Are you a planner? Do yo get all excited about the planning process or do you groan at the thought of planning anything? I have to admit that I like the planning stage. I enjoy the research, the thoughts that go into it, and the sense of adventure. I also find I am better at following through when I take the time to actually plan vs. day dream about something coming up.
Usually my planning has to do with an upcoming project, or a special event. I especially love to plan for travel. Sometimes it’s for a grand vacation, and sometimes it’s a weekend getaway. No matter what type of travel it is, I really enjoy the process.
That type of planning is always enjoyable to me, and I’m energized to think of all the possibilities. There is a type of planning that is a bit more challenging for me, and that is making a life plan.
Do you have your life planned out? If so, you are one of the few, and thanks for reading this far. However, if you are with the majority of the population, you probably have an idea, but maybe not a formal plan. Here are a few questions to help you either start or refine your life plan.
Why do you need a life plan?
Having a life plan empowers us to live the life that best suits our purpose. It takes a bit of soul searching, so take your time as you work through the questions. Be perfectly honest with yourself – you have nothing to hide, and no obligation to share this with anyone if that is what you choose. Keep at it, even when it is challenging, and you will have your life plan together quicker than you think!
- What are your dreams? Get that imagination going and allow yourself some “dream” time to choose what you really want out of life. Be as over-the-top as you like. Then, write them down. Make it official by getting a notebook or journal to record your dreams. When they are in writing, they are more real. Using a special book makes them more special to you.
There’s no limit to the number of dreams or how large they are. Life provides opportunities to let go of certain goals and add new ones. Infuse your Life Plan with all your dreams and goals. If it makes you feel better, you can even use a pencil.
- What’s important to you in life? Make sure that those things are included in your Life Plan. Maybe you’ve always wanted to have more education. Perhaps you’ve wanted to travel but haven’t the time or money to do it. If you grew up in a rented home, owning a home might be the single most important thing in your life. If it’s important to you, include it. You don’t want to miss out by not writing it down.
- What do you want to accomplish? What you want to achieve? Now’s the time to write down what you want to do with your life. Is there something you have always wanted to do but thought it was out of reach? Do you want to win an award in your career? Do you have a desire to serve in the community, or with your church? Do you want to travel to other countries and help the people there? List what you want to attain in the personal, professional and educational areas of life.
- What is your ideal standard of living? Your answer will describe the life you want to lead. Do you want to live in a high-rise apartment in the city? Do you want to own your own farm in the country? Maybe you prefer to live simply and pick up and go wherever you want. Perhaps you want to earn more money, live in a large house, drive an expensive car, and enjoy wearing pricey clothes. In essence, you seek the high life.
Thoroughly investigate what standard of living you want so you can include it in your Life Plan. Search your soul. There are no “wrong answers” when you’re developing your Life Plan. Not everyone wants to be financially rich, and not everyone wants the simple life. Go with what is in your heart.
- Do you have fun? Maybe, to you, having fun means locking yourself in your study to write romances all day. You might find training and running a triathlon to be the time of your life. Activities such as bowling, practicing yoga and traveling to Europe also qualify – whatever brings you joy.
If you answer this question with a “no,” it’s time to get serious about your fun. Take a moment or more to think about activities you enjoy. When was the last time you really had fun? What were you doing? List activities that you love to do. What is life without some fun? It’s a pretty dull life if you ask me.
- Is it important for you to spend time with friends and family? Generally, those who are the happiest make time for their family and friends. If this issue is important to you, include it in your plan. If it is not important right now, ask yourself why? We were designed to be social and being alone all the time is not in our best interest. Maybe your family and current friends are not those that are best for you to be around. If that is the case, find a way to connect with another group of people and love those currently in your life from a distance.
- How do your give back? Giving back to your community cultivates feelings of gratitude, satisfaction, and fulfillment in your own life. Donating money, time, or energy for the good of others comes back to us in ways we cannot imagine. Do your good deeds with pure motives and the rewards will come back to you. Make sure to include the ways you currently give back, or plan to give back in the future, in your life plan.
- Make self-improvements high on your list. Never settle where you are when it comes to self improvement and personal growth. Personal improvement each day will keep you moving toward your life goals. Include short term and long term goals for each area of your life.
Develop your Life Plan, put it in writing, review it often, and feel free to change it as your wants and desires evolve. Having a Life Plan keeps you focused on all your goals and will motivate you to reach for the stars. Your life will be better for it.
Find your purpose – find your joy!
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Did you find a few more ideas of your own? If so, I’d love to hear about them in the comments, and as always please reach out with your thoughts.