4 Reasons Why You Need a Life Plan

A Compass for Your LIfe

When I ask people what they want out of life the most common answer I hear is success and happiness. That’s all fine, I want success and happiness also, but what does that mean?

Does it mean becoming president of your company, having a loving marriage, traveling the world? Just saying you want success is vague and often the first place people go wrong when setting goals for their lives.

As a teacher, I ask this question at the first of the school year, and almost without fail, three out of thirty students have a very specific answer. These people amaze me, from a young age they just seem to know what they want to do with their lives. In essence, they seem to be born with a life plan. But for most of us, I imagine this just isn’t the case.

When I was a little kid, I wanted to be a professional baseball player during baseball season and a professional basketball player during basketball season. Then during 7th grade, I discovered writing and wanted to be a writer. And the list goes on.

In other words, I had no real plan. As a result, I just haphazardly went through life. (Yes, I am a writer now, but I didn’t turn this into a profession until I was forty-six years old.) It wasn’t until I really started thinking about what I specifically wanted out of life that I started moving forward in a linear way.

A life plan is more than just goals you have for your life. It is a vision for how you want every area of your life to be or become in the future. In essence, it is a compass that directs you towards what matters most to you in life. It’s how you want to:

  • Feel everyday
  • What you want to spend your day doing
  • Who you want to spend it with
  • What you want to accomplish
  • How you want to finances to look like
  • What legacy you want to leave after your gone
  • And how you want the important people in your life to remember you

Reasons why you need a life plan

      1. A Life Plan Gives You Clarity for the Future

As the quote from the Cheshire Cat in Lewis Carroll’s classic book, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland says, “If you don’t know where you are going, then any road will get you there.”

I find most people are like Alice; they don’t know where they are going. They have vague dreams, and as a result, they are just drifting through life. They live in a world of distraction and are caught up in just trying to get through the day.

In order to live life to the fullest we have to know what we want, create a plan of action for its attainment and stay focused on the results we are desiring. A life plan gives us that focus by helping us identify what we really want. It helps us look past the basic demands of our everyday life so we can see what really matters to us in our life.

      2. A Life Plan Helps You Identify Your Priorities

Have you identified and ranked your priorities in life? Often times the things that are most important to us in life gets pushed aside for the more urgent, yet less important matters in our lives.

This happens because we simply haven’t taken the time to identify what is most important to us. Knowing who and what are most important to us helps us say “no” to the things that are less important and “yes” to the most important.

When I was younger, I was working really hard as an assistant manager to help open a new location of the franchise I was working for at the time. Due to the long hours I been putting in; I had only seen my wife Shelley in passing over the last several weeks. Finally, I had a night off coming in a few days.

I asked Shelley if she would like to go on a date that evening. With a big smile and a hug, she said, “Yes.” I could tell it was real important to her as it was for me, also.

The big night arrived, and with only ten minutes left of my workday, the head manager asked me to stay late. I said “no” politely explaining that I had already given my word to Shelley. She then attempted to guilt me into staying but because I knew what mattered most to me I was able to stand my ground.

       3. A Life Plan Helps You Stay Focused on Your Most Important Goals

Stephen Covey, the author of the best-selling book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, says the “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”

So often we may know what is important but still put our efforts into less important and more urgent issues in our lives. We spend time answering emails and putting out other people’s fires when we should really be focused on finishing our own project or spending quality time with our spouse or kids.

With a life plan, we set up our priorities and schedule our lives in a way that lets us keep the main thing the main thing. Yes, we still have to answer the emails, but with a life plan, we realize that answering an email when we should be listening to a friend doesn’t align with how we want to live. To quote Stephen again, “Things that matter most should never be at the mercy of things that matter least.”

      4. A Life Plan Keeps You From Living a Life of Regrets

Most people begin their early adulthood with dreams of being successful and happy without ever really defining what that means. Next, they stumble into a job, start a family and life just happens.

In some cases, this works out well but for a lot of people they become overwhelmed with everyday living and start wondering where it all went wrong. By creating a life plan, you can figure out exactly where you are, where you want to be and how to start creating the life of your dreams.

Question: What about you, do you have a life plan or are you just drifting through life? You can leave a comment by clicking here.



Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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