Plan Your Life with the Altitude Planning Framework

Could an Altitude Planning Framework Work for You?

Does September get your adrenaline pumping?

I woke up this morning ready for school. I organized my pens, cleaned up my desk and even signed up for an on-line course. I felt like I should pack my lunch or organize my back pack!

Ideas are swirling. Energy is pumping. And with a flood of morning lists and emails and project planning, my fall season of accomplishment has kicked-off.

No more novels.  It’s time to get stuff done.

To get control of my racing mind and calm my speeding pulse, I’ve taken a page out of the capital campaign playbook.

A New Planning Tool: The Altitude Framework for Life

I’m creating a planning tool that lets me figure out what to do today that’ll get me where I want to be a year or two or three down the road.

My friends at For Impact have created a simple planning tool based on “The Altitude Framework.” It works for fundraising, and I think it’ll be super helpful for my life.

My planning tool will be a big picture — a giant infographic — that’ll map out my goals and my plans and my short term actions.  I’ll be simple and clear and will serve as an anchor for my decisions.

It’ll be divided into four sections based on different “altitudes.”  Here’s the essence of it.

The 30,000 foot view:

What’s the big picture? What are my 2-3 year goals? Why does it matter? What are the values that underlie my plan?

The 15,000 foot view:

What do I want to accomplish in the next three hundred and fifty days that will roughly head me toward the big picture view.

The 1,000 foot view:

What do I have to do in the next 100 days (by the end of the year) to move it all forward?

The 3 foot view:

What do I have to do this month, this week and today to move forward.

I’m drawing it with markers big on the wall behind my desk so I can just glance up and be reminded. (Don’t worry, my wall is made of glass, so I can use markers and just wipe them off!  If you don’t have a glass wall, go buy some butcher paper.)

If I like it, I’ll share a picture of my planning graphic with you when it’s done!

When All You’ve Got is Time and Energy…

Your time and energy drives all the rest. And for me, both of those are starting to feel finite…

So I’ve got a choice. I can either decide to sit out this phase, passing the time in low key activities. Or, I can decide to make the most of what I’ve got left, sprinting toward the finish line.

And on this day, at least, I’m choosing to sprint. How about you?

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Create a Graphic Planning Tool for Your Life

Let the September back-to-school mentality motivate you to create a plan that gets you thinking about what you want to accomplish from different altitudes. Start with the high level and work down. Do it big, but make it erasable and then keep tinkering as you make it all happen over time.

Share your Back to School responses in the comment box below. Or, pack your lunch and head on over to Facebook and share your ideas there.