Big Changes, Little Changes
Magazines these days are filled with articles on how to plan your life well in advance, but which don’t necessarily take fact into account that LIFE can, and will, get in way. What do you do when everything around is changing at a pace that even you can’t keep up with and your life plan certainly can’t? With all that has happened in world economy and decisions made by certain countries regarding terrorism and war, it is not a good idea to stick your head in sand and ignore it all.
What about when change happens at a more microcosmic level, i.e. what happens if you are one of casualties of recent ‘downsizing’ of firms in City so your life changes in a far more immediate fashion? Or what if your life changes in a positive way? You get married, get promoted, have a baby - you could even win lottery!
Reactive to Opportunity
Life plans are a good idea but for them really to work, they must be flexible so that they can still be useful when situations change. It is important for them to be not quite so specific as to ignore any opportunity that just presents itself because it is ‘not quite what you wanted,’ or if you feel that opportunity has come along too early or too late. There is a saying that "opportunities are viewed as more important with vision of hindsight" but this can be flipped to say that opportunities when they first present themselves can be seen as risks too large to cope with.
Bring Your Dreams to Life
So how do you plan your life in first place?
There are so many techniques that you can use for planning your ideal life, but one that works best is when you really and truly know inside and out what you want, how it would look and what it would feel like to be there.
Imagine Who You Want to be
You can start simply by imagining what you want to be doing on a specific day in future, for example 1st January 2020. Flesh out daily tasks - where are you living, who with and how busy is your day? What do you look like, how do you behave with others and what are your relationships like? All areas of your life should be included within your plan: Career, Friends and Family, Physical Environment, Health, Personal Growth, Money, Significant Other, Fun and Recreation.
This is not an exhaustive list - if there is a significant part of your life that is not included above, add another category or rename one.
Pay Attention To Detail
Once you know what you want, it is essential that you break each goal down into smaller ones that you can work towards on a daily basis. For example, if you wish to be healthy enough to run a marathon next year, you could sign up to your local gym today and start going regularly, or find a local running group to join, and then start doing smaller sponsored runs until running is a daily part of your life. Of course, just doing physical exercise is not only thing you can do to make this dream come true - for a goal of being healthy, you must also eat healthily, sleep well and enough for you (sleep amounts vary from person to person), be able to manage stress, among many other things.
Life Comes Around To Play
But what happens when you get sucked into day-to-day drag of life and end up realising that a year has gone by and you haven’t done anything towards your goals and you can barely remember what they were in first place?
So what CAN you do with your plan when life gets in way?