It’s spring! The birds are singing, the trees are greening, and life just seems to have a bounce in its step again. Spring also means it’s time to clean up and out different areas of our lives. While spring cleaning is usually meant for the house and garage, it can be an excellent time for rethinking as well. Whether it’s your relationships, finances, career, or something else, you can leverage this time for a personal overhaul.
One tool that can help you with this is the SWOT analysis. Sounds exciting, right? I encourage you not to tune at this point. This type of analysis is a tool businesses often use to strategically measure their current effectiveness and overall health in their internal and external environments. So what does SWOT stand for? And how can a business tool aide our personal lives? The acronym stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. The first two elements apply to internal environments, while the last two to external ones. While this exercise is simple, it needs some dedicated energy and thought to fully assess each area. A solid starting point is asking the question “What are my _____?” and insert one of the four points of SWOT. For example, as a parent, I may go through a series of questions such as:
· What are my strengths as a dad? What do I do that is received well from my kids and why? How does my approach to parenting reflect my core values and the needs of my kids? How can I live in these strengths more?
· What are my weaknesses as a dad? What do I do that is poorly received by my kids and why? How could my approach to parenting grow and become a better reflection of my core values and the needs of my kids? How can I grow through these weaknesses and become a more balanced parent?
· What opportunities can I leverage in my relationships with my children? Are there social groups that would be a positive influence on my kids? What interests do my kids have that I can become involved in so my relationship with them can grow?
· What threats exist that could harm my relationship with my kids and their well-being or development? Is there anything I need to be protecting them from? Is there behavior that needs to be corrected because of its destructive nature?
I could go on with more questions, but I hope you get the main idea behind it all. A strategic tool like the SWOT analysis can be very effective in helping us see and understand where our lives are really at. This type of rethinking is an important part of the Resole Process as it allows for assessment of our current life trajectory and provides the insight needed to correct course. I challenge you this spring as you clean out the tangible compartments of your life that you also do the same to the intangible parts as well.
For more information on how to create a personal SWOT analysis, click here.