Do You Have a Life Plan?

Life-Plan-PyramidWhen is the last time you sat down and mapped out a life plan for yourself? Perhaps you regularly update yours and discuss it frequently with your coach. Chances are, however, you’ve 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 strengths and talents. We want to control our own destiny when planning our careers, partnerships and families. We want to be successful.

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! Myriad 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 to implement. You must invest several hours of thought, and it may prove beneficial to discuss your ideas with a trusted mentor, coach, friends and family.

Planning out your life, whether personal or career, is one of the things I work with clients on. 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’ll need to ask around for a referral to a professional coach with experience.

Start making some notes about the things you value most, and the direction you’d most like your life to take. Visualize your life in 5, 10, 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. Let me know what your experience has been with making a life plan. Are you going to just “show up?”

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