How to Make a Life Plan in 6 Steps
Creating a life plan can help you feel more in control of your life and provide a clear path toward the things you want. The process of making a life plan starts with creating a document to record your thoughts and ideas either with pen and paper or electronically. However you choose to document your life plan, make sure it is easily accessible where you will remember to review it often. Use this guide to help you make a life plan.
A life plan is a roadmap for your life that helps you prioritize what is important to you, make decisions based on your priorities and move toward the life you want. It should provide a clear path for your life, but it should also be flexible. As your life changes, your values and priorities may also change. A life plan is a living, breathing document that requires periodic attention to ensure it accurately reflects your life. It is your own personal guide to how you want to live, what is important to you and what you need to do to achieve the life you want.
How to make a life plan
Creating a life plan is one of the best things you can do to identify the things you most want in your life and develop the strategy to make them happen. Here are the steps to help you create a life plan:
1. Create a vision
Allow yourself to dream big. Imagine what an average day in your ideal life looks like. Imagine where you work, what kind of work you do and the income you earn. Imagine your relationships with friends and family. Maybe your ideal life means gaining new skills to find a more fulfilling job. Maybe it is honing your skills to increase your marketability and find a higher paying job. Maybe it’s working from home to spend more time with your family.
Imagine the kind of person you want to be and how you want others to perceive you. For example, you may want your colleagues to know that you are reliable in delivering your work. You may want your manager to respect you as someone punctual in meeting deadlines and accountable for your quality of work.
Think about the things you want to improve in your life. This can include different areas in life, such as finances, career or health. It may entail some weaknesses you want to overcome. Consider how you will measure your improvement and define success. Clearly define what success means to you.
2. Perform a self-assessment
To perform a thorough life assessment, you need to be honest with yourself and what you want. A life assessment includes considering factors like the roles you have in life, your satisfaction with different areas of your life and your various strengths and weaknesses. Reviewing your life from different perspectives allows you to develop a holistic evaluation. Practice self-reflection to clarify your roles and satisfaction in different areas of life. If you struggle with assessing your strengths and weaknesses, ask several people close to you who will give you an objective opinion.
Everyone fills different roles in life. Brainstorm a list of the different roles you play. Examples of roles include student, coworker, employee, manager, entrepreneur, volunteer, spouse, parent and sibling. In the next step, you’ll prioritize these roles and identify the values you want to bring to each one.
Consider different areas of your life such as career, finances, personal development, community, health, relationships and faith. Look at each area of your life and rank your satisfaction in that area on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being ‘needs a lot of work’ and 10 being ‘best’.
Identify your strengths and weaknesses. These can be either technical skills or soft skills. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses allows you to decide where to focus your energy—which weaknesses to improve or which strengths to highlight.
3. Prioritize your life
Now that you have identified the roles you play in life, the areas you want to improve and your strengths and weaknesses, you can prioritize these to discover what is most important to you.
Review your list of roles and reorder them according to what is most important in your life. For example, your role as a parent or a manager may be more important to you than your role as an employee or student.
Also, prioritize the areas of your life to identify what is most important to you. For example, your health and family may be more important than your work or hobbies. When prioritizing areas of life, it’s also important to consider how different areas are related. For example, you may prioritize family over finances, but some financial goals are necessary to care for your family. Establishing that one is more important to you does not decrease the value of another; it simply indicates the areas you want to focus more attention on.
Prioritizing your roles and the areas you want to focus on will help you identify your values and non-negotiables when it comes to your career. For example, if your family is among your top priorities, you may prefer a career with a good work/life balance that requires little or no travel for an organization that is close to home and respects employees’ non-working hours.
4. Identify your values
Comparing how your life is now and what you want your life to be will help you identify your values. Allowing yourself to feel and analyze the difference clarifies your core values. The person you imagine yourself to be—with the life you imagine—lives by these values. They represent who you are as a person even if you’re still working to realize them.
When you identify your values and what is important in your life, they become a measuring tool for every decision. Decisions become much easier because you can clearly see what does and does not align with your values. For example, you might value work that is gratifying and serves your purpose more than you value the size of your paycheck. Understanding this helps you narrow your job search to opportunities that are more gratifying instead of any position with a higher salary.
How do you write a project plan?
1. Highlight the key elements of your project plan in an executive summary
2. Plot your project schedule visually with a Gantt chart
A carefully planned project schedule is key to the success of any project. Without one, your project will likely crumble into a mess of missed deadlines, poor team management, and scope creep.
Luckily, project planning tools like Gantt charts and project timelines make creating your project schedule easy. You can visually plot each project task, add major milestones, then look for any dependencies or conflicts that you haven’t accounted for.
A high-level roadmap like the one above is probably sufficient for your project management plan. Every team will be able to refer back to this timeline throughout the project to make sure they’re on track.
3. Clarify the structure of your project team with a team org chart
And aligning your team is all about communication–communicating the project goals, communicating stakeholder requests, communicating the rationale behind big decisions…the list goes on.
In an organizational chart you should include some basic information like team hierarchy and team member contact information. That way your stakeholders have all of the information they need at their fingertips.
Create an organizational chart with our organizational chart maker .
4. Organize project risk factors in a risk breakdown structure
The first step in coming up with a risk management plan is to list all of the factors at play, which is where a risk breakdown structure comes in handy. A risk breakdown structure is a hierarchical representation of project risks, organized by category.
Streamline your workflow with business process management software .
5. Plan ahead: create project status reports to communicate progress to stakeholders
But even so, something that’s often overlooked by project managers is a communication management plan–a plan for how the project team is going to communicate with project stakeholders. Too often, project communication defaults to ad-hoc emails or last-minute meetings.
This type of report is invaluable for communicating updates on project progress. It shows what you’ve accomplished in a clear, consistent format, which can help flag issues before they arise, build trust with your stakeholders, and makes it easy to reflect on project performance once you’ve reached your goals.
How to make a business plan that stands out
- Keep it brief. A typical business plan can range from 10 to 20 pages. As long as you cover the essentials, less is more.
- Make it easy to read. Divide your document into distinct sections, so that investors can quickly flip between key pieces of information.
- Know your margins. List every cost your business incurs, and make sure that you’re assigning those costs to each product or service that you sell.
- Proofread. Double-check for typos and grammatical errors. Then, triple-check. Otherwise, you might risk your credibility.
- Invest in quality design and printing. Proper layout, branding, and decent printing or bookbinding give your business plan a professional feel.
- Be prepared in advance. Have everything ready to go at least two weeks ahead so you have time to make revisions in case of a last-minute change.
It’s a good idea to periodically revisit your business plan, especially if you are looking to expand. Conducting new research and updating your plan could also provide answers when you hit difficult questions.
Mid-year is a good time to refocus and revise your original plans because it gives you the opportunity to refocus any goals for the second half of the year. Below are three ways to update your plan.
1. Refocus your productivity
If you only want to work a set number of hours per week, you must identify the products and services that deliver the returns you need to make that a reality. Doing so helps you refocus your productivity on the most lucrative profit streams.
2. Realign with your goals
3. Repurpose your offerings
If your time has become more focused on small projects rather than tangible growth and building a valuable client list, consider packaging your existing products or services differently. Can you bundle a few things together?