WTF is a Life Plan
Why You Need One & How to Create Your Own
My shit was a hot mess.
I was kicked out of the company that I started 10 years ago by my bully business partner.
My husband cheated and I was headed for divorce #2.
I had cervical cancer and my doctor recommended just waiting it out for a while.
Each piece of this absurd trifecta of trauma showed up within a few weeks of each other. Y’know, just to compound the gravity of each.
I had already gone through some badass shit and thought that life would go a little easier on me.
After all, I grew up with a single hippie mom on welfare and pretty much raised my much-younger siblings, buying their clothes and food as soon as I started babysitting and working at the A&W.
I was the first person in my family to go to college and worked lots of demeaning, minimum-wage jobs to pay for it – while still continuing to care for my little brother and sister.
My mom got breast cancer and I was by her side for every appointment, surgery and treatment for four years.
During that time my first husband left because he wasn’t up for the cancer-care lifestyle.
My mom died when I was 29. My brother was 14. My sister was 11.
Their dads were basically strangers to them, but both fought me for custody. It was an atrocious year for all of us. I was able to keep both kids and was a full-time, single, working mom.
See what I mean? I thought I had my fair share, but these next three blows in such a short period of time were a serious bitch slap and caused me to look at my life in a way I never had.
Rather than going into victim mode, I questioned MY part in all this bullshit.
I also started to think about, and write down, what I wanted my life to be. I knew the way it was going was certainly NOT what I wanted.
I read every self-help book and website I could find. I watched videos. Went to workshops and seminars. Took online classes. Interviewed experts. I took the best of what I was learning and incorporated it into the process I was creating.
I sketched out the life that I wanted in all the different areas like my body, my relationships, my business and finances. The process I was creating for consciously designing my own life was the beginning stages of my Life Plan.
Then I took that big picture vision for what I wanted in life and broke it into small things that I could start doing immediately to get me moving toward the life I actually wanted to live.
And you know what happened when I started living with more clarity and intention?
My life started to move in the direction I wanted.
I felt so powerful. And happy!
I healed myself of cancer and lost 30 pounds in the process. I started a new business that was more meaningful. I was dating really good guys. I tapped into my connection with the Divine.
The decisions I started making were in line with the life I wanted to live. That’s 100% because I had a vision for what I wanted and a step-by-step plan to make that happen.
I felt clear on what I wanted and because of that, I had the confidence to chase after it.
I felt like I was actually in control versus being in reactionary mode.
So WTF is a Life Plan?
Think of it as a blueprint for your life.
Can you imagine some construction guys trying to build you a new house without a blueprint? It would be months of confused, jumbled mayhem and the end result wouldn’t be what you wanted.
Same thing with your life.
Without a plan for your life, you stay in a place of chaos and uncertainty, reacting to whatever rowdy ruckus or repetitive routine needs your attention.
You know you don’t want that for your life.
You need a Life Plan so that you get what you want in life – and that feels good!
You’ve probably tried to figure out this whole happy, inspired life thing on your own, right?
You may have read the latest self-help book. Watched Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday. Maybe even gone to some workshops.
Perhaps you’ve endured a 5-day juice cleanse. Worked with therapists or spiritual healers. Taken some anti-anxiety meds or anti-depressants. Hit the wine bottle. Prayed to God on your knees.
Good for you for trying to figure it out!
Here’s the problem with all those things: they don’t get down to the nitty gritty of planning and living the life of your dreams.
I bet you plan parties though. You plan vacations and all sorts of stuff for work. You probably even have a money plan for retirement.
But nobody ever taught us how to make a plan for life. It’s just not a thing — yet.
Now think of how those other things would have turned out without a plan. Can you say “hot mess?”
It’s the same deal with your life. Without a plan, randomness rules and you won’t get what you want.
There are 4 Steps to create a Life Plan, each building on the last.
#1: Create what I call your Wish List for Life.
It’s a wholly honest brainstorm of what you specifically want in all the areas of your life.
It’s not what you feel like you “should” be doing or what others want you to be doing. It could be 180 degrees different from the path you’re on today – and that’s ok.
The Wish List for Life is all about deliberately thinking about and journaling what you most deeply desire. With wild abandon and no constraints. It’s about going to that daydream place where anything and everything is possible.
It covers all the main areas of life including your body, emotions, relationships, livelihood, finances, spirituality, lifestyle and your environments.
Writing prompts are helpful and can be something like this:
What I most genuinely desire for my body is: _____________
To feel extremely good about my relationship with my partner, I would have to start: _____
My ideal work situation is: ____________________
#2: Prioritize the areas of your life from most to least.
The reality is that you can’t focus on everything at once. When you try to do everything, nothing gets accomplished.
There are different times and seasons of your life where different things will be your priority, so just focus on where you’re at today.
Prioritization can be started by creating three categories – highest, medium, lowest. Then putting everything in your life in one of those three.
#3: Take the highest and medium priority items and weave them together into a Life Vision.
Your Vision is what you ultimately want your life to be in 10-20 years. This is your ideal scenario.
Be brave, unabashed , unapologetic! This is your life to dream up and design right now. Be specific about what you want.
Also consider who YOU are and how you are showing up in your life.
In this step, ask yourself: “What kind of woman lives the kind of life I want.” Write down who that kind of woman is in your Vision.
#4: Choose three things out of your Life Vision that you can start working on immediately.
These are the things that resonate with you most and would bring you most swiftly and radically to your Life Vision. Things you can make some significant progress on in the next 90 days.
Then, for each, answer these questions:
– Why is this important to me?
– What small steps will you take to achieve this and by what date?
– How will it feel to achieve it?
With a Life Plan you get clarity on what you actually want and what makes you happy.
With that clarity, you have a tremendous amount of confidence and energy to go after the life that you want to be living.
You’re not reacting anymore. You’re mindfully making decisions and are in the driver’s seat.
When you follow those 4 steps, you’ll have an actionable plan to start living your life on your terms.
That’s exactly what I did to get me out of my shit storm of life and into a place where I feel clear, content and truly happy about today and my future.
Barbara, who recently created her Life Plan, says: ”You become the ‘conductor’ of your life rather than just someone in the orchestra reacting to what you are being told to do! It’s empowering to have a plan and direction.”