Mental Health

How to Plan For The Life You Want

Is there a goal you have for your life, but no clue on how to get there? Keep reading to find out how to plan your life in seven simple steps.

By URLife Team
07 Jul 2024

You might want to reduce stress, exercise more, or change your diet. Or perhaps you're considering a career change or getting into (or out of) a relationship. But why haven't you made those changes yet? Changing your life is often easier said than done. And it definitely would be a lot easier if you had a roadmap for how to succeed in life.

But life comes with no maps, and it’s up to you to create a plan that tells you what you need to do to get where you want to be. The world is changing, and you must change with it. Clinging to a long-term strategy like the five-year plan isn’t going to work anymore. But letting go of your need and desire to know what the future holds does not mean a freefall into anxious indolence. Having a plan also increases the likelihood that the changes you want to make will stick. 

For many people, reevaluating their careers is at the top of the list. But it can be tough to let go of old plans since it can leave you feeling directionless; and micro planning can help with this.


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What’s Micro-planning?

When you want to do well and be part of important changes, being able to adapt is really important. But it doesn't mean just going along with things and accepting whatever happens. In other words, micro-planning means breaking big goals into smaller steps for each day, week, month, and year. During stressful times, it's important to consider how stress affects your thinking and functioning. Micro-planning can help manage stress while improving your decision-making skills.

There are six elements of micro-planning:

  • Purpose: Identify a compelling purpose that provides flexibility in achieving your goals. Many people are at a crossroads in their careers, but looking back, you can discover a common thread connecting your different roles. 
  • The Year: As you plan for the year ahead, ensure that your goals are aligned with your purpose. Reflect on the previous year and what worked (or didn’t work) and take into account past lessons you’ve learned. Identify one to three areas of growth to focus on based on your past experiences.
  • Quarters: Every three months, take a moment to think about what you've been working on and how you've been working. Ask yourself questions like: What did I learn? What worked well, and what didn't? Based on what you've learned, set some goals for the next three months. It's best to have no more than five goals. It can be helpful to focus on a few things rather than trying to do too much at once. You might also want to consider setting a personal goal and how it can make things better.
  • Months: Each month, review your goals for the next three months. For any goals that are still in progress, break them into specific projects. Then, break each project into smaller steps. For example, if your goal is to find a new job, the first step might be updating your resume and reaching out to your network. The next step might be applying for jobs and going to interviews. Finally, take some time to relax and celebrate once you've achieved your goal.
  • Weeks: At the start of each week, make a weekly to-do list — rather than a daily one that’s a mile long and leaves you feeling defeated when you shut down for the day. This way, you can better plan for the week ahead and have more flexibility. It's not just about work tasks!
  • Days: Finally, track your energy on a daily basis. Gathering data about yourself and your physical, mental, and emotional energy at the end of the day can give you powerful information as to how to optimise your workflow. Keep a journal by your bedside and jot down how you felt emotionally, mentally, and physically. Also, note what you worked on, how it went, and what you learned. It's also good to write down what you're grateful for. This will help you understand how to make your daily routine more efficient.


Related story: 5 Strategies to Build A Meaningful Career


Ways To Make Plan For The Life You Want

One way to feel less stressed is to have a plan. When you feel in control, it can help feelings of anxiousness or depression. Planning can also help achieve more. Even though no one can predict the future, having a plan can still help with lessening stress and achieving success. It's all about how you think about time and goals.

The great news is that even without a user manual for your life you can still create plans that perfectly align with your needs. Here are some ways one can make plan for the life they want to live:


1. Take 100% responsibility of your actions

Isn't it time to take control of your life? It's easy to fall into the trap of believing that someone else is responsible for making our lives great. But the truth is, the only person truly responsible for the quality of your life is you. Everything about your life, from your income to your relationships, is a result of your own actions or inactions. You are the conductor of your life orchestra, and it's up to you to create the peace you desire. So, take charge, make changes, and strive for the life you truly want. It all starts with you.


Related story: Achieving End-of-Year Work Goals: Easy-Peasy Guide To Meeting Deadlines


2. Be real about what’s stressing you out

On the journey to create a life plan, it's important to start by identifying what you truly desire and what areas of your life you want to transform. The initial step can feel daunting, leaving you unsure of where to begin. This is where taking a moment to assess your current reality and acknowledge what isn't working becomes invaluable. Your relationships, career, well-being, finances, living environment, and various other aspects of your life can bring both satisfaction and strain. 


3. Make small steps towards future endeavors 

It's imperative to think about your future, not just what's happening right now. If you set clear goals for yourselves, it can help us get to where you want to be in the long run. So, think about what you want your life to be like in the next few months, years, or even decades. Once you have an idea, you can figure out what you need to do right now to make it happen. Thinking about the end goal can help you see what steps you need to take to make your long-term dreams a reality.


Related story: 3 Mental Health Goals For A Happier 2024


4. Avoid things that drain rather than motivate you

Review your list of "what's not working" and identify what's holding you back from your goals. Take a moment to consider whether there are commitments, relationships, or other aspects of your life that are not absolutely necessary. This is where you can start crossing items off your list. While there may be things you wish you could cut out but can't, that's okay - that's life! Instead, try to find ways to reduce these things as much as possible.


Related story: Natural Energy Boosters to Ace Your Goals


Planning for the life you want is a powerful and proactive approach to achieving your dreams and aspirations. By setting clear goals, aligning your actions with your values, and staying adaptable in the face of change, you can create a roadmap to success and fulfillment. Embracing the process of planning and making intentional choices that lead to a life that is truly meaningful to you. 

Mindfulness 101:Bring calm into your day with these daily tips. Sign up here.



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