Live with Intention
This is Part 2 of our series, "How to Build a Strategic Plan That Drives Growth and Success." If you haven't already, check out Part 1 here.
By providing you with direction, motivation and boundaries, strategic planning allows you to live with intention — to navigate the whitewaters of life with your oars, rather than be thrown about by the vicissitudes that life hands you. Your professional life should be supported by an intentionally led personal life — the essential fuel for success.
Below, I share a sample strategic plan I drafted in response to a recent mountain biking accident, where I broke bones in both hands and did massive, surgery-required damage to my right rotator cuff. As an uber-physically active, professionally ambitious and committed overachiever, the specter of 6–12 months of limited physical activity is a bit overwhelming. Given this bundle of lemons, I was determined to make lemonade out of the change of pace by implementing habits, practices and mindsets to last way beyond my recovery.
In Part 1 of this blog, we talked about the strategic planning activity that comes naturally to you when serving clients. Simply stated, a good strategic plan provides:
A breakdown of the "how" into strategies
Boundaries (or core values) to better guide when you say yes and when you say no
My Latest Personal-Life Strategic Plan
My relevant core value: Health. Honor your life and those who love you by maximizing your own physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.
My why: Remain active and adventurous with Paul through our 90s and 100s.
My how: Achieve 110% physical recovery, while staying emotionally upbeat, and be a better whole person than before the accident.
Strategy 1: 110% physical recovery
1. Feed my body only delicious, healthy, healing food and drink (ok, 95% of the time…). 2. Maximize the body’s natural healing processes by allowing for 9 hours of sleep each night. 3. Start a daily range-of-motion and stretching rehab routine now, so that post-recovery, it’s a built-in habit and time-slot as I age.
Strategy 2: Build emotional resilience and be a better wife, friend, sister, and coach
1. Put my oxygen mask on first by protecting a prime-time weekday morning slot for self-care.
2. Identify in advance what I won’t be able to do during recovery so I don’t feel discouraged or victimized by my unlucky circumstances.
3. Build a daily meditation habit. Make it easy by starting with only 5 minutes a day.
a. Focus on gratitude (e.g., my head and legs escaped unscathed; I can still hike and read!).
b. Develop a mantra related to healing and resilience.
Sometimes a juggernaut of crises and unfortunate events or circumstances overwhelms our resolve and energy. But just like the capital markets, our lives do not move in a consistent linear direction. Both good and bad days and experiences build upon each other over time — creating our life, building our resilience and imbuing it with meaning.
To get the best results, one needs to live with intention: get very clear on results you want and identify and be ready for what is likely to take you off track. These drive your commitment to the actions, new habits and mindsets that will deliver those results, no matter what gets in your way.
And remember: keep it simple, and start small. With this approach, instead of a juggernaut, even broken bones and torn ligaments and muscles can become the chariot that carries us toward our aspirations.