How to create a life plan (a life plan template) (2023)

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VonErin Eatough, PhD

10. June 2021 - 20 minutes of reading

How to create a life plan (a life plan template) (1)

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What is life planning?

5 benefits of a life plan

How to create a life plan: a step-by-step guide

The right questions to ask when making a life plan

5 areas to include in your life plan

How to create an accountability plan

A life plan template to get you started

Life planning helps you move forward

We all have hopes, dreams and aspirations in life. But how many of us actually reach our goals?

We often spend a lot of time thinking or talking about what we want. But we have not taken any steps to achieve it.

It's not because we're lazy. That's because we don't know where to start. We don't have a plan.

However, life planning can serve as a roadmap or guide to making those dreams come true.

Life planning can help you if:

  • His life seems out of control.
  • You have trouble making decisions
  • You feel lost and disoriented

Use this step-by-step guide and customizable life planner template to get started.

What is life planning?

A life plan is a guide and a reminder of what you want to achieve in your life. He will help you achieve your dreams and reach your personal and professional goals.

There is no reason why you can't achieve your goals, as long as they are realistic. What often holds us back is the fear of failure.

A life plan can help you overcome this fear and achieve your goals.

It doesn't have to be incredibly detailed. Rather, it serves as a general guide and should be flexible.

life is unpredictable. Your life planning should leave room for unforeseen opportunities, changes, and crises.

5 benefits of a life plan

A case study at UCLA by psychologist Emily van Sonnenbergasked students to keep an intention journal. Each morning they wrote down their intentions for the day.

Sonnenberg found that students who wrote down their goals were 92% more likely to achieve them than those who didn't.

This result demonstrates the power of planning. Let's take a closer look at the benefits of life planning and how it will help you achieve your goals.

1. A life project will help you make your dreams come true

A life project gives you the confidence to act andovercome your fears.

2. A life plan helps you set priorities

Creating a life plan will help you identify your priorities. That way, you only focus on the things that are moving you in the direction of your dreams.

3. A life plan will help you make better decisions

Knowing your goals and values ​​can guide your decision-making process. This helps you make decisions that are consistent with them.

4. A life plan keeps you motivated

Writing down your goals is important to focus on them. Put your life plan somewhere where you can see itRead every day to stay motivated..

5. A life project makes you feel empowered

A life plan gives you a sense of control over your destiny. It reminds you that the ability to make your dreams come true is in your hands.

How to create a life plan: a step-by-step guide

Follow this seven-step process to create your life plan.

1. Create a vision

First, imagine the life of your dreams. Be as specific as possible with the details.

Imagine that you are already there and write down your vision. Get inspired by the following questions:

  • What do you see, smell or hear?
  • how is the light
  • Who is with you?
  • how do you spend your days
  • Where you live?
  • How do you feel?
  • What do you do for a living?
  • How much money do you earn?
  • what is your daily routine

After writing your vision, think about what you need to do to achieve it. Make a list of steps, e.g. B. to obtain a new certification or to reach a certain level of income.

Try to be realistic, but dream big at the same time.

2. Do a self-assessment

A self-assessment of your past achievements gives you a reference point for planning your life.

Take stock of your successes and your failures. Look for lessons learned and experiences you don't want to repeat. Identify your strengths and weaknesses.

When doing your self-assessment, look at different areas of your life, including:

  • Relations
  • personal growth
  • finance
  • Health

Assign each area a satisfaction rating from one to five. This will help you identify your strengths as well as your areas for improvement.

How to create a life plan (a life plan template) (2)

3. Prioritize your life

Now that you have your vision and areas for growth, it's time to set priorities.

You do not need to set any detailed goals at this time. The purpose of this step is to decide what is essential and what to leave out.

Your time is precious, so you must spend it wisely. Prioritization will help you with that.

4. Identify your values

Analyzing your past can help you with this.identify your values. If you look back at previous decisions, you can see what the motivating factors behind them were.

For example, if your income has grown consistently throughout your career, it shows that money is one of your core values.

But if you've chosen fewer job responsibilities for less money, it probably means you value less stress and more free time.

