Stepping Stones

I am a planner; short term, medium term, and long term. I like to know what I am doing next week, next month, next year, and sometimes I pipe dream and try and plan out the next decade. This has lead me to some great situations, experiences and people, and some not so pleasant ones. But, I would still rather have a plan then to stumble around in the dark.

To plan effectively though, each phase has a very deliberate goal associated with it. That is the topic of discussion today. What I consider the important things each phase of planning needs; the Short, the Medium and the Long Term.

Long Term

The Long term for me is anything outside of the 2-3 years of the Medium term. It is generally reserved for broad sweeping strategical plans, like completing a Bachelor of Nursing or securing a job in the Emergency Department. It may also extend to things like additional children, moving locations or selling houses.

The long term is the best place for pipe dreams and crazy plans, like moving to Tasmania, joining the military or leaving it. Its best to plan big in the Long term, and let the Medium and Short term sort out the details.

For me, I use this space to field my crazy ideas, currently finish my Bachelor, work in ED and sort out if I want to sweat for the rest of my life or freeze. So dream big and plan to reach the stars.

The Long term is the large stones we cast in front of us so we have something to aim for.


Medium Term

The Medium term is a little flexible, it stands, as the name suggests, between the grand ideas of the Long term or the intricate details of the Short term. The medium term needs to be able to put into action the sweeping ideas into practice. As an example, enrolling in my Bachelor which helps fore-fill my long term plan of completing it.

The Medium term needs actionable points, it should set in motion the Long term plan, and allow the Short term to fill in the blanks.

The medium term are the big steps we place along the way so we have somewhere to step along the way to large stones.


Short Term

I class the Short term as any point between today and 6 months from now. For Scouts I plan a semester ahead, for life the same. In the short term you need the nitty gritty detail; appointments, birthdays, social events, classes, work days and everything in between. The short term needs to factor in everything the medium term and long term has laid out strategically.

The trickiest thing about most short term planning is when it involves other parties. Like my wife. We often need to sit down, synch diaries and work out what each of our worlds is doing. This can lead to negotiations, changes and yes’s becoming no’s. Thankfully we established a while ago a a series of days and rules that help us plan out schedules without having to contact each other directly. For example, every Wednesday night is Scouts, every second Tuesday I donate plasma, and every Thursday night is my sons Venturers. This helps us both our with the Short term.

My suggestion for the Short term; be specific and deliberate about what you want to achieve, tick goals off your Medium and Long term list, and don’t forget others in your planning.

The short term is the smaller stepping stones we need to make the journey a little more comfortable and achievable.


In life we take each step of our journey, one foot in front of the other, and every now and again we reach a stepping stone, a place marked out along that journey. Sometimes we know its there, sometime we simply stumble upon it. Today I reached a point on my journey where I can see one of my stepping stones. Today I ran out of assessments for my Diploma of Nursing. The only thing left now is five weeks of placement in the acute sector.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld


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