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Last Updated on November 27, 2020

How to Make a Life Plan That Works (With a Life Plan Template)

How to Make a Life Plan That Works (With a Life Plan Template)

Are you happy with where you stand in life right now? If yes, you’re extremely lucky. If not, welcome to reality.

Humans are (almost) incapable of being 100% satisfied with their current situation, no matter how balanced and successful others consider it to be. This is because we tend to get to specific spots in life without any meaning, aim, or direction. To avoid this haphazard lifestyle, you need to learn how to make a life plan.

What is a life plan? How will it give you a higher life satisfaction? If it’s so amazing, then how do you formulate one?

Well, you’re lucky because you landed on the exact page where you’ll find answers to all these. So, hold on and let the ride of life-changing secrets begin!

What Is a Life Plan?

There’s no living human who wouldn’t have a wish or dream. There’s also a high chance that most people consider their wishes and dreams wholly unrealistic and unachievable. Therefore, the unproven yet giant fear of failure keeps them from trying to reach for the stars.

Guess what? If humans can get to the moon, live underwater, and fly, anything is possible. What’s especially possible to realize is the idea that you have in your mind.

You may wonder how you can bring this idea, wish, or dream to life. The simple answer is a life plan.[1]

So, what is a life plan? Is it a booklet with a script of how your life is supposed to be? Or is it a defined outline of the exact steps you need to take every passing minute?

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A life plan is none of these things. Instead, it is a written promise to yourself to try ticking off the goals that you want to accomplish. It is your mind in the form of words on a piece of paper.

But what if you’re just in your early 30s, unsure if these are the same goals you’d want in your 50s? There’s nothing to worry about! A life plan is entirely under your control. In truth, a good life plan is — and should be — flexible. There needs to be enough room for changes to let you grow and succeed down the road.

Why Is Life Plan Important?

If you’re only writing down what’s on your mind, and it’s not even a fixed document, why is it necessary at all?

Look at it this way. How many ideas do you get each day? Probably hundreds. How many do you end up remembering, let alone implementing?

The only thoughts that become a reality are the ones that you transfer from your mind to a piece of paper. From your mind into this world. That is how your ideas come to life.

Similarly, your goals, even if they are long-term, need to be brought to life. The only way to get the opportunity to fulfill these goals practically is by taking them out of your head.

Aside from that, a life plan is sort of a commitment. It’s like signing a legal document, but you’re the law-making authority. You’re committing to your life plan, after all. If your goals or priorities change along the way, you have a valid reason to alter it.

But for the most part, a life plan keeps you on track. It gives you the direction that you need to follow throughout the years. You always have your vision in front of you, so whatever you think of doing is coherent to your long-term plans.

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How to Make a Life Plan

Now, let’s move to the best part: how to make a life plan.

There’s no defined strategy or hard rule when it comes to learning how to make a life plan. All you need to do is be true to yourself. On top of that, implement the following tips in the process so that you can have a realistic and achievable life plan that satisfies your needs.

1. Be Aware of Your Failures

Most plans require you to start with your strengths. Things that you have achieved in life, never messed up, are amazingly good at, etc. But that’s not the most authentic perspective of life.

The truth is, we all fail, and it happens more often than we’d like to accept. However, we need to be more accepting of our failures as they ultimately help us grow. Failures are proof that we’re trying.

If you start with your failures, you’ll instantly get a clear idea of which road you want to go down in the future. For one, failures show you the route that you’re genuinely making an effort on. Repetitive failures in one direction are a sign of your passion. On the other hand, consistently failing after many tries and changes is a sign that you need to turn away.

When you’re aware of your failures, you’ll get a clear direction to stick to right off the bat. Moreover, your failures will tell you precisely what you need to fix so that the rest of the journey becomes smooth.

Here’s an interesting article about overcoming failures: Why You Have the Fear of Failure (And How to Overcome It).

2. Identify Your Long-Term Vision and Values

Whatever you plan for the future must satisfy your morals and beliefs. Thus, before planning anything, you need to identify your life values. Doing so will keep you from developing a life plan that clashes with your spirituality and mental stability. Being in line with your values is highly crucial for a happy life.[2]

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In case you’re a firm believer in empathy, you need to ensure that your long-term plans do not harm the people around you. An empathetic individual cannot work for a makeup manufacturer that tests on animals, for example.

3. Evaluate Yourself

Based on your failures in the past and clear vision of the future, take a look back. Think of the things and events that are most prominent in your memory. Learn from them by taking the good and figuring out how to fix the bad. Know what you never want to repeat while picking up on the things that you want to continue.

Your past should not haunt you. Therefore, an in-depth evaluation is necessary before you head into the future.

