Life planning builds confidence to achieve your goals
Life is uncertain. There will always be unexpected bumps along the way that you couldn’t have possibly anticipated. How do you develop confidence navigating uncharted territory? This is the beauty of life planning: it accommodates life’s unknowns so you’re not unprepared. With a solid strategy in place, you’re able to embrace the challenges that will elevate your life if you let them. Learning how to make a life plan is much like creating a business map to guide your company’s decisions. Creating a life plan allows you to pursue meaningful goals that align with your ultimate purpose in life.
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Life planning 101
Learning how to make a life plan starts with understanding what life planning is. A pivotal concept is the fact that life planning does not mean creating a rigid to-do list for yourself. Creating a life plan is more akin to creating a massive action plan. You’re acknowledging up front that hurdles will inevitably arise. You’re also allowing room for growth and change, internally (within yourself) and externally (in your life circumstances). Creating a life plan provides a flexible road map for getting from where you are now to where you want to be. You’re creating a strategy to reach your goals and embrace change. Life planning helps you transition from dreaming about what you want in life to making it a reality.
How to make a life plan
Setting goals is a critical component of life planning. But learning how to make a life plan takes you beyond goal-setting. It adds an emotional element to those goals so everything you do is infused with meaning. With life planning, you get to the core of who you are, what you want and how to accomplish it. You’re not just completing a task – you’re behaving in alignment with your passions. Here are the steps for fleshing out your life planning strategy:
Step 1: Ask yourself the right questions
Creating a life plan starts with asking yourself the right questions. Write down your responses and answer honestly.
What results do you want to achieve?
Ask yourself: What final outcomes do I want, and how can I achieve continuous improvement along the way? If your final goal is to build a $10 million business, your goals for continuous improvement might be fine-tuning a sales strategy and building powerful relationships.
What about these goals inspires you?
Everyone wants financial freedom and a healthy workplace environment. Beyond these basics, what truly inspires you? This question gets at what drives you. From here, learning how to make a life plan becomes natural.
What actions will achieve these goals?
Life planning means setting SMART goals that are feasible, measurable and aligned with the broader outcomes you’re seeking. Making a list of practical, actionable steps takes life planning from the abstract to the tangible.
Step 2: Create life planning maps for growth, change and crisis
Now that you understand what’s driving your life planning goals, you’re ready to expand your strategy so it adapts to any circumstance you might encounter. Create a life planning map for each of the following:
Life planning for growth
Personal growth is one of the greatest accomplishments possible. So incorporate it into your life planning strategy! Rather than aiming for general, unspecified growth, write down specific areas of personal growth, like better time management, greater empathy or effective communication.
Life planning for change
Change is inevitable. If you’re adaptable, you’re able to roll with the punches. As you learn how to make a life plan, consider how to make your plan malleable so it accomplishes what you want, regardless of changing circumstances.
Life planning for crisis
In times of crisis, life planning is a powerful comfort. Creating a life plan lets you work through hard times without losing sight of your original goals. Having a plan A, B, C and D ensures that you’re never left without a strategy for survival and, ultimately, success.