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Last Updated on November 27, 2020

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

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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!

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    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

    More by this author

    Leon Ho

    Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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    Last Updated on September 16, 2021

    How to Quit Your Unfulfilling Job and Lead Your Dream Career

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    How to Quit Your Unfulfilling Job and Lead Your Dream Career

    Doesn’t matter whether it’s a 9 to 5 job or you work in shifts; is it a satisfactory job?

    Ain’t you tired of the monotony or should I ask:

    Did you ever feel like quitting your unfulfilling job or changing your unfulfilling career?

    Realizing your materialistic needs is important but do you love your means to earn bread?

    Too many questions… I’m sure you want to answer none.

    But don’t worry, most people are on the same leaky boat!

    Wondering what’s wrong?

    As a teenager, you dream; you aspire. You are exuberant enough to chase those crazy dreams.

    But as you grow older, the zeal seems to fade away. That drop-down in intensity level sets a foundation for a compromise.

    You don’t persist with even one dream.

    What’s worse, you give different names to your choice to back out. You blame people and situations as per your convenience.

    Alas! those vivid dreams lose to your sub-conscious mind.

    But before you get disheartened, here’s an interesting fact:

    The real Col. Sanders was an entrepreneur who didn’t become a professional chef until he was 40, didn’t franchise Kentucky Fried Chicken until he was 62, and didn’t become an icon until after he sold his company at 75.[1]

    So yes, though it’s tough to quit your tiring job; it’s easier than you think.

    And when you have realized your existing job is not leading to happiness, it’s time to change!

    Desperate for super easy solutions?

    Here’s a list of 19 simple actionable steps to quit your unfulfilling job and follow your aspiring career:

    1. Step out of Your Comfort Zone

    One big reason you are compromising today is your repulsion to challenge the boundaries of your comfort zone. You don’t want to raise the bar.

    You move on subconsciously making emotional adjustments and self-harming sacrifices.

    Not anymore; it’s time to challenge it!

    The clock is ticking and you need to flow with time. That is how you welcome the new. It is one of the major steps in breaking the monotony of an unsatisfactory job.

    Not sure about stepping out of your comfort zone still? Read this article: Is It Really Better to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone?

    2. Get Rid of the Memories from Your Existing Job

    Most of the times, it is your past which doesn’t allow you to liberate yourself in the present. Your memories from the current job are dominant over your memories you want to create.

    Come on! You are stronger than you think. You need to detach yourself from those sweet-sour memories. Only then, you could take a big leap towards self-realization.

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    Here’s the deal:

    A beautiful future awaits you where every moment is so blissful you’ll not recall the past to trigger a memory.

    Learn how to let go of the past: 7 Ways To Let Go Of The Past And Live A Happy Life

    3. Listen to Your Gut

    The problem is everyone has access to the locker of your right-wrong beliefs, but not you. You listen to everyone and lose your conscious decision.

    Why don’t you back yourself?

    If you don’t love what you are doing and you want to quit your unfulfilling job, QUIT.

    Why do you restrict yourself?

    Only you have the answers to your uncertainties. Stop seeking answers from others. Ask yourself receptively. You’ll unlock all the mysteries about yourself.

    Here’s some advice for you: How to Listen to Your Inner Voice

    4. Get Excited to Fail

    Sounds silly? It’s not:

    Success is an elusive mask covering many lifeless faces of failures.

    In case you don’t know, if Thomas Edison hadn’t failed, he might not have become America’s most well-known and prolific innovator.[2] And there are even more examples like this: 10 Famous Failures to Success Stories That Will Inspire You to Carry On

    The pursuit of your dream career is full of struggles and failures. And unless you are ready to fail many times, you are ineligible to succeed.

    Only if you settle with your current job which is unsatisfying will you be a real failure. The excitement to fail on the other side is unmatched. Worth a shot!

    5. Disallow Social Environment to Control You

    If there were no cameras, every soul would tell an interesting story.[3]

    I’m sorry but your social environment is bullying you. You have become a puppet to people.

    People define your journeys and destinations, and you are losing big time.

    Wake up call!

    Cut the chord with your social environment which is not only polluting your personal but also your professional environment: Managing Your Social Network Addiction

    6. Do Not over Analyze, Execute

    Intelligent people are particularly prone to the overthinking that can cause analysis paralysis and lead to a failure to make decisions or take action.[4]

    Yes, you are intelligent but you need to be smarter! Never allow your intelligence to become a hindrance in quitting your unfulfilling job.

    Thinking and planning are important aspects of a visionary, but never allow overthinking to take a toll on the execution.

    Take small steps rather than thinking about giant leaps. Divide your goal into small targets; make sure you achieve them.

    Here’s how: Less Thinking, More Doing: Develop the Action Habit Today

    7. Make Your Family a Part of Your Dream

    If you are fortunate enough to live with your family, you owe responsibilities towards them. After all, they are your father, mother, siblings, life-partner.

    Maybe your dream career is something they haven’t heard about, but relax. Don’t expect magic overnight!

    Be courageous enough to make them understand why you want to quit your unsatisfactory job.

    You may fail big time but don’t lose hope. This is the absolute test of your endurance.

    When you convince them, you don’t have to search for a support system in your failures. And a few applauds from them in your small wins keep you up and running.

    8. Spend Time with Like-Minded People

    To challenge the now and dive into the new, I’m afraid you’ll not find many people standing by your side.

    But that’s fine!

    Keep a close watch on people with whom you spend your precious time.

    What you need to ask yourself:

    Are these people your motivators or the ones who constantly try to put you down?

