Inner Growth Journey: Strategizing Phase

Heather Bennett

Growth

A woman plans her path overlooking a city with the stars in the background

Welcome to the Strategizing phase! 

At this point in the Inner Growth Journey, you will transform your aspirations into action. 

For the best results, you should have completed the following:

Now it’s time to bridge the gap between the two.

If you haven’t explored “Assessing” or “Aspiring” yet, we strongly recommend starting there. These foundational stages provide the insights and clarity you need to ensure your strategic plan is both effective and aligned with your values and desires.

Transforming Long-Term Aspirations into Actionable Goals

A woman at a desk in front of an aspirations board, writing goals.

In the previous stage, you crafted a compelling vision for your future.

Now, let’s turn that vision into reality!

Start by choosing one or two important life areas you’re most motivated to focus on in the coming year. These will be your starting points for this initial iteration of your Inner Growth Journey.

Breaking it Down

Let’s revisit your 5-year vision. Under a Career life area, you might have something like “Obtaining my dream job at [company].” How can we turn this into a step-by-step plan?

First, identify the major milestones you’ll need to reach in order to achieve your 5-year vision. Ask yourself:

  • What skills and qualifications will I absolutely need to have?
  • What kind of experience will make me a strong candidate?
  • Are there financial, logistical, or other major changes required?

Each of these milestones becomes a major goal in your plan.

Now, determine where each milestone best fits within these timeframes.  Think realistically about what you can achieve:

  • 5 Years: Dream big! This is for significant life changes. (You’ve already mapped these out in “Aspiring.”)
  • 1 Year: Set milestones that mark tangible progress. You should be able to gain new skills, experience, or make headway in this timeframe.
  • Quarterly (3 Months): Break your yearly goals down further. This allows for celebrating wins, course-correcting as needed, and staying focused on the big picture.

Feel free to come up with your own time periods that work for you. Here are some extra examples:

  • 2 Years: Great for creating intermediary goals if a 5-year leap feels overwhelming.
  • Monthly: If you thrive on detailed planning and frequent feedback, set monthly goals within your quarterly targets. The “Doing & Reviewing” phase supports this with progress tracking tools.

The Art of Setting Strategic Goals

A study with a board listing the SMART goals.

With your long-term vision broken down into milestones for different time frames, it’s time to ensure each goal is clear, actionable, and aligned with your ultimate aspirations. Let’s use the SMART goals framework to transform your milestones into a powerful roadmap:

  1. Specific: Clearly define what you want to achieve, avoiding vague or general statements. A specific goal answers the who, what, where, and why.
  2. Measurable: Determine how you will measure progress and success. What indicators will show you’re moving in the right direction?
  3. Achievable: Ensure your goal is challenging yet attainable with the resources and time you have. It’s about finding the balance between dreaming big and staying grounded in reality.
  4. Relevant: Align each goal with your broader vision and values. Does achieving this goal move you closer to where you want to be?
  5. Time-bound: Set a realistic deadline for achieving your goal. A timeline creates urgency and helps prioritize actions.

By crafting your goals with these criteria in mind, you create a framework that guides your daily decisions and actions. This keeps you motivated and focused on the bigger picture.

With your SMART goals defined, you now have a clear roadmap ready for action! It’s time for the most exciting part of your journey – bringing your vision to life!

Remember, goals are not set in stone.  As you gain experience and you gain a better understanding of yourself, you’ll refine your goals and strategies. This continual improvement is really at the heart of ongoing sustained growth.

The Journey Continues: Taking Action & Reflecting

In the Doing & Reviewing phase, we’ll focus on taking consistent action toward your goals and cultivating a continuous improvement mindset. You’ll learn tools for:

  • Progress Tracking: Monitor your achievements and identify areas for adjustment.
  • Celebrating Wins: Recognize your successes, big and small, to fuel your motivation.
  • Navigating Challenges: Develop strategies to overcome obstacles and stay resilient.

Let’s continue your journey together in the Doing & Reviewing phase.

Heather sitting and smiling at the camera.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Heather is on a mission to prove that ambition and well-being aren't mutually exclusive. After witnessing widespread burnout in the tech industry, she helps others achieve their goals without sacrificing their sanity. Her down-to-earth approach and proven strategies are ideal for anyone ready to build a balanced, achievement-oriented life.

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