The One Page Personal Plan (OPPP) is a simple tool for structuring aspirations, activities and actions for your successful future. It's an instrument I occasionally use at the start of a quarterly planning session with an executive team. Taking 30 minutes to share each team members OPPP helps team members find shared interests and life goals, ultimately it helps build trust.
In the Scaling Up framework, we identify four key areas pivotal to the growth of a successful company: People, Strategy, Execution, and Cash. Analogously, in our personal lives, we have four pillars for a fulfilling life: Relationships, Achievements, Rituals, and Wealth. The OPPP brilliantly dissects each of these areas, guiding you from long-term (10-25 years) aspirations to mid-term (1 year) activities and short-term (90 days) actions.
True wealth is tied to the relationships we create in our families, our communities and with our friends. Starting at the top, in the 10 - 25 Year box, list out the groups you wish to have relationships with. There is a strong correlation between happiness and the number of groups that you are active in.
In the 1 Year box, look at the groups and think about who within these groups do you want to focus your next 12 months or 90 days with. Examples could be a friend that needs assistance, or an employee in need of mentorship.
In the final two boxes, what are some relationships you want to start building and what are some relationships that need to end. Your energy is critical and if a relationship is depleting then it should be intentionally ended.
Example - Foster deeper relationships within my local community organizations and volunteering groups.
Reflective Question - Who could benefit from your support, mentorship, or companionship over the next year?
Best Practice - Regularly assess your relationships, not just in terms of quantity, but also quality. Prioritize relationships that offer mutual growth and enrichment and consider distancing from those that consistently drain your energy.
It's not uncommon to question the impact of your life. In this section we want to look a the major ways you'll impact the World outside of your work life. Adjectives matter here, attempt to think of the energy behind your achievement. For instance, I have a friend who wants to "positively impact the lives of one-million people," and my own personal one is to have a negative carbon footprint of -20,000 tonnes. This is 1000 times the lifetime (average American) carbon footprint. At current carbon-credit rates that's about $800,000 in carbon credits.
Next, what are the 1 year and 90 day activities that you can do to take small bites out of the achievements you've selected to address? For example, if you have an achievement goal of "living a rewarding relationship with my partner," then a 90 day action could be, "take 2 hours during the weeknight to connect deeply with my partner."
Example - Aim to "Reduce personal carbon footprint by 50% within 5 years" as a contribution to environmental sustainability.
Reflective Question - What are the smaller steps and milestones you can accomplish in the next year or 90 days that will lead to your ultimate achievement?
Best Practice - Choose achievements that align with your values and passions. This alignment will make it all more enjoyable and the goal more attainable.
Rituals or habits are critical for success. We often think willpower is the answer, but that is wrong. Willpower is like a battery, it will wear out over time and it needs to be charged. Use the willpower to make habits. Once a habit is established willpower will be unnecessary. If you'd like a good primer on habits, check out the work from Dr Benjamin Hardy.
Start at the top box and think about the bigger life rituals that you'd like to adopt. A great example is a daily meditation or fitness practice. Like in the other columns you want to break out your 1 year and 90 day activities. Are there any habits or rituals you'd like to stop? They aren't always a glaring negative, sometimes these rituals are time wasters that aren't recharging your energy. For some that might be zoning out on video games, TV or Facebook.
Example - Incorporate a 15-minute morning meditation routine to improve mental health and focus.
Reflective Question - What habits are you currently practicing that no longer serve your well-being or hinder your productivity?
Best Practice - Start small when introducing new habits. Small, manageable changes are easier to maintain and can gradually be built upon.
Wealth (or Experiences)
Think of wealth as the resource for supporting your personal plan. What are the big picture items you want to do with your life, and what financial resources are needed to make that happen? For me, I think of this as Experiences. One of my Experiences would be to create a coaching practice that I can deliver from anywhere in the World and maintain till my dying day. I have no designs to retire and I want to keep mentally engaged in life for as long as my body lets me. So what is your version of this?
Now break down your 1 Year and 90 Day actions. When thinking about those things to stop doing, think about what gets in your way of creating the wealth you need in your life.
Example - Start a side business that aligns with my passion and brings in additional income.
Reflective Question - What financial habits are currently preventing you from accumulating the wealth you need to realize your goals?
Best Practice - Regularly review your financial habits and make necessary adjustments. Consider seeking advice from a financial advisor or a trusted mentor for better wealth management.
Complete the OPPP with other team members at the beginning of each quarter. Share it as a way to support each other in activities outside of work. It leads to a more well-rounded and dynamic team.
The default Scaling Up OPPP lists 5 areas on the left side of the sheet, Finance, Fitness, Friends, Family and Faith. These are great areas to focus on as reminders, however I prefer listing out your personal core values. Core values are a strong way to state who you are to your team and it acts as a focusing tool when creating the 10 to 25 yr ambitions.