Success and moving forward have been on my mind a LOT lately. I remember when I first started on my journey, I saw a blog from Michael Hyatt talking about creating a life plan. It didn’t make sense to me then – I mean – helloooo! Didn’t he know my life plan was to just live day to day with no real purpose or goal? The truth – as my life got more busy, I craved more productivity, more balance and especially more fulfillment. Not just any fulfillment – I craved connection & growth.
I honestly couldn’t put it into words, at least at the time I couldn’t. I knew something needed to change. I FELT it in my bones that something needed to change. I needed structure and goals. However, I couldn’t really figure it out at the time what it would look like. As I researched more, I realized a life plan was basically your own road map to creating goals and purpose with your life.
If you’ve never heard of a life plan, no worries. I'll give you the quick overview so we can jump back into it. A life plan is something you create around the life you want to have and the life you want to move forward with. It's understanding and accepting where you are but writing out where you want to be and how you will take the actions to move forward. Simple enough?
Start Here Before You Create Your Life Plan
It sounds pretty simple to say, but when you are really taking the time to create a life you want, you have to really engage with your feelings, thoughts and what you want for the future. One of the first things I had to do before I could even start the process was take extreme ownership in my life.
I knew I wasn’t just sliding through the life I created, but every choice, every move, every word I said lead me to this exact moment.
Newsflash: That means the exact same thing for you. While there are some things out of your control – how you react, how you respond and how you show up is YOUR decision. Your life should be about what you want for you.
PS – I did not say what your mom, husband, boyfriend or aunt Edna wanted for you! It’s about what YOU want for YOU.
Alrighty, let’s jump into how to create your plan.
Creating A Life Plan
This isn’t going to be a one-size-fits-all. Your goals are different from mine. Your life is 100% different from mine. You’re at a different place in your life than me or anyone else. And that’s A-OK!
You could be at a different place in your life from me and so make sure when you start this, you’re 100% clear on what you want your life to look like.
You don't necessarily need to choose your career choice right away. Some of us are forever evolving and don't really know what we love to do until we try it, right? Right!
So I'm going to go into what I'm doing to create my life plan and how it feels to me. This is something I'm starting a little earlier than I do because I don't want it to be about New Years Resolutions this year. I want it to be about my true feelings and how I want my family to feel and how we create that community and love inside of our family.
Where Do You Need To Start?
I know for some it can take hours and hours to create a life plan, but let's not let this one start out like that. I don't want you to get scared off or get too far into your head. It is honestly best to just start with your life plan. The beauty of a life plan is that it isn't permanent and it is always evolving.
Before I had kids, I wanted to move up the corporate ladder and own a beautiful high rise condo. Sounds beautiful right? Well, after I got pregnant with my son, I wanted nothing to do with that. And I had to reassess my goals.
Here is the process I took to build out my life plan.
Understand Where You Are
You need to start with where you are. I'd acknowledge everything that you have (and be grateful for it too – even if it isn't your dream yet). I wrote down everything I currently have and when I started that, you know what happened? I realized I had way more abundance and joy in my life than I thought.
I started to see things differently and that actually helped to shift my mindset…. Who knew? 😉
I got super real with myself. I asked myself:
- What’s working in my life right now? And of course, vice versa – what isn’t working?
- Am I showing up in a way my kids would be proud of? This was hard as hell for me to review – because I wasn’t. When I started my life plan, I was a hot mess express. This was the whole reason I was reevaluating everything.
- If I died today, what would I want to be remembered for?
- If I died, how did I make people feel? Did I make them feel better or want to be better or did I make them feel bad?
These questions were the start and they were a wake-up call. I realized I wasn’t being my best self. If something happened and I passed away, would people say that I helped them be better or made them laugh or smile? I had to really dive into this.
I also got super real about my habits. I wanted to lose weight, yet, I was drinking a cherry coke and eating 2 packs of Rolos every day. So basically I was drinking all my carbs by the morning and I still had potatoes or pastas at night. Of course, I wasn’t losing weight… but I clearly forgot common sense. And I was ALWAYS tired.
To add fuel to the already carby fire, I was going to bed late and waking up early. I felt like an Eeyore and I didn’t realize I was doing that to myself until I started getting “real” with myself.
All of that to say, get real with yourself. Not just “fake public real” that we see on social media. I’m talking about the realest you’ve ever been with yourself because you won’t move forward until you do.
This is the fun part! What do you want your future self to look like?
In Michael Hyatt’s book, Living Forward, he talks about the different areas/categories of your life. Not all of our categories are going to be the same and that’s okay! We are all at different stages, with different priorities. Choose the categories that are important to you.
For me, my main categories are:
- Health & Mental (fitness and self-care)
- Family (husband & kids)
For each category, I wrote what I wanted my future me to look like. You’ll want to do this too. I’ll give you an example around my relationship with my husband.
I wrote: My husband and I have bi-weekly date nights! It feels good to take time for each other. We laugh so much! We are living a great example for our kids. Our relationship is stronger than ever.
That is my one year goal for us to get consistent spending time alone together. Of course, it might not always happen, but now we have something tangible to aim for.
You’ll write down in detail your main categories. Remember this is for your future you. It could be for 1, 3, 5 years down the road. The goal is to write out what it looks and feels like for you.
And don’t hold anything back. You don’t have to share this with anyone. I shared bits and pieces with my hubby, but my whole life plan was for me.
Create Your Action Plan
Now, this is the fun part to me. Okay, let me be real, all of this is fun for me. I’m a planner. I even have a weekly meal plan template that I use for our meals and grocery shopping. #planningobsessed
So I took each category and wrote out 2 – 3 action steps to take. Now… that doesn’t mean you’re going to focus on every single area all at once. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Choose your top 2 areas and focus on those first.
For me, the most important categories right now are family & health.
Here’s an example of what I wrote down for my Health action plan.
- I get in 90 oz of water each day and I feel refreshed and grateful
- I move my body 5 days each week
- I eat at least 2 servings of vegetables and fruits every day.
And depending on if I have time, I will write down the why for me. And so for my one year goal is to be 30lbs lighter so I can stay active with the kids.
Once I hit a goal, I will review my life plan again. Sometimes I’m at a different place in life, so the plan changes. Or, I move into the next most important category, create the action plan. And then I take action on that.
The truth is, writing it out helps you get clear on what IS important for you at this time in your life. And it allows you to adjust as needed. It’s like slowing down and simplifying to help you listen, evaluate and grow.
I wanted to share some articles that helped me with creating my life plan.
- Michael Hyatt: Create A Life Plan
- Project Life Mastery: Life Plan & How To Manage Your Life — This is one of my favorite sites because of how real he is and I just love his tips, tricks and actionable knowledge
- Art Of Manliness: Create a Life Plan
- Startup Nation: Create a Life Plan – They even have an awesome template for you to use.
You totally got this! I’d love to hear what your first 2 focuses are for your life plan. Share below!
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