3 Points to Making Plans and Decisions

By: Karen Lindsey-Lloyd

Follow Karen on Twitter @klinlloyd

 Editors Note: Another version of this blog was featured at A Fit Body, Career Spirit.

When it comes to discovery, decision making or planning, I recommend the three-point-approach to students, colleagues, clients, friends or family. Whether we are preparing to introduce a new idea, product or service, interviewing for our first job, changing careers or improving our current career, we need to have a plan to move forward with some level of certainty. That means we have to make choices and then act on whatever we decide. It can be overwhelming and frightening. The best way to communicate or act on a decision is to keep it simple and manageable. To get started on developing three points for discovery, decisions and planning; here are some categories to consider:

1) Tools and Resources Assessment. Do we have the necessary tools and resources necessary? Job search tools include: an updated, professional resume, an effective social media/online presence, authentic interview skills and good advisers who are current on recruiting trends and well networked in your industry. Have an active network of family, friends and professional colleagues engaging in career conversations. Share hopes and goals with our network. Practice articulating a personal brand statement. Communicate clearly and concisely. Hint: There are wise people who want to help develop these tools and skills. Find them. Talk to them, listen and follow-through; we all need a support system.

2) Setting Goals. Have we set broad goals in key areas of our life? Key areas include, but are not limited to: spiritual, family, relationships, health and of course, career. We should ask ourselves what we want to accomplish in each of these key areas. Remember: Only choose three. Set S.M.A.R.T. goals: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. Create action items, set dates, adjust the plan when necessary and write out the details. Track progress using a journal or an online notebook. Hint: We should review our goals regularly and share them with an accountability partner who will challenge and encourage us. Remember: Celebrate successful milestones!

3) Looking Inside. What negative internal messages are replaying in our minds? Are there hidden fears, family or financial pressures preventing us from doing what we really want to do? We need to strategize how and when we change these pressures. We ought to set realistic views of the job market and our profession/industry and pursue our passions with great tenacity. We need to believe we can make a living by following our passion. Note: If we don’t think so, we need to re-evaluate. Regular exercise releases stress and maintains stamina. Are we doing things to renew our spirit and be encouraged? Remember, our plans and decisions may impact other people. We shouldn’t be selfish but we can’t use that as an excuse to do nothing. Hint: Be surrounded with positive, honest people. Do not fear those who challenge or disagree. We often learn much about ourselves in those moments of difficulty.

See how that works? I’m convinced that seeking answers to good questions we often discover purpose or awaken a desire to move forward. Three points: It can work for so many things in life. There is no magic in using this approach. I am fortunate that in my life and work, I have had the opportunity to help people reach inside, grab three goals, create action steps and take responsibility for moving forward. It worked for them and it could work for you!

What do you think about using the three-point-approach? Has it worked for you? Why or why not? Leave your comments below.

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