Creating a life plan is a huge endeavor; it’s certainly not something you should expect to complete in an hour or two. If you have your mind set on making a change in your life and want to stop drifting and become more focused, this is an excellent method to get started.
Get a clear mind.
The first step is the easiest and perhaps something that all of us have already heard at least once in our lives. The best way to get a clear vision on what your direction in life is? Take some time for yourself to gather your thoughts. The location doesn’t matter; whether you go camping in a field far away or lock yourself in a five-star hotel, both have the same effect. As long as the space will allow you to do some serious thinking and focus only on your own thoughts without getting distracted, it will do.
This first step won’t immediately ensure that you will have it all figured out. It will, however, put you on the right track to at least start thinking about your plan. George Bernard Shaw once said, “Two percent of the people think, three percent of the people think they think, and 95 percent of the people would rather die than think.” So essentially what you want to do during this time is move yourself into that two percent of the population.
Define your different roles.
The second step is to take a good, hard look at your current situation and define the different roles you play in life, be it parent, spouse, daughter/son, friend, or employee. Next, list each one of these roles in terms of how important they are in your life, with the most important ones coming first. This will help highlight your priorities – and you may just be surprised by the outcome. An exercise of this sort will help you move in the right direction as your priorities will become clearer to you.
Think about your life in the future.
The third step is probably the most important one. This is where you ask how you see yourself in these roles in the future and where you want to be in five or ten years in each one of them. What do you want to have achieved as an employee, a parent, a friend, or a spouse? Next to each of the roles you have defined above, write down how you see each of them in the future. Be as specific and ambitious as you can. For example, under the friend role, you may want to write, “I am a trusting and reliable friend who is always there to provide support and advice through the good times and the bad.”
Once you have completed this exercise for each of the roles you have defined, review the role and decide whether you need to rearrange the list in terms of importance. You may find that, after step three, some of the roles seem more or less important.
Get specific and actionable.
With any goal you set, you will have to be very specific. In fact, the more details you write down, the better. A goal that dictates, “I will lose weight and live a healthy life,” is not specific enough. You will have to specify how much weight you want to lose, how you’ll achieve this goal, how you define a healthy life, etc. Rephrase a generic goal to be specific and you’ll be surprised at the motivational effect it will produce: “I will exercise for one hour, three times a week, and I will lose ten kilos by the end of the year by eating healthy, organic food.”
Analyze the plan.
It is only possible to measure improvement or growth by evaluating something that exists. Once you’ve written down a life plan with the right steps and correct goals, you will have a clear vision of how to achieve all you’ve written. Ensure you review the plan regularly to stay on top of your actions and goals. However, it is extremely important to realize that your plan will change as your life changes. This is only natural. You will simply have to review, re-evaluate, and adjust your plan as needed.
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