We all know that Valentine’s Day is about love and showing appreciation – and while it’s great to show gratitude toward others, we too often neglect ourselves on a daily basis. We believe that Valentine’s Day is a great time to show some love for yourself, by spending some time thinking strategically about your life and career. However, self-improvement can’t happen without self-awareness, so our Valentine’s Day plan is going to involve both. Below I’m going to walk you through an exercise in self-improvement perfect for V-Day –a personal SWOT analysis!!
How can you use a SWOT for self-improvement?
A SWOT analysis is a popular business technique which allows teams or companies to plan for the future by considering their Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. But, this technique can be applied to individuals as well. Each of these areas is important to understand because they represent key aspects of your skills and traits. Understanding these aspects of who you are will help you to be more successful in your future plans, in life and at work.
First, since it’s Valentine’s Day, it’s important to give yourself a little credit. Everyone has strengths that they bring to the table. To assess your strengths, ask yourself the following questions: What I am really skilled at? What do people come to me for help with? Are there certain skills or traits about me that people seem to like or that I like? What are some traits that I am proud of? Your strengths are the areas in which you excel compared to others in the crowd.
We said before that you can’t have self-improvement without self-awareness, so it’s also important to be honest about your weaknesses. If you aren’t honest about what you need help with, you won’t plan accordingly. This means that you’ll be more likely to go off the rails when trying to achieve your goals. To get a good sense of your weaknesses, ask yourself the following questions: What do I usually need help with? Do I feel uncomfortable helping with certain tasks? Do I have “blind spots” that I or others have noticed? What are some traits that I don’t feel as proud of? Your weaknesses are skills that are less developed or traits that you don’t think are as positive as they might be.
In order to take advantage of all that life and work have to offer, you have to understand the opportunities that lie in front of you. To understand the opportunities you have, ask the following questions: What adventures are both exciting and attainable for me in my personal life? Are there realistic and engaging work ventures I might pursue? Which resources do I have in my personal life to draw on? Which resources can I draw on at work? What connections do I have in my community or at work that might be helpful?
Most of us have untapped resources, both personally and in our relationships with others. Social support at work can also help with making life outside of work easier, so thinking broadly about possible sources of support is best. Overall, understanding what you have going for you can ensure that you use all of your potential resources when you are trying to improve yourself.
Planning for Threats
No one’s plan for self-improvement is free from threat. Planning for threats means being realistic about what stands in your way to achieving your goals. In order to plan for your threats, ask yourself the following questions: What might get in the way of the adventures I want to have in life? Are there barriers I might face in obtaining my work goals? Which resources am I lacking in my personal life and at work? What connections do I have with others that might stand in the way of my success? Ignoring threats won’t make them go away, so it’s a better idea to plan for them. That way, the road to success won’t contain as many surprises.
Tying It All Together
Once you have assessed your strengths, measured your weaknesses, understood your opportunities and planned for your threats, it’s time to make an action plan. But, you have to keep your SWOT analysis in mind. For example, let’s say your goals are to get in the best shape of your life and to get a promotion at work. If you are very disciplined and like to follow schedules, you’ll be able to stick to an exercise routine. You can also endure putting the time in to get noticed at work. However, having a tendency toward FOMO and having a lot of friends who want you to have a busy social life, may make this more difficult.
So, the SWOT analysis creates awareness that this weakness and threat should be managed. However, maybe you also realize that you can connect with some folks who are more supportive of your goals. You might also know you are a good communicator. So, you might politely relay the message to your friends that you’re going to be “off the grid” for now. You might also find a community that is more in alignment with your plans. Additionally, you could turn off your social media notifications, so you don’t get overwhelmed by perceptions of missing out.
By doing a SWOT analysis, you can show yourself some love this Valentine’s Day. Spread the love with others and share your personal SWOT results below!! Don’t forget to visit our other post about Treating Yourself if you also want to celebrate a little more indulgently!