Hey everyone! Wishing you ALL a very Happy New Year, and welcome to the first post of this year on this blog. Since Aha!NOW is all about life and personal development, I’ve a special post on life plan for you.
Do you think that creating a life plan can really help change your life for the better?
Sounds unbelievable, right? I bet it’s easy to believe that money and power alone can make a difference to your life.
They sure do, but not without a plan!
Without a plan or a program, even your best resources will fail to produce the desired results. Life is no exception.
Creating a life plan is one way to control the outcomes of your life, attempt to manifest your desires or materialize your dreams, and decide your future as well as the state of life.
Let’s learn more about life plans.
“A man who does not think and plan long ahead will find trouble right at his door.” ~ Confucius
What is a Life Plan
I’m not talking about an insurance plan. Here I’m talking of a strategic plan that gives you some control over your life, to safeguard yourself from failures and taking unnecessary risks.
Life plan is what sets the course of your life, helps you accomplish your aims, and assists in bringing happiness into your life.
The dictionary defines a plan as a series of steps to be carried out or goals to be accomplished.
Life plan is a design that you create with all the will and intention to achieve favorable outcomes. It’s a plan for life, just like the plan you’ve for your business or career.
You can consider a life plan as a map of your life that helps you find the right path, keeps you on track, and makes you happy by making your life meaningful.
Life plan is a structure that gives shape to your hopes and dreams.
You can also consider it as a recipe that tells you about which ingredients you should mix in a specific proportion to bring you the taste of success.
My life plan might be different from yours.
In fact, we all could have different life plans; yet live together in harmony, because life, in general, has a bigger plan that involves all of us.
“You have had a dream for so many years. Let today be the day you make a plan for it. Just think about how much more likely you are to hit your target when you finally aim at it.” ~ Steve Maraboli
Why Create a Life Plan
Do you really know what you want to do or become in life? Do you have a plan for life or a purpose for living?
Obviously, there must be a reason that you’re here in this world and still living – there’s nothing that happens without a reason.
It’s not just about choosing a career, a job, or planning your holidays, investment, and wedding.
Isn’t it ironical that we create plans for everything we do in our life, but not about life itself?
What could be the reasons?
Moreover, if a life plan does help, then why don’t people create one?
If you don’t have a life plan, what’s your reason? Please take the poll to find out why people don’t create a life plan. You may abstain if you’ve created one for yourself.
Are there any surprising results?
“Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans.” ~ Allen Saunders
True. Life happens, and sometimes you’ve to accept it, even if it is not in accordance to your plans. Agreed that we aren’t in control of our lives all the time.
But that doesn’t mean that you don’t set up a life plan. Yes, you should not let your plan control you because that makes life difficult.
“In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower
Even if plans don’t work your way, you need to do life planning.
A life plan is effective and it does not bind you. It also gives you the freedom to be yourself and achieve your potential.
You need a life plan because it gives you power, makes you strong, and helps to show you the direction of your life.
Most importantly, you need a life plan because it makes your life focused.
Focus and direction are two important elements among others requirements to be successful.
If you do not have a life plan, then it’s just like sitting on logs that drift away with no control, in the river of time.
You can even compare a life plan to a motorboat that can be steered at your will and doesn’t make you feel helpless, but very much in control.
If you feel you’re losing control of your life, things aren’t happening as you wish them to happen, and you feel that your efforts are not bearing the expected fruits, then you must think about creating a life plan.
If you’re not happy with your life, or wish to achieve more in life, then you must plan your life.
A life plan may not guarantee you success, but it can surely make your life easier. It’ll provide you with the specifics to make sense out of the chaos in your life so you don’t waste more time.
Your life plan would define all the milestones, everything you need, all you have to do, and make you realistic about your life.
Do you now believe in the importance of a life plan? I hope you do!
It’s great if you want to evolve in life. It’s not that you don’t evolve if you don’t plan long-term. Even day-to-day plans and living consciously helps you evolve.
However, a long-term plan will give you a new perspective, and an overview that will make your day-to-day living more meaningful.
Now that you know what a plan is and why you need it, when should you start?
“You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win.” ~ Zig Ziglar
When to Create a Life Plan
Any time is the right time for creating a life plan, but the earlier the better.
There may be many reasons trying to stop you from doing so, or there could be much doubt in your mind.
You just need one strong conviction to take the positive step and live to the fullest of your life’s potential.
“Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire and begin at once, whether you’re ready or not, to put this plan into action.” ~ Napoleon Hill
What could be a better time than the beginning of the year to reset the course of your life and steer it into the track of progress.
Generally, those who value life and don’t take it for granted are interested in having a life plan. They’ve a strong desire to succeed.
Passion is the fuel that drives all plans. If you’re inspired by now, and are filled with zeal and fervor for life, then it’s time to plan for it.
