During my last years in school, the idea of visiting all seven continents grew in my mind and this dream was born. But at those days, I did not really start planning to realize this dream. I was just traveling wherever an opportunity arose and many of these opportunities made my visit North America, but no other continents. Thus, realizing this dream was still a dream…
Influenced by the experience that I made within my main job – where I have to plan a lot in the context of project management, continuous improvement and Deming’s Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle – I began to transfer these planning habits to my personal life. This gives me structure and guidance throughout the year and helps me to realize my dreams.
I differentiate between three different levels of planning:
Strategic planning: This is the big picture of my life that I update once a year. It contains the dreams of my life, my overall goals and looks up to 10 years into the future.
Tactical planning: Once a year, based on the strategic planning, I develop a plan of concrete measures that I want to implement during the next year to get a little bit closer to my dreams.
Operational planning: During the year, I check the status of my measures every month, adjust the planning (if necessary), and add additional activities for new measures to my task management as starting point for my daily operations.
I perform these different levels of planning in a top-down approach from strategic to operational planning on a regular basis and insert upcoming issues during the year in a bottom-up approach from my daily operations into the planning.
To read more about this approach, I recommend starting with the “Strategic planning”.