    When you get an answer, trust it and go with the flow. You may lose people but you’ll discover yourself.

    9. Prioritize Inner Happiness over Monetary Happiness

    Possibly, there’s a big fat cheque between your unsatisfactory job and your aspiration. The choice is difficult!

    You’ll agree money is not everything but the first thing to be happy. But if your job is not reviving and is killing your happiness, what are you waiting for?

    Maybe your dream career isn’t as materialistically rich as your current job, but assuredly, it’ll make you spiritually content.

    You have found out what will make you happy, so just go out there and get it: How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

    10. Learn to Say No

    ‘No’ is just a two-letter word, ever measured its intensity?

    It is loud enough to make you a warrior. However, we don’t use it often.

    Being on the receiving end of a no can be brutal, but saying yes to everything isn’t going to make up for that.[5]

    Learn this art to quit your unfulfilling job! Not only with others but use it often with yourself. Any denial or a small sacrifice for your own good is a gateway to self-love. It boosts your self-esteem to disallow the negative influences to entice you. You find reasons to listen to yourself.

    Leo Babauta has some suggestions on this: The Gentle Art of Saying No

    11. Accompany Yourself in Your Alone Time

    You encounter many moments in your daily life when there is no one around. What do you do in that alone time?

    Either you retreat to the past or you drive to the future. What you don’t realize is your present requires an introspection.

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    This ignorance is making you incomplete. Neither you are self-aware nor there is a clarity in your thought process.

    The secret is when you spend alone time with yourself, your dream becomes your mission, and the inroads make way for beautiful roads. Your journey doesn’t need a navigator. And your questions have answers.

    Use your alone time to do some self reflection: How Self-Reflection Gives You a Happier and More Successful Life

    12. Feel Fortunate for the Blessing

    When most of us are fighting for the necessities of survival; you discovered your dream.

    Where most of the people don’t get solitude time, you know what makes you blissful.

    Yes… you are fortunate! How could you dump this wonderful opportunity?

    There are many people who might replace you in your unfulfilling job. But make sure no one replaces you in the work you do the best.

    13. Never Lie to Yourself

    Confidence is imperative but if there is no transparency in your thought process, only confidence is a big disaster.

    Self-acceptance is supreme in pursuance of your dream career.

    You need to acknowledge your current standing and future goals.

    You need to be brutally honest to yourself. Only then, there’s a clarity in your thought process.

    Don’t blindly run towards your dream’s realization; walk on your aspiration-driven path consciously.

    14. Become an Inspiration for Others

    Amidst your uncertainties, someone is closely watching your actions and reactions.

    Maybe your close friend or your younger sibling, there’s someone relating to you. They are curious about your next move.

    But what do they seek from you? They silently urge you to take one brave move to open the floodgate.

    Only you can break the shackles of their boring monotony. Because when you execute, they feel happy and liberated like you.

    You become their unsung hero!

    15. Realize Your Current Job Is Saturating You

    Your current job is unsatisfactory. It cannot get worse. It is tiring and boring, it doesn’t release serotonin anymore.

    And you know it!

    You even know your exploration begins only when you quit your current job. What else can motivate?

    Always remember:

    You may do well in your existing job but you will create wonders on the other side. Go all in!

    16. Segregate Your Dream into a Passionate Movement

    You have a dream career in mind. But to follow it, you are not resilient to do what it takes to reach there.

    You lose hope quickly!

    Look:

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    Neither dreaming is enough nor quitting your existing job is easy.

    Only your passionate will is powerful enough to withstand the test of time. Let that fire burn inside you until your dream coincides with reality.

    17. Pen down the Possible Positives

    It’s super easy! But you are probably wondering:

    How could such a small step be beneficial in quitting my unsatisfactory job?

    Yes, it’s a small step but immensely powerful.

    When you list down how quitting your unfulfilling job is a boon, trusting your decision becomes easier.

    Any apprehensions at any point flush out when you recall those jotted positives of leading a dream career.

    18. Break the Rules

    There is no thumb rule or a particular mantra for success. It’s good to have idols. There’s no harm in following them. But what’s wrong is you compare your journey with them.

    What you don’t realize is that you may share the same goal but the approach has to be different.

    Never kill your originality trying to become like them.

    Define your own journey. Never set a rule or a predefined path for success. Break-free!

    19. Presume the Worst-Case Situation

    Try to question yourself:

    What will happen if you quit your unfulfilling job to lead to your dream career?

    Is it your financial stability or an emotional dependency you are losing on? Whatever it is, imagining the worst-case scenario enables you to loosen up.

    It provokes a nothing-to-lose attitude where there is no fear of anyone and anything. You move forward wholeheartedly with authority and devotion.

    Your self-motivation is at cloud nine; you don’t fear the consequences anymore.

    I hope any of these actionable techniques revive the feel you were about to lose.

    Final Thoughts

    You are a blessed soul who knows a couple of things more than most of the people:

    Your current job is unfulfilling, and that you have a career-oriented dream.

    But knowing about these isn’t enough!

    Set yourself free as an individual and dive into the competition where your only competitor is you.

    Life is too short to regret! Now when you have tasted the feeling of your chips being down, you deserve the magical feel to be on the other side of the table.

    Always remember:

    You are wrong only till the time you are struggling. But if you keep moving and taking those hard punches, one day you’ll realize your dream. With you, people realize everything about you were (and are) right!

    More Useful Career Advice

    Featured photo credit: Leonardo Yip via unsplash.com

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    Reference

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