Do you feel you’re spinning your wheels in life? Does it seem like things haven’t changed in the directions that you wanted them to over the last few years? Consider perhaps creating a Life Goals Plan. An accurate, on paper, plan to give you the purpose, drive, and the direction that you’ve been missing.
Life Goals Plans or personal development plans help you decide where you want to end up. What you want to achieve. And the only way you will know how what steps are needed to reach these goals is by clarifying your specific targets. A personal development plan will help you make that first important step in defining your goals.
Here are 5 tips to get you started:
The first step is to write down everything that you would like to accomplish in your life. It doesn’t matter how crazy it is, it all goes on the page. Do not let the ‘nos’ in your head dictate what does and doesn’t go on the page. Self-editing can come later. For now, just write and write.
Perhaps think about using an app called “the most dangerous writing app”. Here you choose a time limit and if you stop writing for 5 seconds before that period has expired everything will get deleted. In this way, you can short circuit your internal editor and actually get on the page that you’re supposed to be on.
‘You’ are the best investmtnt you will ever make in your life. ~ Author unknown, possibly me? ~Amanda Ricks
2. Create categories:
After you’ve written down everything that you want to accomplish, it’s time to group things into different areas of your life. Some might be career oriented, some might be love driven, others might be regarding intellectual development. It doesn’t matter what your categories are, as long as you can make some.
The best thing to do is to abstract things a little bit so that things can more easily be fit under several hats. If you spend some time doing this, you should find trends emerging. If you’ve got, ‘quit my current job,’ ‘start my own business,’ and ‘become rich,’ you could put all these together into a category called ‘have my own successful business.’ This will be useful for the next stage of the exercise.
If some desire or plan runs contrary to other plans, then you’ve got to prioritise. If you’ve got the plan, of ‘have my own successful business’ but ‘don’t get up till noon and don’t do more than half an hour of work’ then that’s a contradiction. You’re probably going to have to decide which is more important to you and let the other one go (at least for now).
3. Break down the steps required:
Once you have your goals set, start constructing sub-goals that lie in between where you are and where you want to be. These are like your stepping stones to get you across the chasm that separates you from what you want.
In the above example, the two sub-goals to ‘have my own successful business’ are ‘quit my job’ and ‘start my own business’, which will both first need to be achieved before the final goal can be.
Once you’ve got the sub-goals, you break it down even further. What do you need to accomplish to get those things done? You can only quit your job if you have either enough savings or another source of income to tide you over. Also, be sure to note the significant obstacles in your way and find ways to overcome those.
4. Remember you are a STAR:
Try to remember what stands for each letter in “STAR” when working on your goals;:
- Specific – Be very clear and concise in what you expect and want to achieve.
- Trackable – Have a clear set-point and time frame for yourself to accomplishment the goal. This encourages self-accountability…
- Achievable – Remember, if you can’t achieve them, they’re dreams, not goals.
- Realistic – Keep it real, don’t try and re-invent the wheel.
Once you’ve done all that, then it’s simply a matter of starting on the first step in your plan.
5. Stay flexible:
Remember that as you’re pursuing your goals, you allow space for possible necessary changes. Life happens and often throws new things in our paths that require us to rearrange and reevaluate our plans accordingly.
However, note the difference between adapt as opposed to abandoning.
At least once a year, review your goals and development plan.Do they still apply? It is important that you do not end up steering yourself down a road that you no longer want to follow.
6. A final word of encouragement:
Here is a line of text that I typed out on my labeller and attached to my laptop when I developed my first personal plan.
What simple small step can I make today towards one of my goals? ~Amanda Ricks
I found that it helped remind me to recognise what my core goals were and also reading it helped keep me stay motivated no matter how busy life got.
Good luck and may success and happiness result.