Most of us have a personal plan – of some kind. It might be a list of things that you’re ‘hoping’ to achieve… and sometimes you might have it ‘written down somewhere’.
After working with successful people for over 20 years as a business advisor and coach I know from experience that for a plan to be achievable it must be explicit and ‘alive’. Having a plan in your head just isn’t going to cut it.
By articulating and writing it out, you will become clearer on the outcomes that you want to achieve. Are you looking to develop your career, inject more fun and enjoyment into your days, enhance relationships, or get on top of your finances or health?
Having a written plan is the first step…
Here are some tips to get your personal plan started:
1. Pick a future point in time (maybe the end of the year, or in 3 – 5 years) and imagine your ideal life. What does it look like? What are you doing that is different from today?
Action: Download our wheel of life to help you with this process – and reflect on how you have addressed each area of your life at the point in time you have selected.
2. For each area of your life, write down what are you good at, what makes you happy, and what you could improve? Make a list of your strengths and the areas you need to address.
3. Choose one area to focus on. (If you try to focus on too many areas at once you may end up giving up.) Write down what your ultimate objective is – and the steps you need to take to achieve the ideal scenario you’ve described. How will you know if you have achieved your goal? Like any objective you need to make sure it’s measurable.
4. Get a support person or coach to keep you focused and accountable. As I often say, it is hard to keep focus when you are up to your armpit in alligators!
5. Once you feel you are moving forward in one area, you can begin to look at other parts of your life. Remember to set some clear milestones so you know that you are moving in the right direction.
Most people think that planning is confined to the office, and limited to finance and budgets. However to create the life that you want – you must plan for it. While there may be a budget somewhere in your plan, a major part of the process will involve taking the time to think, articulate and measure where you are now – where you want to go – and how and when you’re going to get there.
You create your life.
After all, you are the leader of your life.