How do you know which direction your life is going?

When I started my new career over a year ago I was given a task that I have never attempted before. Actually, the whole staff was required to do it. It was called an OPPP. One page personal plan.

It was a one-page template that was going to help me dial in my personal life goals. When I first looked at it I didn’t even know where to begin. I had done a little thinking about 5 and 10-year goals but nothing this extensive.

This is the document.


Simple, 4 columns and 4 rows. However, filling this out was not simple. It was forcing me to think about what my life was going to be. What I was going to spend my life working towards?

Not easy questions for sure, and even harder answers, but necessary.

So, I started filling it in. My first draft was so full of nonsense it was overwhelming. There were too many ideas. Too many thoughts. Just too much. Unrealistic.

I revised. I got my long-term life goals pared down to just what was truly important to me. Basically just career, family, and health & fitness.

What changed my thinking was the row that said stop. I thought hard about what things I was doing in my life that I truly didn’t need to do. Things that were not moving me towards my goals. There were many.

It was hard, cutting things from our lives is much more difficult than adding more.

I filled out my plan, we all presented to each other and it was a good time. And that’s where it ended. We didn’t talk again about these plans until the next year. I had an idea of what was on my plan and I did make progress towards the ultimate goals, but I could have been much more productive. A year is a long time to accomplish something. I was not the best I could be and that was a little hard to choke down when the proof was on paper.

One of my missions in my life is to live to the best of my ability and effort, every day. I will admit that I fail almost every day but I am working on it.

So, to live the best I can and to make more progress on my OPPP I implemented a change. I now review the plan every quarter to see if I am on track for the year. Then I make changes as necessary to get back on the right path. It no longer sits in a drawer until the next yearly meeting.

I have only done 1 quarterly check-in this year and the results are already paying dividends. I have a much better gauge of my progress. Just knowing that I have to hold myself accountable forces positive action. I hit 90% of my quarterly tasks that move me towards the main goals. Much better than last year.

One thing I didn’t expect is the volume of goals that can be accomplished when there is a steady plan in place to work on them. I am making more progress than I have ever before.

I completely recommend trying this out and checking in with yourself periodically to keep your progress advancing. You will surprise yourself, in a good way.



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