How To Make A Life Plan That Really Works (+ Worksheet Template)
This guide will tell you exactly how to make a life plan to start living the life you have always wanted for yourself.
To get where you want to go in life, and to live life the way you want to live it, you have to make a plan to get there.
So, if you have been wondering how to create the life of your dreams, or how to make a life plan that really gets you where you want to go, then you have come to the right place!
Let’s get started!
What is a life plan? And why is planning your life important?
A good life plan definition is simply, “a plan to achieve what you want to achieve in your life.”
It’s pretty straight forward!
As for why planning is important, there are infinite possibilities of things to do and ways to live your life.
If you want to be living your best life, the life of your dreams, you have to decide what that best life looks like and then chart a course to get there!
A life plan lets you do just that.
Planning dreams and planning your life is important not just because it gets you where you want to go.
If you don’t have a life plan, you could very easily end up somewhere you really don’t want to go.
Author and motivational speaker Jim Rohn said:
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.
If you don’t know what you want, you might get distracted by different opportunities that don’t take you in the direction you really want to go.
It can also seem daunting to try to go from where you are now to the life that you want to lead.
With a life plan, you can take reaching this big, possibly scary, dream life and break getting there down into bite-size steps.
Having a life plan makes it easier and more possible to lead the life you want to lead.
How to make a life plan
If you aren’t sure how to plan your life, don’t worry. It’s simple.
Making a life plan only involves two things:
determining where you want to be (an overarching goal),
and then planning out how you are going to get there.
Step 1: Decide what your goal is
The first step to creating a life plan is deciding what you want for your life, a life goal.
If you don’t know where you want to go, then you will never get there!
I think the fastest way to live your happiest, most fulfilling life is by finding and living your purpose (your superpower) and grounding your life in your values.
For example, my life purpose is to help others find their life purpose.
I feel fulfilled and happy doing that work, so the goal for my life, in part, focuses on doing more of that!
I also value my family and a fun, flexible lifestyle where I am passionate about the work that I do, get to travel with my husband, and can spend time with my children.
All that is incorporated into my goals.
Knowing what you value and what your life purpose is helps you decide what you want your life to look like.
You might also already know what you want your life to look like or what you want to base it on.
Maybe you love to travel and having the freedom to come and go from work as you please.
Maybe you want stability and value spending as much time as possible with your family.
Maybe you want to work 20 hours a week doing what you love and making six figures while having a home on the beach.
Maybe you want to go on a big trip out of the country for a month and see one of the wonders of the world.
You can use these things to inform what your goal is.
You can also have two life plans, a personal life plan and a professional life plan.
For me, because my best energy each day is divided between my personal life and my professional life, I have plans for each with different goals honoring my personal values and professional aspirations.
This way neither of the important parts of my life get left out!
Whatever your goal for your life is, a life plan can help you plan out how to get there and help you stay on track once you are on your way.
Step 2: Determine how you will reach your goal
Once you know what your goal is, the next step to making your life plan is figuring out how you will get there.
You can have a broad overarching goal, but when planning out your path to that goal, you will need to break it down into different, actionable steps so that you have a way to move forward.
A lot of people think a life plan needs to be a multi-page document, with extensive details laid out.
That’s not the case.
When I am working with a client, I tell them that a life plan doesn’t have to be some complicated 10-page document.
In fact, it should be less than one page and it should be something that you revisit every week.
Your life plan should focus on just one thing.
Why just one thing?
The One Thing is the brainchild of Gary Keller, and it is a profound principle. It is about going small to achieve big results:
“Going small” is ignoring all the things you could do and doing what you should do. It’s recognizing that not all things matter equally and finding the things that matter most.
It’s a tighter way to connect what you want to do with what you want. It’s realizing that extraordinary results are directly determined by how narrow you can make your focus.
The One Thing concept expands upon the 80/20 principle. Eighty percent of the benefits you receive come from 20 percent of the work you do.
With your life plan, you are going to focus your efforts on one thing at a time, and that one thing is the thing that will most get you closer to your goal.
The reasoning behind this hyper-focus is explained by Keller:
You only have so much time and energy, so when you spread yourself out, you end up spread thin.
You want your achievements to add up, but that actually takes subtraction, not addition. You need to be doing fewer things for more effect instead of doing more things with side effects.
If you really want to get where you want to be, you have to let go of the things that aren’t as important and make your One Thing your priority above all else.
Your life plan should then focus on taking the most important steps towards reaching your One Thing.
Below, you will see exactly how to lay out your life plan so you can take it one step at a time to reach your goal.
Create your life plan
It’s time to make your life plan.
To help you make your plan, I created a life plan worksheet called the One Thing Life Plan that you can use as a life plan template.
The One Thing Life Plan focuses on the action steps for this year, but you can easily expand it beyond that to a 5 year life plan template.
