‘Build your dream. Then be fearless in the pursuit of it.’
Are you living a life you love? Stop for a moment & think about it. No cheating! Really think about it.
Because you can live a life getting by or you can CREATE a PLAN for a life you LOVE.
Below I’m going to share how to do the latter – using 5 SIMPLE (but POWERFUL) steps that took me from a life of imbalance & overwhelm to a life I intentionally create & love living.
Have you ever tried building flat pack furniture without following the assembly plans? I have & it wasn’t pretty! 4 members of my family fell out & a wardrobe nearly collapsed. If only we’d followed the plans…
The trouble is, many of us go through life like this.
Winging it or half heartedly following a vague plan for our life, often without really knowing where it is we’re going. Or we ‘dream’ of a better life – but don’t take any action to make that dream a reality.
Yet creating a LIFE PLAN is a remarkably SIMPLE process that can have LIFE CHANGING results.
WHY YOU NEED A LIFE PLAN
The problem with not having a vision & a plan for your life, is that it can lead to drifting, unfulfilled hopes & dreams, falling ‘into a rut’, disillusionment or even living someone up to someone else’s expectations or dreams.
What made me make a plan for I life I truly wanted to live?
For me, it was my daughter.
I was a single mum working stupid hours in a toxic environment, my daughter was in day care for 10 hours a day & I was exhausted. The worst thing? It seemed like this IT for the next 20 years. Was this how I wanted to inspire my daughter to live. To ‘tough it out’ in a job I’d come to hate, because I felt too overwhelmed & scared to change it.
No. It really wasn’t.
I’m not knocking my achievements to that point – I’d done pretty well & wasn’t ‘unhappy’, but I’d let my life drift. Things had plateaued, got unbalanced & life was prodding me to change.
Did I listen? HELL, NO. Things had to blow up at work & become so unpleasant, I walked out.
But that was when things did start to change. I saw an OPPORTUNITY to grab life by the balls & design a life I wanted to live – one that fitted my life around my family – not my family around my life.
The good news is you don’t have to let things go as far as I did. YOU can start designing the life you want RIGHT NOW.
OK, here’s how to take back your power & design the life you love in 5 simple steps.
Will it always be easy? Probably not. Nothing really worth having ever is.
TOP TIP! Sign up for my FREE Life Plan Template below before you start – it will guide you through the steps below & save you a lot of time.
STEP 1 – REFLECT ON WHERE YOU ARE RIGHT NOW
OK, step 1. Go somewhere QUIET & write down how SATISFIED you are with your life.
Make the intention to be HONEST with yourself.
This allows you to reflect on your CURRENT situation & achievements & provides a STARTING POINT to work from. You can’t realistically decide where it is you want to go without first knowing where you are. Any good ship will tell you this!
Use these questions for guidance:
What’s going on in your life right now?
Note down how satisfied you are in key areas of your life such as career, relationships, health & fitness, hobbies, money & finances, spirituality & emotional well being.
Is there anything in your life which isn’t working?
This might include things like low job satisfaction, relationship tensions, health issues, financial strains, or lack of work/life balance. Identify & note down any obstacles in your life that are holding you back.
Are there any drains in your life?
Let’s face it, we all have them! I had a boss who was an energy vampire – it was exhausting. I’m also prone to perfectionism which can cause me time wasting & stress! Pinpoint who or what the drains are on your energy & happiness & note them down.
STEP 2 – DEFINE YOUR DREAMS
One of the biggest regrets people have at the end of life is not having lived their dreams.
So many dreams go unfulfilled, because we’re scared of taking risks or because we’re busy trying to live up to someone else’s expectations. Don’t let this be you. It’s never too late to start building the life you want.
So, next, write a vision of what your ideal, DREAM life would look like in the next 5 to 10 years?
Go somewhere quiet & give your dreams wings. These are YOUR dreams, no-one else’s.
Remember, only YOU know what’s best for you. And you DO know, even if it seems unreachable, silly or downright bonkers!
This dream vision will serve as your LIFE PLAN – a blueprint for what you want & where you want to go.
To ensure balance in your life, be sure to include WORK, FAMILY, HEALTH, FRIENDS & SPIRITUAL LIFE (this doesn’t have to mean ‘religion’, just something that nourishes your soul) in your vision & plan.
If you need some pointers to get you going, think about the thing that would make you leap out of bed in the morning? Brad Pitt? Angelina? OK, nice thought, but that’s ‘probably’ not going to happen. So think about what you really want in your heart & note it down.
Questions to ask yourself might include:
- what are you passionate about?
- if you could do anything, what would it be?
- in old age what would you love to say you’d achieved?
- what brings you joy & excitement?
- what would your ideal work, family, health, friends & spiritual life look like?
STEP 3 – PRIORITISE & SET YOUR GOALS
Fantastic, by now you should have you very own LIFE PLAN, which defines your dreams & what’s important to you.
This is AMAZING – most people DO NOT have one. You are ahead of the game already.
