It’s interesting how so many of us apply strategy to our careers and businesses. We spend hours “strategizing” on marketing, sales, finances, and even new technology. But, what’s going on in your personal life?
Have you ever considered taking some of that same energy and using it to design a strategic life? A life in which your future self will thank you.
Maybe, sure….probably not.
For some of us, this is a natural process that we have been tweaking behind the scenes for years. Suddenly, the questions come like rapid-fire and with so much surprise: OMG? You look so good for your age and you have so much energy. Your adult children are so knowledgeable, polite, and well-rounded. Your husband of 30 years plus years still adores you. I so admire that relationship that you have with your best friend. 🙂
Maybe this is you, chances are you are blessed, but you could be a little strategic too.
I’m going to share with you 4 key principles that you can use to design a strategic life that you love based on a very familiar business model. The Apple business model is one that you have been impacted by one way or another. Whether you are a fan or not, you can not deny their overwhelming success as a brand to be reckoned with.
Perhaps you even have at least one Apple product in your home. Or if you don’t have one, you know someone who does. Apple has become shorthand for ubiquitous, sustainable success and instant recognizability. It’s a household name that you recognize.
Think about it. Apple has a small stable of products that they do exceptionally well. They are focused and strategic in their product development and marketing. And their big not-so-secret weapon? They invent something and then keep refining it. This approach to innovation and incremental change is something you can easily adapt to your own life. It’s a sustainable strategy that’s simple and it works.
4 Key Steps to Design a Strategic Life
- Learn How To Streamline and Simplify
What Apple did: Steve Jobs made a strategic decision to keep Apple’s focus tight. He simplified their product lines down to basically four computers.
What you can do: Streamlining and simplifying your life can free up more time, space, and resources that you can potentially apply elsewhere. You can begin to simplify your life over time not necessarily all at once. You can start by reflecting and taking inventory of what’s working for you and what’s not. Examine your autopilot habits and access whether or not they are still serving you and/or your family. Maybe you start eliminating some of the activities that may be a waste of your time and resources? For example, you could start small by reducing hours spent watching TV, scrolling mindlessly on social media, and or playing video games, all of which can steal a lot of valuable time.
De-cluttering can be therapeutic and strategic. You might be surprised how this can help you to stop constantly buying more stuff that you don’t need. Also, you could free up time by shopping in bulk, meal prepping, and batch cooking.
You’d be surprised at how many people live by default. They just keep doing the same repetitive activities without ever questioning or challenging themselves to come up higher.
2. Learn to Iterate
According to Wikipedia: Iteration is the repetition of a process in order to generate an outcome. The sequence will approach some endpoint or end value. Each repetition of the process is a single iteration, and the outcome of each iteration is then the starting point of the next iteration.
Incremental lifestyle changes can be more successful than trying to change everything at once. This is why most New Year’s resolutions are unsuccessful.
What Apple did: Apple has been consistently improving its products one iteration at a time for decades.
What you can do: Make a commitment to one significant life change at a time. You can make a series of small changes, like switching from an-on-the-way-to-work coffee to having one at home. Then add in complementary changes, like cutting down on takeout, downgrading your subscriptions, or maybe buying a smaller car. Small iterations compound over time and can make a massive impact on your life. Just be sure to keep your personal goals in mind when applying this principle.
3. Stay Curious and Commit to Personal Growth
What Apple did: One of Apple’s big successes is its research and development capacity. They are committed to not missing an opportunity to learn and grow and improve over time.
What you can do: Stay on top of your game by being curious. Be open to learning new things and change. Be on the lookout for new opportunities. Tweak your goals based on your findings and revelations. Always stay committed to improvement in every area of your strategic life.
4. Being Okay with Imperfection.
What Apple did: One of Apple’s mottos is ‘just ship’ meaning that they don’t wait to get a product absolutely perfect before they launch it into the world. Surprising, right? I mean this is Apple that we’re talking about. But even Apple realizes the trap of perfectionism.
What you can do: Being okay with imperfection doesn’t mean you just deliver low-quality work. It means you keep it moving. You give it your best shot, get it out, and then make improvements along the way. You keep dreaming, keep reflecting, keep evaluating, keep planning, keep moving, keep improving.
Life is a wonderful journey. We don’t always get it right. We make major mistakes along the way. But the key to designing a strategic life that you love is to pay attention to every aspect of your life. The goal here is to know and trust that you gave it your time and attention and yes, your best shot!
Be well + prosper,