Some go for a life plan when all options in life seem to have failed them. That’s the time necessity becomes the mother of all reasons to plan their lives.
“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.” ~ Anatole France
You’ll make a life plan when you strongly believe in it. I’d say, don’t wait for the extreme situations, or think that you’re too old and it’s too late.
It’s never too late. The time to create the plan of your life is NOW!
If you’ve made up your mind, then just pick up a pen and paper and start creating your life plan.
“You have to create your life. You have to carve it, like a sculpture.” ~ William Shatner
How to Create a Life Plan
The first thing you need is a reason to script your life plan, and a strong belief to follow it. I hope by now you’re convinced that you need to have a strategy in place to make your life as you want.
Like all other plans, your approach to creating a life plan should be very logical.
1. Know what you want or where you want to go
2. Find the best and easiest way to achieve your aim or reach your destination
3. Assess yourself and your status to know the resources you have with you
4. Choose the best strategy as per your condition and circumstances
5. Make an action plan and commit to it
Do you believe in a different approach? Please share in the comments; I’d love to know them.
You need to have your own life plan. Don’t try to copy that of others, because you’re unique and you’ve your own beliefs, dreams, purpose, priorities, and qualities.
“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.” ~ Jim Rohn
I believe you can control your life to a great extent and transform it into how and what you want. Isn’t it?
But, how do you go about doing that? I mean achieving happiness not by chance but by your will. I’d say you can follow the following steps to designing your life.
“First comes thought; then organization of that thought, into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality. The beginning, as you will observe, is in your imagination.” ~ Napoleon Hill
Steps to Creating a Life Plan
Your life plan will take the real shape and better form only when you write it down. It will make you serious, accountable, and committed to your design for life.
Creating a life design will give you the focus and force to execute and achieve your dreams. With this dynamic map in hand, you’ll never lose your way.
You need to be very precise and positive while creating a life plan. Use positive sentences to express your precise goals, and make them measurable.
A good plan will always be clear and achievable. You can make it in form of an outline or in detail if you like, or perhaps without being time-specific or a time-bound plan.
Creating a life plan can be a three-step process. A smart tip is to create your plan from top to bottom and implement it from bottom to top.
KNOW and PURPOSE
First, you need to know what you want.
Do you’ve a dream or a vision? Will achieving that make your life complete? What will make you happy in life? What is the purpose or aim of your life? What is the one thing that you’ll settle for in life?
You’ll create your life plan especially for yourself. So, the first thing you need to do is know and understand yourself.
I know this appears to be the most difficult step for some, and it really is not easy. You may understand complex mathematical equations, but understanding yourself seems more difficult at times.
The strongest drives and solutions are all within you. Let yourself be guided by your inner-self and intuition.
If self-introspection seems difficult, what you can do is list all your likes and the things you love in life or about yourself, to make a personal assessment.
Though your likes and dislikes keep changing with time, but you’ll have a better idea and picture about who and what you’re, and what you should be doing.
What are the things you want in life? What is the state of life you want to achieve? What are your innermost desires and drives?
All plans have a purpose, aim, or a goal to start with.
All sportspersons use strategies, and all players have plans to win their games. The military, doctors, teachers, and all professionals go by their plans.
You must’ve observed the nature and its manifold aspects around you. Do you know that each element of nature has a specific purpose?
Nothing exists without a purpose. Have you found your purpose of life?
Well, I won’t delve with this aspect in its depths, but if you‘d like to do that, you might like to read my post about it.
MUST READ: How to find purpose in life and be happy
As per the dictionary meaning, a purpose is an anticipated outcome that is intended or that guides your planned actions. In other words, it’s your aim or objective.
In general, the purpose of life for everyone is to be happy. You can define more specific, realistic, and measurable outcomes that you want to achieve for a limited period.
Having a purpose in life is like knowing your destination, where you’ve to go, in the journey of life. Do you have a dream – if you believe it’s realistic enough, make it your purpose in life!
You need to make short-term goals that serve as milestones to your long-term goal, the destination. Goal setting gives you a vision, a bigger picture, guide, and motivation.
Describe your purpose of life as clearly and precisely as possible.
Besides the purpose, you also need to set your priorities in life. This should be in line with your short-term and long-term goals.
If the main goal of your life is to be happy and achieve happiness for your family, then you need to set intermediate goals at different intervals of your life that can lead to happiness in life.
ASSESS and DEFINE
Second, you must assess and define all aspects, including yourself.
Have you taken a stock of yourself, gathered resources, and defined the critical success factors? Have you defined your success and set the achievable goals? What steps would lead you to your destination?
Observe yourself and find out what are your personal qualities, aptitude, abilities, skills and whatever you’re good at – your strengths and talents.