Negative past experiences also teach us something about our values. They show us the things we don't want to experience again.

By keeping your values ​​in mind, you can make decisions that align with your dreams.

5. Set SMART goals

Once you've identified your vision and taken stock of your priorities and values, the next step is to set effective goals.

Try to set medium- and long-term goals that are realistic and achievable.

Identify different goals for the areas of your life that you assessed in your self-assessment. Make sure they align with your priorities and values.

Use the SMART method to set effective goals.


  • Specific: Each objective must be specific. For example, instead of "lose weight," your goal should be "lose 10 pounds."
  • Measurable: Determine how you will measure your goals.
  • Accessible: Make sure your goals are realistic and achievable.
  • Important: The goal should be relevant to your long-term vision and consistent with your priorities and values.
  • time limit- Set an ambitious yet achievable time frame to reach your goal.

6. Create an action plan

Your action plan should include a step-by-step process to help you reach your intermediate goals.

Identify the daily actions that build up over time and help you build momentum. Put them on your calendar and commit to doing something every day.

Post your action plan somewhere you can see it, like on top of your desk.

Don't forget to celebrate each milestone and reward yourself for your accomplishments.

7. Adjust as needed

Remember that your life project is a tool that will guide you towards your goals. However, we all experience setbacks at some point, and that's okay.

If you miss a goal or take longer than planned to reach it, don't give up.

Review your life plan and make adjustments if necessary.

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The right questions to ask when making a life plan

As you write your life plan, ask yourself the following questions and consider your answers:

1. What results do you want to achieve?

When creating your dream life vision, try to be as precise as possible. Think about the results that accompany the desired outcome.

For example, let's say your goal is to become a director of your company. Ask yourself why you want to achieve this goal and what difference it would make in your life.

Some of the possible results can be:

  • Greater thanfinancial stabilityFor his family
  • Have more leverage and influence in your industry or field
  • Fulfill a lifelong dream
  • feel more secure
  • Being able to pay for things or experiences that you couldn't afford otherwise.

2. What measures are used to achieve these results?

Once you know the results, work backwards to define the steps that will help you achieve that goal on an ongoing basis.

Be sure to identify any actions that may require assistance. Make a list of trusted friends and family and ask them to help you.

3. How do you stay motivated?

Writing a life plan can be fun and exciting. It can also increase your motivation.

But one day something could happen that deflates your motivation like an old balloon.

Perhaps you are facing an unforeseen challenge. Maybe you are arguing with your best friend. Or maybe you just get up on the wrong side of the bed.

Whatever it is, you will lose your motivation. You will want to throw in the towel.

And that's why you need to prepare by asking yourself how to stay motivated.

If you're working toward a big goal, break it down into smaller goals. Celebrate and reward yourself for these accomplishments.

Ask your trusted friends and loved ones to help keep you motivated when the going gets tough.

4. How will you measure progress?

Setting important goals is a great way to measure your progress.

Going back to our previous example, becoming a director of a company does not happen overnight. The best way to measure progress would be to break it down into smaller goals.

These objectives may include the development of new skills required for the position of Director. An intermediate goal could be the completion of training or certification, for example.

Another promotion goal for a budding director might be to consistently rise through the ranks. If she's starting out as a project manager, her next goal might be to become a program manager.

Set deadlines for meeting each progress goal. This will ensure that you implement your life plan within the given time frame.

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5 areas to include in your life plan

Some people want to plan all aspects of their lives. You can choose to plan in some areas but not in others. It's your life plan, so it's up to you to decide what to include.

For inspiration, here are five of the most common areas to include in your life plan:

1. Health and Wellness

Health is true wealth. Without it, nothing else matters.

Whether you're healthy, unhealthy, or somewhere in between,Health and well-being should be part of your life plan.

Even if you're fit and healthy now, it's always good to plan ahead—your future self will thank you.

Ways to include it in your life plan:

  • Set a healthy eating goal, such as: B. Meeting your five-a-day needs
  • Try to drink at least two liters of water a day.
  • Identify a healthy weight
  • Take 10,000 steps a day
  • Sign up for a fitness class
  • Hire a personal trainer, nutritionist or health coach

2. Relationships

Whether you're single or in a committed relationship, there are always ways to improve your relationships.

