Let’s say that you are now excited to develop your own Life Plan. How do you go about writing it down? What does that process look like?
Your number one enemy is procrastination. So the best strategy is to get started immediately. Before you read the rest of this post, why not take the next five minutes to get started on your life plan?
However, if you have the time to read this post AND write your life plan, all the better. Let’s get started!
Nine Easy Steps to Writing A Life Plan
1. Get settled in a comfortable environment with as few distractions as possible with a pen, some paper, and a Bible.
It doesn’t hurt to write your life plan while relaxing in a rustic mountain cabin with expansive views of verdant forests, shining rivers, and placid lakes. But sometimes the bathroom is the only place you can gather your thoughts.
Don’t be picky – just find a place where you can have a few uninterrupted minutes to yourself.
2. Take out a blank piece of paper and write down the big areas of your life.
These are typically areas like work, family, spirituality, money, friends. Then write down the important people, projects, or priorities in each area. For instance, your colleague’s name, the major case you are working on together, and your desire to become less abrasive.
3. Continue to brainstorm about any dreams or aspects of your life that should be part of your Life Plan.
Don’t worry about how well they fit together. Just write down anything that seems important to you. For instance, “be a good neighbor to the homeless” might seem like a pipe dream, given all the challenges involved in getting started, but you know it is important to you. Add it in.
4. After brainstorming for a while, and reaching a ‘stopping point’ a few times, take a longer break.
Take a step back from what you’ve written down.
Look for any major themes that connect the different parts of your life.
Decide on a few aspirational but realistic goals, with broad applicability, that will grow you to maturity.
5. On a fresh sheet of paper, write down a more organized version of your Life Plan.
Leave some room at the top of the page (see step 6).
As you fill in the page, start with the most important pieces.
In each area, clearly state who you hope to become or what you hope to do differently. “Wash the dishes every night” or “On Saturdays, go by the homeless shelter down the street and build a few friendships.”
6. Consider what passages from the Bible (or other inspirational passages) are connected to your Life Plan.
Add these in at the top of your page. Do another round of edits to clean things up for your Life Plan.
At this point, you should have an excellent working draft. The next three steps take a little longer:
7. Share the working draft of your Life Plan with your most trusted friends and mentors.
Ask for their prayerful advice and honest feedback. Continue to pray about the direction of your life and seek God’s guidance.
8. Incorporate the best responses from your community into your Life Plan.
Decide on the final wording and structure of your Life Plan.
9. Create multiple copies of your Life Plan and place them in strategic locations: the inside flap of your Bible, as an electronic document on your phone, in the drawer of your bedside table. Put copies where it will be accessible to you and inaccessible to others!
Also, share the final version with your trusted friends and mentors, and ask them to keep you accountable to it.
Voilà! You have a Life Plan!
In our next post in this series, we will discuss how to actively apply your Life Plan in the midst of your daily life.
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