It is about that time of the year again when individuals routinely take out time to reflect on the gains of the year and plan for the new year. But what many fail to do is to see the year as a subset of the entire life itself and plan life project as a whole, instead of focusing on the year.
Like any other project, it is a unique endeavour that must have a defined scope (you can’t be everything), with limited resources (you can’t have it all) and a specific timeline (you are here for an appointed time, no one lives forever).
You are the Project Manager of your life project, and you have several other project stakeholders like your family, friends, community, society, and humanity in general. Nevertheless, you are ultimately responsible for the success or failure of the project. How you manage your life project, to a considerable extent, affects the other stakeholders, so you need to be deliberate about your life and considerate of how it affects them.
Now, let us assume that you have been appointed a Project Manager and given a lifetime opportunity to deliver a very important project with obvious constraints such as scope, time and limited resources. I believe that your first responsibility would be to determine or figure out exactly how you want to achieve success and further win the confidence of your Project Sponsor, right?
In this case, your life is the project, and it cannot be any different from other projects. You need to figure out how to succeed and make the best out of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you have. Below are the critical steps you need to take in order to chart a path of success for your life.
Creating your own winning life project
Be Clear: You are here for a purpose. There is a strategic reason behind your existence and you need to find it to give your life a meaning and direction. That way, you are not lost in the crowd. You need to have clarity about WHY you are here. It requires a lot of reasoning. You may not have all the answers, but you need some level of clarity to solve the puzzle called Life.
An imperfect plan that is executed is better than a perfect plan on paper – if that even exists, that is
Set your goals: Once you have achieved clarity and a sense of direction, you need to set goals of the things you need to achieve to attain fulfilment. This is the place to dream and set your different goals and aspirations – financial goals, professional goals, relationship goals, social and other goals. Without goals, there is nothing by which to measure growth and progress. With goals, you break your big dream into bits that you can tackle per time; and the more goals you accomplish, the closer to your destination you get.
Determine your values: At the core of everything is your values – the things that matter most to you, what you stand for; because if you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything. In trying to achieve your goals, you need to be clear on the things that you would not compromise or trade, whatever the cost or seeming reward.
Assess your reality: To achieve your goals, it is crucial to be in touch with your current reality, your current state, and the resources available to fulfil your objectives. Every project requires the right support for implementation: people, time, money, skills, knowledge, tools and so on. This is where you identify the gaps that need closing.
However, this is not to limit you, but to ensure that you close the gaps by equipping yourself with the resources required to achieve your set goals.
Make the right decisions: Life is all about choices and decisions. At this point, you need to make the necessary decision to achieve your desired results by vividly articulating your course of action, determine the timelines with which you intend to achieve your objectives, and choose who plays what role in your master plan. Nonetheless, be flexible on your journey.
Act: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” – Newton’s Third Law of Physics. It is not enough to plan or to decide; it is imperative to act – especially at the right time. There is an effect and consequence of every action and inaction. The ability to execute your plan is what makes the difference. An imperfect plan that is executed is better than a perfect plan on paper – if that even exists, that is. Done will always trump perfect. So, once you have a measure of clarity with your set goals, have assessed your available resources, decided on your best course of action in sync with your values, ACT IMMEDIATELY!
The winning life pie
The outcome of the six steps above form, The Winning Life Pie. It gives you a mental picture of the critical success factors for your life project. In effect, The Winning Life Pie is a visual representation of your Winning Life Project. That is, after you have filled in your answers to the questions outlined above, as you would a vision board, I recommend that you produce the page below containing it in print and stick it up where you can see it every day. As the old axiom goes, “Seeing is believing.” And what you believe, you act out. When you act, results follow. Note that you can apply The Winning Life Pie to different aspects of your life and to varying timelines, say one year or more. That is, for instance, you can take up your finances, or your career, or your family, and use The Winning Life Pie to plan.
Here is an exercise for you, create your own Winning Life Pie by providing answers to the relevant segments and content of the pie. (Remember to make a copy and place it where you can always see it.)
The Winning Life Pie is from my book Unlock: The Secrets to a Winning Life.
Have a Winning 2022 and beyond.