4. Prioritize the Future

This is the time to list down your future plans chronologically. You’re not precisely devising a goal or plan at this point; you just need to prioritize things in the order that you want to achieve them.

For instance, if you’re currently 30 years old, getting a house within the next two years is perhaps your first priority. You may then want to get married at 35 years old. After that, you may want to start a new business venture.

Plan Your Goals and Structure an Action Plan

By now, you have a vision, and you’ve also prioritized your future. It’s time to put everything in an actionable form.

Start with devising SMART goals for each of your future plans.[3] Once your goals are finalized, make an action plan out of them.

Basically, you need to break down your goals into small actionable and practical milestones. For example, to get a house, you need to save up money first. Your plan should include all the ways to save more money and get a suitable place for yourself.

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This guide may also help you structure your action plan: How to Create an Action Plan and Achieve Your Personal Goals.

Ask for Support

You’re planning your life. You are the only one in charge of it, the only stakeholder in this deal. This is exactly why you need a supportive family and group of friends around you.

These are the people who motivate you to live life to its fullest and bring you back up when you’re exhausted. Your life plan is useless unless you are surrounded by those you want to live for.

Life Plan Template

Fill in this template however you would like to. It will serve as a simple yet thorough life plan:

    Bottom Line

    In the end, it all comes down to you and your motivation to improve your life. If you want to be in a state of existence one day where you can be proud of your achievements based on your scales of judgment, a life plan is a way to go.

    You have a free, easily applicable template in front of you. You also have enough reasons to put this template to good use. If you want, you are free to alter it to your liking and preferences.

    There is no excuse to slack off anymore. Get on with your life plan right away so that you can look back and thank yourself for this very moment a few years from now!

    More on Making a Life Plan

    Featured photo credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Michael Hyatt: 7 Reasons Why You Need a Written Life Plan
    [2] Youth First: Values in Today’s Society
    [3] Sustainability: What are SMART Goals

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    Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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    Last Updated on January 12, 2021

    7 Practical Ways to Change Your Thinking and Change Your Life

    7 Practical Ways to Change Your Thinking and Change Your Life

    Changing your mindset is no easy task, but having an open and positive mindset is a game changer. Your personal growth is what propels the choices you make for your physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Just something as simple as changing your thinking can change your life.

    Importance of Mindset Work

    There’s great importance in spending time doing mindset work. Within this period, we begin to understand ourselves, and through that understanding, we become more compassionate and patient with ourselves.

    Our society and culture thrive on the busyness that life brings not only into our lives but even to our dinner table. With that comes some consequences of using “band-aid” solutions and quick remedies to get through particular blocks in our lives. Those solutions never last long and it’s about committing the time and effort to slow down, ground ourselves, and reshift our focus.

    Changing your thinking is not only to be more optimistic but giving your mind the breathing room it needs to grow and expand. It’s about looking at everything that hasn’t worked for you and being open to other ways that might.

    How to Change Your Thinking and Change Your Life

    Here are 11 practical ways to change your thinking:

    1. Show up

    Not feeling the gym? Go anyway. Don’t feel like playing the piano after making a commitment to practice every day? Do it and play.

    The payout of showing up and committing goes a long way. It builds confidence, and with that growth, your mindset begins to change.

    Of course, showing up may not always be fun but by meeting these small goals on your list allows you to tackle on the bigger ones that may seem far out of reach.

    2. Find an Anchor

    We all need an anchor, or in other words, we all need something to believe in when our thoughts are wavering. Whether you are religious, have a spiritual connection with a higher power, or have someone who grounds you – hold onto it.

    My dad first introduced me to the Law of Attraction when I was 17 and to be completely honest, I thought it was silly and never gave it much thought. Fast forward ten years and the Law of Attraction has become so integrated into my daily life that it’s become the anchor in my belief system. That anchor is also what propels me to be a better version of myself. It’s a light at the end of the tunnel when I have convinced myself that light does not exist.

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    The purpose of an anchor is to ground you when your mind and/or external factors come weighing you down. It’s about having faith and trust in that one thing or power when everything else seems to go dark. This is one of the most important things you need to have if you want to begin to change your mindset.

    3. Ask Why

    It’s really that simple. In order to change your thinking, you have to dig deeper into what it is that’s causing a reaction.

    • Why does it bother me that another person took the parking slot that I was waiting for?
    • Why do I feel uneasy when I dine at a restaurant alone?
    • Why do I feel happy after I purchase a new outfit?

    We ask “why” to a lot of external factors, but very rarely we ask that about ourselves. It’s also a way to get to know yourself as if getting to know a friend.

