting enormous amounts of pressure on me to work towards perfection which is just unrealistic.  It was also getting me to turn down opportunities that I felt I would not be able to take pride in (or should that be that I was too proud to do).  I didn’t want to let this go entirely and eventually tweaked it into ‘Be proud of anything I do’.  Doesn’t sound much different but the onus and meaning fundamentally shifted and it has now become a help rather than a burden. (Check out my article on Progress not Perfection, if this is one of your stumbling blocks)

Remember, you should now know your purpose and have identified your ultimate goal. You have now begun the first stage of your strategy towards achieving that ultimate goal, not just wishfully thinking about it.

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