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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Planning - Daily, Intermediate, and Long Term


In the introduction of the book we introduced the quote from Steven Covey author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. "Begin with the end in mind." Is that how we should plan our lives as well?

The answer is a simple and absolute yes. In the three lessons of time management we learned that we should:

1. Do what is important.

2. Refuse to manage by crisis.

3. Understand the value of our finite resource of 1,440 minutes.

In order to become effective users of time we must plan, and to plan we must begin with the big picture or the end in mind. There are more unfinished books than all the books in the libraries of the world. There are more planned and untaken trips than there are cruise ships to make the trips. There are as many incomplete plans, dashed hopes, and unfinished dreams as there are sands on the beaches of the world. The culprit? Poor planning.

If we begin with the end in mind and do planning using a planning pyramid, the probability of finishing the book, taking the trip or living the dream is greatly increased.

To begin using a planning pyramid we begin with the foundation of STEPP. Since our Strengths, Talents, Ethics and values Personality profile and Passions are how we choose to live our lives. STEPPs are the foundation of our Planning Pyramid.

Planning Pyramid

Planning Pyramid

 Having built the foundation of the Planning Pyramid with our Strengths, Talents, Ethics values Personality profile, Passions We next focus our energy on what we would do to support being in STEPP. If we value family, we spend time with family, if we value scholarship we are studious, if we value friends, art, nature, we live our lives consistent with our STEPP's. Knowing the STEPP's of the Pyramid we next add our Long Term Plan. This could be that family trip to Europe, travel around the world, the greatest novel ever, or whatever it is that keeps us in STEPP.

Planning Pyramid

Planning Pyramid

Knowing our Long Term Plan allows us to more easily accomplish the Intermediate and Daily plans since writing the book will require that we complete Intermediate steps such as outlining chapters, or saving money for the trip around the world, and finally the Daily activities such as buying paper and putting words down, or searching for the best airline ticket prices.

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