If having a life plan guaranteed success (whatever that means to you), would you develop one?
I’m guessing the answer is YES!
I’m also guessing there are some good reasons why you don’t have one (if you do, major *fist bump*. Do share about your life plan and how it’s going in the comments. I would love to hear from you).
Actually, it’s more than a guess. I’ve learned a few things over the last 25+ years while helping people develop life plans.
A few reasons why you may not have one:
- You don’t know where to start.
- You have tried planning before and it failed.
- You have never been introduced to an effective life planning process.
- You find the process ‘daunting’; as if you must plan your entire life from start to finish (not true BTW).
- You don’t consider yourself a ‘planner‘ so a Life Plan doesn’t seem realistic to your personality type.
- You lack motivation.
- You don’t feel like you have enough time for that type of planning.
Are any of these true for you?
If so, you’ve come to the right place.
Why? Because I firmly believe that you are much more likely to live the life of your dreams by developing an effective life plan. I wouldn’t have based my entire website and blog around the subject if I didn’t believe it were true (*big grin*).
6 reasons why you should have a life plan:
Number 1: An effective life plan will help you get really clear about what your Ideal Life looks like.
As you probably know, it’s extremely difficult to work towards something when you’re not really clear about what that ‘something’ is. Any life planning process will start with helping you figure out what you really want at this time of your life.
“Your goals are the road maps that guide you and
show you what is possible for your life”
Number 2: An effective life plan allows you to see your life more clearly as stepping stones.
The life plan you work on this year IS going to change as you enter each phase of your life, however, each time it changes, the planning process gets easier. The more you work the process, the more you understand it, which ultimately helps you pick up speed towards your goals.
The earlier you understand the life planning process and learn to use it on a regular basis, the more you may experience positive outcomes of your goals and overall, feel satisfied with the progress you are making.
“Many people fail in life, not for lack of ability or brains or even courage
but simply because they have never organized their energies around a goal.”
Number 3: An effective life plan will help you prioritize your time effectively.
A serious consequence of not prioritizing well is a constant feeling of overwhelm. It’s difficult to relax and enjoy life when you live with stress day-in and day-out.
However, when you are clear about what you want, you can more easily identify the things that are getting in the way and slowly begin to weed those things out.
Overtime, this allows you to become more focused so the extra time you do have (which is extremely valuable to all of us) can be spent on things that will have a real impact on; the things you actually want to be doing in your present life and for your future life.
“You must give up something in the immediate present – comfort, ease,
recognition, quick rewards – to attract something even better in the future.”
Number 4: An effective life plan will help you decrease the amount of time you procrastinate and move you quicker towards your goals.
Procrastination occurs when we are avoiding something we really don’t want to do, that makes us uncomfortable or bring us out of our comfort zone. However, often times we are avoiding the very thing we need to be doing. The thing that usually bring us to the level of success or desired lifestyle we are hoping for.
Because a life plan helps you prioritize effectively and encourages changes in small steps (see number 6), managing the urge to procrastinate becomes easier and occurs less often.
A life plan can move you out of avoidance behaviors and into a more disciplined and committed lifestyle. A lifestyle where when the alarm goes off in the morning, instead of hitting snooze three times, you pop out of bed ready to get moving towards your goals. That’s what the opposite of procrastination feels like.
“Why do we procrastinate? In other words, why do we often allow the things that
matter most to be at the mercy of things that matter least? Perhaps the most
common reason is that certain important tasks are unpleasant.”
~Hyrum W. Smith
Number 5: An effective life plan increases persistence so you’re less likely to fail again (unlike those pesky “New Year’s Resolutions that most of us fail at).
The most important aspect of understanding persistence (my word for the year BTW), is that you keep trying until you succeed. Meaning, if the initial priorities you develop as part of your life plan don’t end in the result you were hoping for, you change your approach and develop new priorities.
Even if your goals remain the same, how you persist towards those goals will most likely shift as you work to fulfill them.
If you’re like me and have a habit of working towards a goal and stopping because your action steps and priorities weren’t successful the first time around, you haven’t learned the true meaning of persistence. A life plan, especially when you get clear about your hopes and dreams, can help you find more discipline in this area; it’s especially true the more important those hopes and dreams are to you.
“The major difference I’ve found between the highly successful and the least successful
is that the highly successful stick to it. They have staying power. Everybody fails.
Everybody takes his [or her] knocks, but the highly successful keep coming back.
~Sherry Lansing, former CEO, Paramount Pictures
Number 6: An effective life plan teaches you how to make small, incremental changes towards success (an approach that has been proven to be extremely successful).
This is by far the most important. Once you figure out your ideal life, develop goals that will lead you towards that ideal life, get clear about what priorities will help you fulfill your goals, persisting with small steps is what will ultimately lead you to the promised land.
Consistent, small steps day-in and day-out is the commitment needed to make big life changes; small steps that are difficult to figure out without an effective plan in place.
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting
started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small
manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.”
Need to find your focus and start prioritizing your life? Struggling to stay motivated?
Check-out these LIFE PLANNING ESSENTIALS available for you to get started today. They can work wonders helping you recharge and refocus your life.
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