Now pick 3 THINGS from your dream LIFE PLAN that are the biggest PRIORITY to you right now.
I.e. the things you want most & want to focus on first. (If 3 feels too overwhelming, just focus on 1.)
Make sure you pick priorities that are REALISTIC in terms of your current situation. E.g. physically building an eco home in the Swiss Alps isn’t practical if you’re in debt! Getting debt free would need to be a focus first.
A top 3 priority list might look like this:
- Rekindle relationship with spouse
- Be debt free
- Learn about how to build an eco home
Next, you need to set a GOAL for each priority. A goal is what will motivate you to turn your priority into a REALITY.
Make sure your goals are SPECIFIC & MEASURABLE with a DESIRED OUTCOME. Why? Goals that are are too broad, or vague, almost never happen, as there’s nothing to get your teeth into & you can’t track their progress.
Here’s an example of what I mean:
Example of a broad goal
’I am debt free by next year’
Example of a specific, measurable goal with a desired outcome
‘I have paid of my student debt by Christmas & my credit card debt by May by earning extra money online & starting a household budget. This means I am debt free by summer & able to save for a house deposit.’ = MUCH better. You can almost feel it happening already!
See the difference?
It can be easy to overcomplicate this stage, so try not to. Just make sure your goal includes what you plan to achieve, by when & to what desired outcome? This way you’ll have something achievable to aim for, which you can also track progress of.
Top Tip: Write your goals in the PRESENT tense – it gives you real ownership of the goal, plus it also kind of tricks your subliminal mind into thinking it’s true. The mind is a powerful thing!
STEP 4 – CREATE AN ACTION PLAN
Right, so now you should have some clear GOALS.
Next, take your first GOAL & list the SEQUENCE OF STEPS you need to take to make your goal HAPPEN.
This is your ACTION PLAN.
An action plan serves as a clear set of steps that will take you from where you are right now to where you want to go.
An action plan for ‘paying off debt’ might look like this:
- find ways to make extra money online & raise extra $100 a month
- join cashback sites to raise money & vouchers for Christmas
- set a monthly budget/use budgeting app
- start meal planning
- switch to better deals for utilities, insurance, TV packages etc
- ask for a raise at work/do overtime
- build a reserve fund for emergency expenses.
After that you need to COMMIT to your action plan.
Set monthly tasks from your action plan & break these down into weekly ones.
A handy way to do this is in my MOMENTUM PLANNER, which comes as part of my Life Plan Template. You can get it free below:
Then add these tasks to your diary or phone & REVIEW them every week.
Check tasks off, tweak to refine them, do more of what works, less of what doesn’t – you’ll find your own pattern – just do what you need to do to make your GOAL happen.
Then it’s simply a matter of wash & repeat!
STEP 5 – BE ACCOUNTABLE
Initially you’ll motivated by sheer enthusiasm for your shiny new priorities & goals. RIDE this wave.
But at some point, life will try & take over again, action points will get missed or you’ll just have a bad week. This is NORMAL.
A great way to ensure you stick to your goals (because this is the ONLY way they will actually become a reality) is to be accountable.
To do this, find a BUDDY – someone you trust, who will hold you accountable to your goals. Ask them if you can check in with them once a week (or month), to track progress.
Then set aside half an hour once a month to sit & review your progress alone, (schedule this time in a planner so you actually commit to it) so you can evaluate how well your plan is working.
Make any tweaks or changes necessary at this point.
It’s also a fantastic idea to read the goals you are working on OUT LOUD (I know it sounds a bit odd!) at least once a week (daily if you can) so you really live & breath them.
You’ll be amazed at what you can start to attract in line with you goals, once your mind starts to believe something is really happening.
CONGRATULATIONS! You now have your very own Personal Life Plan…!
A FINAL WORD
OK, we’ve covered a lot here, so if you haven’t done so, I do recommend signing up for my Free Life Planning Template + Guide, which:
- guides you clearly through the 5 steps in this post
- includes a printable worksheet, which you can use to complete or plan each stage.
Yes, I know I keep banging on about it, but I really DO believe it will make the process a LOT easier for you!
Pop in your email below & I’ll whiz you over the template + guide right away…
A FINAL (FINAL) WORD FROM A LIGHT BULB!
If you look at anyone who has truly built a successful life, I almost guarantee you they started with a VISION & a PLAN. They then put that plan into ACTION. And they PERSISTED until they got the life they wanted.
A great example of someone with a vision & a plan he absolutely refused to give up on is Thomas Edison. Remember his famous vision? Yep, the electric lightbulb!
But did you know he failed up to 10,000 times to invent a commercially viable electric lightbulb, before he got it right.
When asked if he felt like a failure & should give up, Edison replied:
‘Why would I feel like a failure? And why would I ever give up? I now know definitely over 9,000 ways an electric lightbulb will not work. Success is almost in my grasp.’
And of course, it was…
Find YOUR light bulb, then commit to it…