Unlocking Your Potential: A Strategic Approach

Goals of Living


4 minutes read

Tired of floating into passiveness and not knowing where you’re heading in life? Well in this article I’m going to talk about writing a manifesto, SWOT analysis, SMART goals, and integrating the OODA loop.

I’ve created mine in a system called Notion, which is a common app for productivity and for building a second brain. But you can write this anywhere, such as in a notebook.

  1. Writing the manifesto
  2. Writing a personal SWOT analysis
  3. Create goals using the S.M.A.R.T model
  4. Implementing the OODA loop

1. Writing the manifesto

A personal manifesto is a declaration of who you are and what you want in life. I start this with an elevator pitch about who I am and what I do. This is mine for example:

“I am an ambitious and determined person, focused on achieving personal and professional success by adhering to strong values, working on self-improvement, and pursuing diverse projects”

Next, I write down a couple of values that I adhere to and wrote why I feel that this is a strong value for me. For example, “Integrity” – “Because I want to help people unselfishly”. I wrote seven of these but you can write how many you’d like, but I’d keep it under ten so it’s easy to remember.

Next, I’ve written down goals, for this stage it’s enough with bullet points. For example:

  • I want to own a house
  • I want to visit Italy

When this is done I’ve also written down priorities in life, so you can reflect if your priorities in life are correct down the line. I’ve written down:

  • Health
  • Friends & Family
  • Success

You can copy the following as a template:

Who am I?:










2. Writing a personal SWOT analysis

A swot analysis is very simple, it’s used a lot in business to evaluate a market or an idea. But you can use it on yourself as well. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats. Remember to be objective about each part so it’s accurate.

For strengths, you can write what you’re good at, positive attributes, et cetera. For example:

Now you’re gonna think about your weaknesses. This can be disadvantages, things that are working against you, or negative personal attributes. For example:

For the opportunities you write about what potential advantages you can have, but still haven’t achieved. For example:

For the threats, you write about what can potentially hurt you. For example:

Here is a template:





3. Create goals using the S.M.A.R.T model

When we were writing the manifesto we were writing down goals, now is your time to elaborate on them and create a plan. The S.M.A.R.T model is also often used in businesses but can also apply to your personal goals. Let’s re-use the goal “I want to own a house” for this model.

The “S” stands for Specific. Making it specific is very important for goals, it’s hard to aim for abstract targets. So instead of writing that you want a house, let’s make it a bit more specific. For example: “I want to own a house in city X, the down payment for this is $30,000.”

The “M” is measurable, you want to be able to measure your progress toward this goal so you know you’re heading in the right direction. So you can write “I’m going to save $500 every month for 5 years”

The “A” is achievable, this part is important but short. This is where you think objectively if this goal is realistic or not. Write a yes or no answer.

The “R” stands for “Relevant”. Here you write down if you actually want to achieve this, perhaps you want to do something else. Do you really want to own this house? Why do you want to own this house?

The “T” stands for time-bound. When should the goal be done?

You can find a template down below:






4. Implementing the OODA loop

Alright, so you know who you are. You know your strengths and weaknesses. You’ve created goals. You’ve already come a long way, you have a foundation. So what’s next? Well, how do you know you’re making the right decisions after this?

The best model I’ve found so far for this is the OODA loop. The OODA loop is an acronym created by United States Air Force Colonel John Boyde. It’s an iterative process that promotes rapid decision-making, learning, and adaptation. Here’s how you can implement it:

Step 1: Observe

Gather information about the situation and environment. This can be through friends, colleagues, social media, news, et cetera. It’s important to be objective and avoid biases and assumptions.

Step 2: Orient

Once you’re done with step one you can process and analyze the information you’ve gotten. Here you can consider your own personal experiences, cultural backgrounds, and beliefs. Your job is also to recognize patterns and understand the context. This allows you to anticipate outcomes and challenges.

Step 3: Decide

Based on your understanding from step 2 you can decide what the best course of action should be.

Step 4: Act

Now you can start acting on that decision and monitor the progress. It is essential to be flexible and adaptive in this process. New information shows up and circumstances can change, which requires adjustments. Hence why OODA is a loop, where new information shows up and you start the process again.

#goals#mental health
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