You can take the help of your family and friends, who might be able to give you some feedback that probably you never took into consideration earlier.
However, you yourself have to figure out what your needs are – emotional, financial, mental, physician, and spiritual needs. Your hopes and dreams have great value too.
Now that you’ve a realistic understanding of yourself, you can get ahead with creating a life plan that is entirely unique for you.
Find out the resources that you require that will help you in achieving your purpose of life. If you don’t have everything, you may’ve to make do with whatever you’ve.
You need to define what success means for you. We all may’ve different definitions and interpretations of success.
You need to find, define, and write the factors that can contribute to your success. Your life journey will become easier when you define your short-term or intermediate goals.
Next, you want to know how to get results.
PLAN and OUTCOMES
Third, plan how you’ll get the results that you want.
Have you created your mission to achieve your purpose? Have you defined your objectives, strategies, and action plans? Do you have specific commitment in place and ways to measure the output or result?
Outcome is the result of your efforts. How precisely can you define the outcomes you desire in your life?
What do you want to be in life? What is your goal and how realistic it is? Is that leading you to your next goal in the scheme of progress that you’ve defined for your life?
Defining the outcomes is like putting up milestones that measure the progress you’ve made or the distance you’ve to travel in your efforts to reach the final destination.
The more outcomes you’re able to think of, the more clearly you’re able to define your life, make it meaningful, know exactly what you want to do and how to proceed in your life.
Remember that the outcomes and purpose of your life should be realistically in line or in coordination with your personal abilities and capabilities.
For example, you’re a blogger and you want to be the richest person in the world. Now this is a bit exaggerated and unrealistic, isn’t?
What about if you want to have a bank balance of 5 million dollars after 5 years.
It’s a great plan, but is it realistic and feasible being a blogger?
Well, I personally feel it’s difficult, but not impossible either. It depends on your skills, attitude, approach, and the timing. Of course, hard work included.
May be you can’t be the world’s richest person, but you can make big achievements if you’ve a combination of high goals, aspirations, resources, a winning attitude, and a strong life plan.
Don’t disbelieve me; there are exceptions and people who’ve done it. Look at Pete Cashmore of Mashable, Michael Arrington of TechCrunch, Timothy Sykes, and many other bloggers.
You too can transform your life!
All you need are right strategies, well-configured action plans, and specific commitments to carry out the plan objectives.
Once you know all about yourself, define your purpose of life, assess and define everything, and describe your desired outcomes along with your action plan, you need to pen them on paper.
“Reduce your plan to writing. The moment you complete this, you will have definitely given concrete form to the intangible desire.” ~ Napoleon Hill
Sounds great and simple, doesn’t it? However, there’s more to designing your life. One thing you need is a correct format that suits you for creating your life plan.
I haven’t made one for you because good formats are already available created by personal development experts.
You create a life plan according to what matters to you and what you want to be.
Make sure that your aims or goals are measurable. You need to define them clearly.
Remember, you need to keep re-visiting your plan, adjusting it according to relevant changes, and keep refining it. A life plan need not be rigid and static; it’s always flexible and dynamic.
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Creating a plan for Aha!NOW
Yes, it’s the beginning of the New Year at Aha!NOW. And, I want to start all fresh with the first post of the year.
I personally want to achieve happiness in my personal and professional life. To do that, I want to start on a positive note and create a web of happiness by throwing around my ropes of hopes. Do I sound like Spiderman! 🙂
But hopes alone are not sufficient to bring happiness in your life. Of course, they are important to help us be positive and get going, but the crux of happiness lies in the action.
What you do holds greater value than what you think. However, if you act without thinking, you sometimes create a mess or fall into trouble. So, you always need a thought + action oriented approach.
I want you to help me define my goals, chose my tools, and plan my strategy for Aha!NOW. I’d request you to take this 5 minutes readership survey that I created on my blog’s third anniversary.
I’m thankful to all those who’ve taken the survey and provided me with valuable inputs and suggestions to help me improve this blog.
What I can tell you now is that you’ll be reading more content at Aha!NOW this year.
As I mentioned in my anniversary post, I plan to have interviews, guest posts, reviews, and more changes happening on this blog, but all that in a later post.
Remember that not all good things in life happen by chance. You can create happiness by your efforts and change your life for the better by creating a life plan.
This is the time to start a new life and journey when lots of festivities are going on all around the world.
I wish to extend all my wishes to you for a brighter, healthier, prosperous, and more importantly, a happier year ahead.
“Plan for the future because that’s where you are going to spend the rest of your life.” ~ Mark Twain
Over to you –
What are your views about scripting your life plan? Have you ever created one? If yes, then please share your experiences and tips to make our lives meaningful in the comments below.
Photo Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos
Posted on: January 14th, 2014
Last Updated on: June 17th, 2015