One of my favourite pastimes is dreaming about, and then planning, our next adventure. Did you realise you can use these same skills to create your entire life plan?
Like most people in the lead up to a holiday, sitting down and planning it is almost as enjoyable as actually going!
When thinking about how to create a life plan there are a lot of similarities with booking your next holiday. Do you spend as much time planning your life as you do your holidays?
When Tash and I plan a getaway we like to mix it up. Sometimes it’s carefully planned and booked in advance, other times we’ve just booked flights and figured the rest out when we land. This usually depends on how much time we have – same goes for when you create a life plan.
We were in San Fran a few years ago, one of the key things on Tash’s to-do list was to see Alcatraz. I’d been before on the Insufficient Funds road trip but was still keen to check it out again.
Tash was keen to book tickets and make sure we didn’t miss the boat, but as the boys and I had no trouble getting on the first ferry across last time, I had no interest in doing this and didn’t take the time to do it. We were road tripping and wanted to keep things flexible. We were there for four days so I confidently assured her that we’d be fine going whatever day we chose.
As you’ve probably now guessed we couldn’t get tickets the day we rocked up at Fisherman’s Wharf and it was booked out for the entire week! Epic fail.
(So I did what any man would do when over-confidence has lead straight to the dog-house…I made up for it by sneaking off and having this guy write an apology poem for me. He’s like the real life version of a Fiverr gig. It’s no Robert Frost, but at least it got a laugh).
The point I’m getting at is that it’s one thing to have an awesome to-do list, but it’s another to take the time out and actually think about how and when you’re going to tick things off.
You’ve hopefully already read my Life Plan Step 1, so here’s Life Plan Step 2: Actually have a plan!
Below are my tips to help you get a life plan in place – short term and long term, even if just an outline and even if it might change (and it will!). You need to invest the right amount of time – it is worth it. This is where that simple to do list lays the stepping stones towards your bigger goals.
Don’t set your life plan in concrete
The key to planning is thinking about your future and visualising what it would be like. This is a motivator to do the work that will ensure you get there. But, along the way you will undoubtedly discover other parts of you, new things you enjoy doing and you’ll pivot many times over. Let this happen, the key is that the initial plan got you thinking and moving.
This is your life plan, not anyone else’s
Focus on you and don’t compare yourself to others. This is a difficult thing to remember sometimes but use your own creativity and individualism to avoid conforming to your parents or friends view of what your life should be like.
Take action NOW!
The planning process is only as good as the action you take as a result of it. Make small steps regularly:
- Pick a date, sit down and write out your life plan – if it’s not written down it won’t happen
- Visualise it, think about your ideal life and don’t be afraid to dream big.
- Don’t let ANYTHING become a roadblock and don’t make excuses.
- Work out how much money you need for each item. Do your research.
- Can you save for this yourself or do you need help structuring your finances to ensure you make the most of the situation? If it seems out of reach from a financial side of things – this is when you need to ask an expert – as per number 3!! Don’t write off big dreams because of money.
Speak to a financial coach or adviser to help you plug the money solution into your life plan. This will potentially save you a lot of time and money.
Remember it’s great to have a to do list, but tasks without a plan won’t get you very far. Invest time in creating your life plan, as you would your holiday, then attach the required level of action to make it a reality!
Need an extra push, or have a specific question?
This is the type of work I’m doing day in and day out with my clients. As a valued reader, I’m here to help – send me an email with the situation and I’ll happily spend 15 minutes of my time crafting a response to help you get started!