Yes I know, planning is boring. It’s not cool to sit down months or years before you actually face something. I mean, it’s not easy to think about your first job if you have an exam tomorrow and three term papers due in five days’ time.
Besides planning is not cool. Wolverine is an action man. Professor X is a planner. Therefore Wolverine is cool. Prof. X is not.
Cool people just wing it. They cross the bridge when they get there. And they don’t bother with things as mundane as a plan.
Those who succeed stumble onto success overnight.
Or do they?
Overnight success happens, perhaps if you marry into a very wealthy family, stumbled onto a pot of gold, or inherited vast amounts of money from a long-lost grandpa (you know, just like in the movies).
Yet, for ordinary folks like you and me, to achieve something extraordinary, we need to work hard and smart. And before we even begin working, we need a good plan.
When you’re graduating or have recently graduated, a life plan may seem to be the last thing on your mind. What with all the papers, thinking about your graduation outfit, and the excitement of graduation before you.
But, really, you can’t afford to not plan.
Planning does not mean that you have everything figured out: all the bumps and humps that you will encounter along the way. It’s not like Google Maps that will show you where and when to turn right or left in the busy streets of life so you can arrive at your destination.
You still need one, though. And Michael Hyatt provides seven reasons why.
1. A life plan will help you clarify your most important priorities.
2. A life plan will enable you to maintain balance.
3. A life plan will provide a filter by which you can say “no” to lesser things.
4. A life plan will empower you to identify and address your current realities.
5. A life plan will equip you to envision a better future.
6. A life plan will serve as a road map for accomplishing what matters most.
7. A life plan will help ensure that you don’t finish life with regrets.
(If you want to read Michael’s full blog post, head on over to his blog. It also links to Michael Hyatt’s super helpful ebook: Create a Personal Life Plan).
How to Create Your Life Plan
A lot of people follow Plan Z–because they don’t have any choice any more! When you’re being chased by Zombies, you only have one plan of action–Run! Right?
But there are no Zombies on your heels. The future looks bright. You’re young and you have a lot of potentials. Having a good life plan will help you maximize your potentials. Here’s how you can start working on your life plan.
- Take some time off. Recharge your energies. It’s easier to plan when you are energized and alert. For me, going on a personal retreat helps drown the distractions and enable me to look into my future.
- Get a good old fashioned pen and paper. I personally prefer a sketch pad so I can doodle, draw, or even glue some cutouts. Although I use my Android phone a lot, I find that physically writing my goals help me remember them better.
- Put yourself into visioning mode. You don’t need a crystal ball, a magic wand, or even specialized looking glass. Just project yourself onto the future and imagine what you will find there. (Well, you don’t need to dwell on the wrinkles and maybe the bigger waistline. 😀 )
I remember one of the episodes of Doctor Who (a BBC1 TV production in England) where the 11th Doctor said: “we’re all stories in the end. Just make it a good one.”
Life planning means envisioning stories you’ll love to tell & organizing your life to live those stories. – Click here to Tweet that.
Your Vision Statements
Think about your personal vision in the following areas of life and come up with a Vision Statement for each.
You’ve come up with your Vision Statement for each item? Good.
Then think in terms of decades. What do you want to have accomplished for every ten years of your life. Ten years isn’t a magic number, but a decade is a good measure of whether you’re moving closer to your goals or not. You can also choose to divide your timeline into half-decades.
For each of the areas above, identify milestones (or Kilometer Posts, for those in the Metric System) that will mark the passing of the years. Place the milestones you’ve identified in the table (more like a line) below.
I know it’s a little bit morbid but it would also be a good idea to indicate your expiration age–that age when you finally say goodbye to Planet Earth. It could be 110 if you want to live a uber-healthy lifestyle. I sure hope you’re not planning on expiring below 50 years old. 🙂
The Timeline of Your Life
It’s morbid to be reminded of our own mortality. But then, we all have expiry dates here on Earth, we might as well make the most of it, right?
There’s a really good verse from the Book of Psalms in the Bible.
“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12)
Believe it or not, you won’t always be young. It does feel that way sometimes, actually. But it’s always good to discern your path and prepare for the journey.
No matter how good your plan is, please know that it will not happen exactly as you envision it. Life, being the way it is, you’ll encounter roadblocks, frustrations, and sometimes your plan will feel totally useless.
But having a plan, and knowing what you really want out of life will help steer you towards the right direction.
If you’ve created your Life Plan, feel free to share it. I’ll be sharing mine in a future blog post.