You can create a 5 year goal, and then break that down into the same steps below.
You can also write the below steps down on a sheet of paper.
Below, you will find how to break down your life plan using steps taken from my professional life plan example.
Step 1. Write down your overarching goal.
The first thing you are going to do is write down your One Thing goal for the year.
“What is the one thing I need to get done this year to be on track for living my happiest, most fulfilling, best life?”
Once you know it, write that down at the top of your life plan worksheet.
With your goal at the top of your life plan worksheet, you can always check back in to make sure you are still on track!
My professional goal for 2019 (and beyond) is:
“Make Tomi Llama the worldwide #1 go-to resource for finding your purpose and using it to live your best life.”
With your goal written down, you will want to make sure everything you do ties into that life plan goal.
Step 2. What are the 3 most important things you must do this year?
With your life plan goal written down, think big picture:
What are the 3 most important things you have to do this year to make your One Thing goal happen?
In my professional life plan example for 2019, the three things are:
Launch the new Tomi Llama Logo and Brand (finished in quarter 1, woo!)
Create and publish 10 awesome guides that make finding your purpose and living it easier
Improve my website/email series structure and design
Your three things are the three most important things to focus your efforts on this year to make sure you are on your way to the one thing goal.
As you can see from my examples, they are a little bit broader goals, but more specific than your overarching goal so it is easier to know what you need to do to accomplish them.
Step 3: What are the three 3 most important things you must do this quarter?
With the broad benchmarks for the year set up, you will now go smaller in what you need to do.
“What 3 things do I need to do this quarter to make my 3 things for the year happen?”
For example, this quarter I focused on:
Review my website and email series to determine ways to improve them
Review older blogs to make sure they are current and up to the Tomi Llama standard
Finish the Life Plan blog (the one that you are reading now!)
As you can see from my examples, your three things for this quarter should have a narrower focus and be more actionable.
Step 4: What is the one thing you need to do this week?
Now you have what you need to do for the upcoming three months. You are going to go even smaller again!
“Of these 3 things for this quarter, what is the one thing I need to be doing this week to make this happen?”
Once you know the one thing you need to do this week, you have your first action step!
For me, my one thing was to finish and post the life plan blog. Having this as my goal for the week helped me finish it, and now you are reading it!
Completing this life plan worksheet or writing these steps down on a separate sheet of paper gives you a life plan template that you can refer back to and helps you outline clear steps to achieve your goal.
Making a life plan and then executing on it is how you achieve your goal and start living the life of your dreams.
How to stick to your life plan
Sticking to your life plan can be the most challenging part of this whole process.
To be honest with you, creating the life of your dreams is probably going to take some work!
The good news is:
Your life plan doesn’t have to happen all at once!
You have the template to reach your dreams, your life plan.
All you have to do is keep taking small steps to get there!
Now, you just have to make sure that you keep taking those steps.
Below is exactly how you are going to make sure you keep taking these steps!
Accountability check-ins are the way that you will stay on your life plan.
What is an accountability check-in?
An accountability check-in is just a check-in with yourself every week, to see where you are at with your weekly goal!
Accountability check-ins have been extremely successful in helping my clients make progress toward their life plan goals.
Every Friday, my clients email me their one thing goal for the upcoming week (the one thing they will do this week that takes them closer toward their quarterly goal).
Then, at the end of the week I send them an email asking them to rate their progress: “did you do your best this week to accomplish your one thing?”
After answering that, they tell me their One Thing for the next week. This keeps happening until they get there!
You can set up accountability check-ins for yourself.
At the end of each week (or on whatever day you choose), you are going to ask yourself three questions:
What one thing did you set out to accomplish for yourself last week (the last 7 days)?
Did you do your best over the last week to accomplish this one thing? Rate yourself from 1 to 10 with 10 being the best and explain your rating.
What is the one thing you are going to do this week (in the next 7 days) to make progress towards your One Thing Goal?
You can set reminders to remember to do this. Some people put it the reminder on their calendar.
My clients like getting email reminders so they don’t have to think about it. It just shows up in their inbox and they respond.
There is a free website where you can easily set email reminders for yourself called https://www.sendrecurring.com/.
Just follow the instructions to create an account and set up email reminders for yourself with the above three questions for each Friday (or whatever day you choose).
Here is an email template you can use in SendRecurring:
Once you’ve set this up, you will get a recurring accountability check-in email each week that keeps you on track towards your life plan.
You can also set calendar reminders at the end of each quarter to assess your progress and create new action steps for the next quarter!
The biggest thing to remember about your life plan and creating the life you want to lead is this:
You don’t have to make drastic changes right away to achieve your life plan. You just have to keep taking small steps each week, slowly but surely making progress towards your goal.
Over time, you will look back and be amazed at how much progress you have made toward your best life!
So plan it out; your most amazing life awaits!