A man sitting in a chair with his feet up.

Beyond Goals: The Power of a Customized Life Plan

To live a great and joy-filled life, we can and must create a vision of success. So it is common for us to create goals. Instead of goals, let’s discuss creating a life plan that is easy to implement, yet flexible and easy to maintain.

Why don’t you believe in creating goals Denise?

If you know me, in addition to being a life coach for entrepreneurs, I am certified PMP. I worked for ten years as a project manager for various multi-million dollar projects. I literally ooze administration, goals and deadlines from my pores.

And yes, I know that clarifying your goals and priorities is an important step towards achieving success in any area of your life. However, I also know that circumstances can shift without notice or warning. 

Instead of being fixed on doing things one way, we can be people who can weather the storms for life and adapt to changing circumstances.

As entrepreneurs, we can be flexible and nimble. To say it more plainly, we don’t have to stay stuck on stupid.

Dogmas Aren’t Helpful 

This reminds me of Marie Kondo and her Tidying up mantra. In January 2023, while promoting her latest book with the Washington Post, Kondo shared her idea of why she is not hyper-organized as before. 

Kondo said, “My home is messy, but the way I am spending my time is the right way for me at this time at this stage of my life.”

She continued, “Up until now, I was a professional tidier, so I did my best to keep my home tidy at all times. I have kind of given up on that in a good way for me. Now I realize what is important to me is enjoying spending time with my children at home.”

While I applaud Kondo’s honesty, this also discouraged her many followers who tried and failed to implement her strategies. I hope this story will scream to you and me and everyone else that we must be focused on principles rather than rules.

Next, let’s talk discuss how to create a principled-based life plan that will help you in all areas of your life.

5 Steps to Creating a Life Plan that You’ll Love

1. Brainstorm

Take some time to brainstorm a list of what is important to you. Write them down in a notebook or on a piece of paper. Don’t worry about organizing or prioritizing them at this point. 

Need some more ideas? One tip is to refer to your business journal.

Your mind has a fabulous way of elevating ideas, concepts and passions to the surface once you are intent on understanding yourself and your need. Uncovering your true purpose in life is part of the study of Ikigai.

I recommend to schedule at least 15-30 minutes, up to an hour alone as your work through your needs, desires and passions.

Why use Pen and Paper and No Computer?

When you write something down on paper it is so much more powerful than a computer or smart phone where you can easily erase or delete it. Plus, you will be less likely to be distracted from all the notifications and other alerts buzzing on your computer screen. Go old school on this one.

Tip: I love using erasable pens and highlighters. Also, don’t be afraid to also use stickers, colored markers or even cut out images from newspaper or magazines.

2. Categorize

Once you have a list, categorize them into different areas of your life, such as health, career, relationships, personal growth, etc. Perhaps this will help you to identify and remove areas of unnecessary stress in your life.

The last time I did this exercise I noticed that there was overlap with items related to my self-care such as improving hair, skin and nails. Highlight, underline and notice common ideas. Areas of overlap identify that your mind really wants to attend to a particular part of your life.

And for each category, ask yourself the important of each one. They may be signaling something (and perhaps someone), needs to shift in your life.

Consider the areas of your life which are most meaningful and align them to your values and vision for the future

3. Prioritize

Review your list and prioritize the desires which are most important to you. Consider the areas of your life which are most meaningful and align them to your values and vision for the future.

Prioritizing should be listed by degree of importance of urgency. This article dives into more details regarding this concept.

4. Examine Your Current Resources

There is a part of you that knows intuitively or instinctually what is best for you. Don’t ignore that. Here are some questions to help you solve your current challenge or obstacle in your life. 

  • What is most important? Why?
  • How would you make yourself proud of yourself tomorrow?
  • Whose assistance or which resource could help you? Why is it necessary?

Take your time to answer these questions. Get to the heart of who you are and what makes you feel happy. Joy-filled people don’t betray what would make their future self happier.

5. Review your list with someone that’s not you.

We can do a great job lying to ourself. That is why you need someone who is not you, cares about you and has wisdom to review your list and see what is practical to start now or delay at a later time.

Closing thoughts

You can create goals, but do not let them inadvertently sabotage your plans. Be open to create a general vision or life-plan.

Also, be open to learn something new. Don’t let your ego tell you what is not possible. You can create balance and harmony in all areas of your life.

Dig deeper: If you want to learn how to live your best life, listen to this podcast or click the play button below.

Hope this helps! If you need more help, don’t hesitate to consider working with me on your life plan.