    As we begin to answer these questions, we realize that it’s not the external factors that bring happiness, sadness, guilt, or joy, and it’s more about understanding our own values.

    Now, have a conversation with yourself and reflect on your answers when you do ask these “whys.”

    For example:

    The reason why I’m irritated at this person for taking my parking slot is that I’m busy and have endless errands to run. I don’t have time to be looking for another slot.

    Reflection: how am I managing my time and are these time restrictions causing me unnecessary stress? I should prioritize my errands so I don’t feel overwhelmed.

    The reason why I feel uneasy when I dine in at a restaurant alone is that I don’t want people to think I have no friends.

    Reflection: I care a lot of what people think of me including strangers and it affects my emotional well-being. I don’t have these thoughts when I see another person eating alone, so why and when did I start having this opinion about myself? I should start dining out alone so I can learn how to step out of my comfort zone.

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    The reason why I feel great after purchasing a new outfit is is that I feel confident.

    Confidence is key because it determines how I show up when I meet strangers, clients, and overall how I carry myself. How do I maintain this confidence without splurging on a new outfit everytime I need that extra boost? I could wear my glasses or carry a book with me to help me play that part.

    Having these mindful yet straightforward conversations with yourself are simple ways you can change your thinking. Reflection is the key to understanding your strong and weak points.

    Here is also a great article on the power of self-reflection and ten questions you should ask yourself.

    4. Step out of Your Comfort Zone

    As mentioned above, we all have a comfort zone. Like a turtle, we feel cozy and safe inside our shell, but to change your thinking, one must be willing to step out of that shell no matter how much that shell feels like home.

    Our mindset will only begin to change if we allow ourselves to be exposed to the possibilities of change. Stepping out of your comfort zone can be one of the hardest things you can do, but it all goes back to building your confidence.

    Some of the most significant friendships I have to date is all thanks to the five seconds I decided to step out of my comfort zone, introduce myself, and carry a converastion.

    Strive to learn something new every day – even if it makes you feel a bit uncomfortable at first.

    Still wondering how to step out of your comfort zone? Take a look at this article:

    Is It Really Better to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone?

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    5. Look at Things from a Different View

    I once asked a friend what self-love meant to her. She answered, “self-love means being a parent to yourself.”

    I was never expecting that answer, but it got me the wheels in my mind exploring other definitions of what self-love could mean to others and myself.

    Changing your thinking also means being open to other opinions, especially if it challenges your own. You’ll begin to realize that the more mindset work you dive into, the more you will be approaching new opinions and ideas from a grounding and calming place. Things that used to have you on your defense will slowly turn into a question of curiosity instead.

    6. Slow Down

    Here’s the thing. You take the same route to work and leave your house at the same time. While on you are getting off the highway, you stop by your favorite coffee shop to order your daily brew, then you’re out the door and heading straight to the office.

    During this daily routine, have you ever noticed the color of the corner building right before you get off the highway? Or have you noticed whether your barista is left-handed or right-handed?

    Probably not, because most of the time we tend to live our lives on auto-pilot.

    Science says we make about 35,000 decisions a day;[1] therefore it makes sense that half the time our minds are on auto-pilot. There are great setbacks that come from having this “auto switch” including having those feelings of mindlessly scrolling through your phone or being so deep in your thoughts that you are mentally checked out.

    One way to change your mindset is slowing down. When you slow down, you begin to find yourself in the same tune and vibrations as the world around you. You begin to become aware of what resonates with you and what doesn’t. You start becoming present.

    If you want to change your life, you must be present in the life you are currently living in. By being present, you begin to shift to a state of gratitude.

    7. Eliminate the Excuses and Create Solutions

    How often do we use the word “but?”

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    For instance, “I want to eat healthier but I’m so busy that I can’t meal prep,” “I want to buy a new car but I’m still paying off some of my debt,” “I would like to start my own business but I don’t have the time or finances for that.”

    Now eliminate the “but” and imagine how you would feel if these external factors weren’t much of an issue.

    This is a simple but powerful technique in changing your thinking. It’s all about tapping into those emotions and eliminating the roadblocks that we spend so much energy focusing on. Instead, begin shifting your focus from the but’s and toward the “how’s.”

    Here’s some nice advice for you:

    How to Stop Making Excuses and Get What You Want

    The Bottom Line

    Changing your mindset is a work in progress and one that should be eye-opening as it is rewarding. It’s about getting to know yourself on a deeper level and creating a friendship with yourself along the way.

    There’s no one solution fits all, but it all comes down to taking that first step.

    More Resources About Living a Fulfilling Life

    Featured photo credit: Clay Banks via unsplash.com

    Reference

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