When times are tough, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut, dwelling on missed opportunities and past regrets. But instead of fixating on what’s behind us, how can we look forward? Perhaps the solution is as simple as S-W-O-T…
“Lately, I have found my mind looking back at things I didn’t accomplish, regrets I have, and goals I’ve not yet achieved.
I hope this note finds you well and enjoying the end of summer. It’s been a beautiful summer and we’ve been blessed with some wonderful trips and family time. Now, I’m looking forward to fall time, cool nights, and leaves turning colors.
For those that regularly read my blogs, you know that I write about what’s on my mind. Lately, I have been battling my mind to keep it looking forward. I have found my mind playing mean tricks on me and looking back at things I didn’t get accomplished, regrets I have, and goals I’ve not yet achieved. I noticed this a few weeks ago, and since then I’ve been making a concerted effort to look forward.
So, with your help, that’s what we’re going to do today.
At Lighthouse, we do annual strategic planning sessions—and we always start them by doing a SWOT analysis. For those unfamiliar, SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. To identify Strengths and Weaknesses, one tends to look internally, and Opportunities and Threats are external-focused. This technique is well understood, and we find it very valuable as we look at how we can improve and where we want to go. Once we complete the SWOT, we identify specific actions (and dates) that either take advantage of a Strength, bolster up a Weakness, take advantage of an external Opportunity, or prepare for a potential Threat.
What just occurred to me is that I think the same tool can work for us personally or for those who lead any kind of organization. To start, ask yourself: what are your strengths that make you stand out and show your uniqueness? What are your weaknesses that hold you back? Are there opportunities outside of what you normally do that can help you? Are there threats/risks/situations that you should consider addressing?
As someone once told me “You can’t drive a car looking in the rear-view mirror.” So, if you aren’t sure where you want your life (or organization) to go, consider doing a SWOT. Then, write specific actions to take, and assign dates to the easiest (low-hanging fruit) and highest-priority ones. It only takes a couple of hours, and I can tell you from personal experience that it is very empowering. By focusing on specific actions you’ll feel less overwhelmed and you will be looking forward—and quickly moving forward.
I hope you find value in this approach, and I look forward to hearing how this is helping you. Reach out and let’s connect. I’ll be glad to share some of what I learned about myself in this process.
Until next time, keep looking forward and having fun,