Hey hi hello!
You probably know this about me, but I LOVE planning. I’m a dreamer and a visioner by heart, but recently, I’ve started to break down those big picture dreams into everyday goals. If you’re anything like me, 2016 was a time and a half, and we’re anxious to get into the new year. But before we start uncorking the champagne, let’s talk about creating a life plan that actually works.I did a little digging and really liked this life plan guide from Brian Howard at Context Coaching. I’ll be reposting and discussing my experience with the steps below, but head over to his website for the full guide!
Step 1: Life Assessment
A lot of us would like to skip right over this part and get to planning for 2017. But unless you open yourself to an honest assessment of where you are right now, you’ll never be able to grow out of that situation into who you want to be. This assessment walks you through ten different areas:
- Spiritual Life
- Extended Family (Parents, Siblings, In-laws)
- Self Development
- Health and Fitness
- Children (Yours)
Since I’m obviously not married or have kids, I left those ones out! I wrote a general summary of how I felt about each of these areas and asked myself these questions:
- What have I done or am I doing well?
- What areas would I like to change and grow in?
Celebrating areas we’ve made progress in or strengths that we have is just as important as figuring out ways we’d like to grow. Take a few days and reflect on this portion before moving on to the next step.
Step 2: Determine Your Top Priorities
The truth is, we’ll never be able to simultaneously fix our careers, families, body, and mind at the same time. Each of these areas takes a lifetime to work on, and trying to improve them all in the course of a year is a little much for anybody. I picked four to focus on during the course of this year—not that I’m totally ignoring the rest of them, but these are the ones I’m going to make a monthly, weekly, and daily commitment to.
Step 3: Craft a Vision Statement
Now that you’ve narrowed down your priorities, it’s time to do some visioning! This was by far one of my favorite parts of the process. Basically, you write about the kind of person you want to be, but in the present tense. I’m a big believer in positive affirmation, and so having those vision statements to hang on to when I feel discouraged in a particular area is really important.
Step 4: Create Specific & Measurable Plans
This step takes a little more thinking! How do we go from dreaming to doing? Figuring out what you can do each day, week, and month to reach your big goals takes some work. This might be a good time to do some additional research and ask people who you look up to in those areas for advice. When you’re creating these plans, make sure to be as specific as possible, and include benchmarks to track progress. Be sure that your goals stretch you past your comfort zone, but aren’t asking too much of where you are right now. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint!
Step 5: Live It Out and Stay On Course
Put together your life plan in the next few weeks so you’re not jumping in on 2017 without an idea of where you are and where you’re going! It’s also super important to establish accountability—part of my plan is identifying friends & mentors to check in with monthly (through a quick phone call) to stay on track with each other. I’m marking out an hour for myself each week to head to one of my favorite coffee shops do a quick check-in.
If any of you are interested in putting together a life plan and having someone to check in with, leave me a message in the comments! There’s nothing like community, even if we’re a bunch of miles away. Let’s share and grow and conquer together!
Wishing you light and joy and happiness as we savor these last moments of the year.