In this post, we are going to discuss life planning and give you a four-step process that will help you plan your life.
You are the biggest and most important project you are ever going to work on. With every decision and action you take each day, you are deciding whether you will live a life filled with abundant happiness or misery. Think about it, we are bound by restrains such as time, money, will-power and resources.
However, many of us go through life without an agenda, take for instance our avatar below, Janet.
After graduating from high school, Janet, decided to take a gap year, to try and figure things out in her life…
She would often sit at home, watching TV, or reading a couple magazines here and there. This went on for quite a while. And when Janet’s parents noticed that their daughter was wasting her days doing nothing, they offered her a job at their local supermarket, she gladly accepted.
After some time, her parents kept insisting that she should go to university, and they kept insisting and insisting. Eventually after consistent nagging from her folks, young Janet caved-in and decided to go to university. She chose to study business and hopefully, do something meaningful with her life.
Janet never really had a plan for her life after university, and the only reason why she went to university was to please her nagging parents.
After graduating from university, Janet had no immediate plans to join a company. So she decided to work as a bartender, while she thought of something to do with her life. But Janet was never in a hurry. Days rolled by which turned into months and eventually years as she lived in the same tiny apartment, while working as a bartender.
She loved her job, and she enjoyed being in the company of strangers, serving them drinks and sharing stories. Janet honestly thought she would work there for the rest of her life, serving drinks and meeting new people.
But five years down the line, the bar that she worked in, and loved so much closed down. She tried finding another job, and got hired in a couple places, but she never truly felt at piece in any of them.
Working a 9 to 5, every day, sitting in a cubicle, doing mundane tasks, wasn’t the life she wanted to live. So she would often quit these jobs. She tried getting another bartending job, but nobody would hire her! The economy wasn’t doing so well, and bartending jobs were few and far between.
Since then, Janet has decided to wallow in misery and not do anything but drink her life away.
At 30 years old, Janet is beginning to feel the pressure of life weigh down on her. Most of her friends already have jobs and are working towards paying off their college debts and building meaningful relationships. She has no money to clear her bills and her landlord has issued several eviction notices. The utility companies won’t stop calling either.
Interestingly, Janet has chosen to blame life for her misfortunes saying that it is not her fault things are not working out. Her friends are already used to hearing her say:
🌱 Why is this happening to me?
🌱 Why is life punishing me?
🌱 What did I do wrong?
🌱 I mean, I’m a good girl… kinda
🌱 Life isn’t fair!
One of her friends, Rachel, tried to help her get another job which Janet turned down saying it wasn’t her vibe. Rachel gave up when she realised that Janet has no vision for her life.
Life Planning Is Important
Perhaps you have a Janet around you, or have met a Janet, someone who is constantly complaining, not planning ahead or refusing help. While perhaps you cannot do much to help Janet, you can do so much more to avoid turning into Janet by simply having a plan.
Life planning is important.
It is a map that provides direction and reminds you where you are headed. It is easy to sit and imagine your future self, prospering, with enough money and wealth to sustain your lifestyle for years. However, without a solid plan to get there, you might deviate from the main path and waste your energy on pointless ventures.
Save yourself the headache and plan your life!
In this post, we are going to discuss life planning and how it could help you grow and make the best out of your life.
Just like making plans to buy a car or pay off your student loans, your life requires a solid, well-detailed and written plan which you can adhere to and make changes to whenever necessary.
Step 1: Create a List of Interests
Imagine life as a sea with numerous islands to be explored, each offering a variety of experiences. One island may provide you with college education, while another provides you with knowledge in ancient pottery. Another will give you music while another equips you with managerial skills.
The reason you should write down a list of interests is because your entire existence cannot be restrained to one island of interests. Perhaps you want to be in an island that allows you to be a CEO of a marketing company, while lecturing at the local community college and build custom furniture over the weekend in your garage.
Is this possible?
You see, we all have a variety of interests which we can exercise simultaneously. Creating this list of interests keep your options open for all the ideas you can explore in your lifetime.
While creating this list, remember to be as curious as a child. Constantly asking questions and tearing down appliances in the house to find answers. Be as wild as you can be with this list and make it extremely personal. It should be about the things you are genuinely curious about.
Do you want to sign up for dance class, cook, learn French, or go back to teach Physics? Write it all down. Create a separate bucket list too to keep it exciting. After you have prepared you extensive list, move to the next step.
Step 2: Carry out your Research
Successful projects are based on sound research and your life should too. Research allows you to see the bigger picture without having to go through it.
A wise man once said that the future exists now, in scattered patterns. This simply means that there are people around you who have pursued the path you desire to take.
For instance, if you plan to pursue dancing, there are numerous dance coaches you can talk to and find out where to begin. If you want to start racing cars, there are numerous drivers out there who will tell you what it takes.
Engage people in conversations and listen to their perspectives and advice. This will help you gauge if you have the requisite resources to pursue an idea. It will also help you prepare for the future.
For example, if your plan includes being a manager at your company, then you need to observe the hierarchy ahead of you, know what is takes to move up and eventually become a manager. While you may not line up every step you need to take to become a manager, you can certainly plan to improve your presence in the work place, learn how to manage teams and also pitch ideas during meetings and make yourself resourceful to the company.
Step 3: Break Down Your Goals into Habits
Success happens at the habit level. Planning a bright and happy future is exciting and you can get lost in the joy of it and forget to break it down into actionable steps.
Imagine you are a writer and your goals are a topic. However, to get to the goal, you need subtopics which will dictate the body of you work.
This means that if you goal is to lose weight, then your daily plan should include a diet plan with the specific amount of calories you intend to consume and the exercises you plan to do daily. If you goal is to write a book, then your plan should include strategies to write 2000 words every week, or perhaps, 100 words every day after getting up.
The question to ask yourself at this point is, what habits do you need to develop to achieve your goal?
Apply the rule of working in threes and develop three habits per goal. For example, if my goal is to create more and better YouTube videos, the following are the habits that I may incorporate into my daily routine:
- Check and summarise what is happening every day especially in relation to my YouTube content
- To review all comments and jot down the requests for more information
- To write down a rough idea, which I don’t even have to implement, depending on the information I have acquired.
By having these three steps, I can find information without trying to squeeze my creativity into one day of the week.
Developing habits is practical because we are creatures of habit. Most importantly, habits are specific and therefore easier to achieve than vague generalised goals.
Step 4: Implement, Review and Sift
Once you have defined your habits, all that is left is to implement them. Implementing your habits requires discipline which you will develop if you stay true to the plan.
However, perfect plans do not exist which means that you should schedule in time to constantly review your actions and determine if they are yielding desired results.
As you review the activities over several days or weeks, be sure to note down the problems you face.
Perhaps you feel overworked by trying to juggle too much. That is a sign that you should drop one of your activities until you have adequate time.
Reviewing your life will also help you look out for problems beyond your control and take measures to quit worrying about them.
While reviewing your life, you will also find that some habits are worth sifting. It may be difficult to drop certain habits but you will have more energy for important aspects of your life when you do.
A Final Thought
So take time, review and sift.
Lay down the unimportant things and replace toxic habits with beneficial ones. Remember to also stay flexible and be open to other ideas you might find along the way that can support you in the future.
All in all, enjoy planning your life because failing to plan is planning to fail.
Thank you guys so much for reading!
Please share this post with a friend or two, and leave your thoughts below.
With that said, I will see you all in the next one.