Have you ever sat down and mapped out a life plan for yourself? If you have, do you regularly update your plan and discuss it frequently with your coach? Chances are, if you are like most people, you have never created a Life Plan.
“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”
– Business philosopher Jim Rohn
If you’re not the one to map out your life, someone else will.
“Life is what happens to you when you’re making other plans,”
– according to John Lennon’s lyrics for “Beautiful Boy.”
Of course, you can listen to Woody Allen, who famously said: “Half of life is just showing up.” Per this philosophy, you get ahead simply by being present—a concept that certainly relieves a lot of pressure. It allows you to live in the moment, responding to what is rather than trying to shape your life. It also requires a hefty dose of passivity and abandonment of future possibilities. (Let it be, to quote Mr. Lennon again.)
But most of us want to influence the path our life takes to ensure we have enough freedom to express our values, strengths and talents. We want to control our own destiny when planning for our careers, partnerships and families.
Experts generally agree that you cannot achieve your goals without a plan or road map. Given the unpredictability of love, work and the lottery, exactly how much of your life can you plan?
What does a life plan look like?
A Google search for life plan yields two billion results! A myriad of life-planning experts and coaches are advertising their services. But let’s simplify things and use a classic planning model you’ll likely recognize. It’s frequently used in business organizations and can easily be adapted for personal use.
One caveat before we start: Just because the plan is simply stated doesn’t imply it’s easy or simple to implement. You must invest in contemplation and thought.
Creating a life plan, whether personal or career, is one of the things my clients and I work on together. You can start by making a list of trusted people you can ask to help you with your life plan. You may know of someone or you may need to ask around for a referral to a professional coach with experience.
Start making some notes about the things you value most, what excites you and the big dreams you have. Visualize your life 5, 10 and 20 years later to help you clarify what you want.
In my next post, I’ll provide a 7-step process for making a life plan. What is your experience with making a life plan?