Tag Archives: planning

Planning your career, asking your inner grandpa

21 Sep

My wife is considering a career change, and is thus discussing this topic with many important people in her life. The interesting thing about the opinions she receives, is that the advice is usually tightly connected with the personality of the person. People tend to give advice that they would like to hear themselves. The question is; whose perspective to listen, as all of them are correct in some sense… Continue reading

100 questions to guide your life

1 Sep

I periodically feel the need to confirm the direction of my life. Although I usually reserve my Christmas holidays for my personal long- and mid-term planning, in the meantime I also enjoy playing around with exercises on life-planning. While the results are usually in line with my existing plans, sometimes the exercises reveal new perspectives or directions for me to integrate into my way of living.

This time I stole an exercise from Michael Gelb (author of “How to Think Like Leonardo daVinci”), which seems deceivingly simple but actually challenges you effectively. The idea is to write down 100 questions on anything that you find interesting. Continue reading

Starting the year, re-focusing your journey

8 Jan

I love New Year, and the natural check-point it presents in my life. I nowadays always take time during the holidays to reflect the previous year and to plan for the following… thus ensuring an energized and focused start for the year.

To make sure that I look at my life in a holistic way, I have borrowed and modified a framework from Ken Wilber to guide my reflection and planning. I include for example following items into each category:

  • Mind & Spirit, individual-internal: personal learning, language studies
  • Body & Behavior, individual-external: exercise, eating, financial health, trips
  • Relationships, collective-internal: me as husband, son, brother, friend, colleague
  • Systems & Society, collective-external: my work, other ways to influence

When doing my annual planning, I concentrate on 3 steps:

  1. Reflecting positive achievements of the previous year
  2. Setting concrete goals for coming year
  3. Defining detailed strategies and/or everyday habits

The first step is really enjoyable, as I solely concentrate recalling and capturing on my achievements that brought me joy. I don’t want to waste time or energy in dwelling on what I didn’t do, but rather celebrate all the beautiful things that happened in my life in the past 1 year’s time. For example I felt proud about finishing learning 500 kanji (Japanese character) last year.

During the second step I first remind myself of my long term ambitions (my mission, my 20 & 5 year objectives) and refine them if needed. Then I set concrete annual goals in line with the long term objectives. I have noticed that the more concrete my goals are, the easier it is for me to keep the image of the goals in my mind, thus making it easier to focus my everyday actions in achieving them. An example would be my goal of learning 300 more kanji (totalling 800).

The last step is the most important for me, as that ensures the action leading to results. I either build a strategies for reaching my goals, focusing on making the first needed steps clear and easy so I can get started right away. Or alternatively I define a weekly / daily habits which ensure that I take small steps towards my goals constantly and consistently. For example I will spend 30 minutes for my Japanese studies at least 4 mornings in a week, try to read my work mails (that are in Japanese), and do small kanji tests with my wife in the at least 2 evenings per week.

The year has started. What will you achieve this year? How will you continue building your journey?

Daily habits, living ideal life every day

14 Dec
If you create an act, you create a habit.
If you create a habit, you create character.
If you create a character, you create a destiny.
André Maurois

I love the idea of living our perfect life every day. Each morning offers us a new possibility, where we can start from zero. After our alarm goes off, will each of our actions take us towards our ideal self, or away from it? When it’s time to go to bed, how far we have walked towards our ideals, or how far we have slipped away from them?

I’m personally committed to respect and develop all the major bases of my being each day: my body (physical), mind (intellectual), heart (emotional) and soul (spiritual). To ensure that, I have created daily plan for weekdays including my favourite practices:

5:45 Wake-up
6:00 Meditation & reflection
6:30 Joint mobility exercises
6:40 Prepare smoothie, wake-up wife
7:00 Japanese studies
7:30 Breakfast with wife
8:10 Leave for work
9:00 Focused and meaningful work
18:00 Leave for home
19:00 Exercise
19:30 Dinner preparation & dinner with wife
21:00 Japanese test
21:15 Free time
22:00 Stretching, reflection & meditation
22:30 Bed time
(timings only for reference)

My daily plan serves me as a reference point, not as a limiting timetable. I normally try to do 50-80% of the above each day, as following these practices make me feel energetic, balanced and fulfilled. And I naturally do also many things outside of the mentioned (meet friends, hobbies, work longer, read…). For me the daily plan is a motivating reminder of my current best practices of being and becoming my ideal self.

Living the life you want comes down to simple acts of everyday life, done consistently and persistently. Whatever you want to do, what ever you want to be; just start by doing something simple. After 2 months it will be easier to continue your habit than to stop it. After some years your habit develops into a lifestyle, and no effort is needed anymore – the ideal behaviour flows naturally from your core.

What is the one thing you need to integrate into your daily life? Exercise, some quiet time, time with family… What simple act could you do everyday, starting today?