All relationships start with the relationship you have with yourself. If you are bitter or hate yourself, these traits can affect your relationships.

Also, there are ways to learn how to be a better partner, friend, parent, or relative.

Maybe you want to be a better listener. Maybe you want to be more patient with your children. Or maybe you long for a deeper connection with your partner.

Ways to include it in your life plan:

  • If you're in a relationship, schedule quality time with your partner to avoid getting stuck.
  • Plan trust and intimacy building activities that will strengthen your bond with your partner.
  • If you're single, take some time each week to work on the traits that you think will make you a better match in the future.
  • If you are looking for love, set goals. For example, you might want to date two new people a month to increase your chances of meeting someone.

3. Carrera

If you're not happy with your current job, you need a plan to change it.

But even if you're happy where you are now, you still need to plan for your future growth and development.

And if you're an entrepreneur, you already know that planning is a prerequisite for business success.

Ways to include it in your life plan

  • If you're looking to change your current job, set a goal of submitting a certain number of applications each week.
  • If you are happy in your current job, imagine where you want to be in five or ten years. Then define the steps and time required to achieve those results.
  • As an entrepreneur, set annual goals for your company. considerCooperation with a business help you reach them.

4. Finance

Financial planning is closely related to your career aspirations. Set realistic financial goals for your chosen career.

When setting financial goals, keep your priorities and values ​​in mind. For example, if spending time with your family is important to you, you may choose to prioritize more free time over more money.

If that's the case, you may not want to run for the CEO position. So he won't be aiming for a CEO salary either. Adjust your financial goals accordingly.

Ways to include it in your life plan:

  • Set a monthly budget and stick to it
  • Familiarize yourself with the earning potential in your industry
  • Set long and short term goals
  • Consider working with a financial advisor

5. Community

One of the keys to a long and healthy life is belonging to a community.

According to the survey,Loneliness is as bad for your health as smoking. Yet only 53% of Americans have meaningful face-to-face interactions on a daily basis.

Ways to include it in your life plan:

  • Schedule regular get-togethers with friends and family
  • Volunteer in your community, e.g. B. in a nursing home
  • Join religious or spiritual groups

How to create a life plan (a life plan template) (5)

How to create an accountability plan

Creating your life plan is the easy part. The hard work starts with implementation.

Sooner or later you will encounter obstacles that will test your commitment.

It could be a career setback, such as not getting the job you want. Or it could be a personal challenge, like a breakup or health issue, that is slowing your progress toward your goals.

An accountability plan can help you stay on track. How to create one in three steps:

1. Find a responsible partner

Share your life plan and important goals with a trusted friend, family member, or mentor.

Ask them to help you stay motivated as you work toward your goals. They can do this by being your responsible partner.

A responsible partner is someone who helps you stay motivated and overcome challenges as they arise.

If you don't have a friend or family member who can help you, maybe you shouldconsider working with a trainer.

2. Measure your progress

Arrange regular checks with your responsible partner. These can be weekly, monthly or quarterly depending on your goals.

Give them an update in writing or in person at the agreed upon time.

Review your SMART goals and measure your progress. Let your responsible partner celebrate each victory with you.

3. Revise as needed

A life plan is a guide to help you reach your goals.

It has to be flexible enough to adapt if something doesn't work.

If you are having difficulty reaching your goals, work with your accountability partner to adjust your life plan and set more realistic goals.

A life plan template to get you started

A life project is a personal document. We are all unique in that we all have different priorities, goals, and values.

You can customize this life plan template to fit your needs. Alternatively, you can use your creativity to create your own.

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Life planning helps you move forward

Staying motivated during life's challenges isn't easy, but it is possible.

Small daily actions add up to significant changes over time. Life planning can help you put one foot in front of the other until you reach your goals.

Working with a coach is a proven way to achieve and even exceed your goals. find out howBetterUp's experienced coaches can help you get to them even faster..

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welfare Training

Posted on June 10, 2021

Erin Eatough, PhD

Senior Insights Manager

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