We all have our own dreams and aspirations, but rarely do anything to actually move towards them. Not because we’re lazy or unmotivated, but because we frequently lack the understanding of how to build a path that will allow us to reach our full potential and, therefore, accomplish our dreams. That’s when life planning comes in handy.
A life plan can be your roadmap if you don’t know where to start or guidance to help you bring your dreams and wishes to fruition. And if approached thoughtfully, for example, using the tools available at springboardtowealth.com, it can be an incredible way to find some clarity in our chaotic lives and turn to and remind ourselves of our aims when our haphazard lifestyles start to take over.
Here are several essential steps for making a life plan that will keep you afloat, regardless of the circumstances. Apart from identifying your vision and values, you will need to perform a self-assessment, determine your strengths and weaknesses, establish SMART goals, and outline your action plan. Keep reading to learn more about each step, and remember to revise your life plan as necessary.
Determine your vision and values
The first step while making a life plan is to determine your vision and values. This will be the foundation of your life plan and will help you make decisions that are in line with what you want to achieve and who you want to be.
When determining your vision, ask yourself what your ideal life would look like. What would you be doing? Where would you be living? What kind of relationships would you have? What contribution would you like to make?
Once you have a clear idea of your vision, you can start thinking about the values that are important to you and that will guide you in achieving your vision. Some values that you may want to consider include family, health, financial security, happiness, adventure, community, creative self-expression, education, personal growth, etc.
Perform a self-assessment
The next step is to perform a self-assessment. This will help you understand where you are in relation to your vision and values and what needs to change.
Start by taking inventory of your life. Make a list of the different areas of your life, such as family, friends, health, finances, work, etc., and write down your achievements in each category. For each area, rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10. One being the lowest and 10 being the highest.
Once you have an idea of where you stand, you can start to identify the areas that need improvement. These are the areas that you will focus on in your life plan.
Determine your strengths and weaknesses
Now that you know where you stand and what needs to change, it’s time to determine your strengths and weaknesses. This will help you understand what you need to work on and what you can leverage to help you achieve your goals.
Start by making a list of your strengths and weaknesses. Then, for each strength, identify how you can use it to help you achieve your goals. For example, if you are good at time management, you can use this skill to help you create a schedule for working on your goals.
On the other hand, identify how it might hinder your progress for each weakness. For example, if you have a tendency to procrastinate, you might want to create a goal that is focused on overcoming this habit.
Establish SMART Goals
The next step is to establish SMART goals. SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.
When setting goals, it is important to make sure that they are specific so that you know exactly what you need to do. They should also be measurable so that you can track your progress. Additionally, your goals should be achievable and realistic so that you don’t set yourself up for disappointment. Finally, your goals should be timely so that you have a deadline to work towards.
Keep in mind that your goals should be aligned with your vision and values.
Outline your action plan
The next step is to outline your action plan, where you will detail how you will achieve your goals.
For each goal, you will want to identify the steps that need to be taken in order to achieve it. Then, you will want to create a timeline for each step. This will help you stay on track and make sure that you are making progress towards your goal.
Set a deadline
It’s important to set a deadline for each goal so that you have something to work towards. This will help you stay on track and motivated.
When setting a deadline, make sure that it is realistic. You don’t want to set a deadline that is too far in the future as this can make it seem like there is no urgency to achieve the goal. On the other hand, you don’t want to set a deadline that is too soon as this can make it seem like the goal is unattainable.
Find a balance that works for you and that will help you achieve your goal.
Review and revise your life plan
The final step is to review and revise your life plan. This is an important step because it allows you to make changes as necessary.
As you progress through your life plan, you may find that some of your goals have changed or that some of the steps need to be modified. When this happens, don’t be afraid to make changes to your life plan.
Your life plan should be flexible so that it can change as your life does. Reviewing and revising your life plan on a regular basis will ensure that it is always up-to-date and relevant to your current situation.
As you can see, making a life plan is a bit of a process. But it is an important process. Building a plan that aligns with your vision and values will help you create a solid foundation for achieving your goals.
It may be difficult to know where to start, particularly if you are new to the concept of life planning. However, it is important to understand that a life plan is not a one-and-done document that you write and then forget about. It is meant to be a living, breathing document that you can continuously refer to as you progress through your life.
Remember that building a life plan doesn’t need to be an overwhelming process. Take it one step at a time and refer to the tools available for guidance. You will find that making a life plan can be highly beneficial and allows you to create a roadmap for achieving your goals and dreams.
Dennis Relojo-Howell is the managing director of Psychreg.