How to Create a Life PlanVery few people would get in a car and start driving to a new destination without first putting the address in their phone or GPS. Yet, we are all thrown into life without a road map to having a life that we love. If you are new to creating a life plan or are wondering “how to get my life on track?” I am here to help.
Love Your ImperfectionsWhat is going to be exceptionally helpful on this journey to a life, is to be able to LOVE your imperfections, to love who you are right now, to be able to LOVE YOURSELF. If you have really low self-esteem that is likely going to be a significant challenge. You could “fake it till you make it” learn ways to increase your self-esteem and begin to really love yourself. There is incredible power and freedom in being able to own up to your imperfections or even others perceived view of your imperfections. To put this into context for you, some years ago I was told that I was “loud and colorful”, which wasn’t exactly the view that I held of myself at the time. As I pondered that assessment, eventually I had to admit that I am loud and colorful and accept that as who I am. To some people this is a flaw or an imperfection of mine. And yet, that is not how I view it at all. I am also very happy and get excited over little sometimes mundane things, which some people find really annoying. And I am happy with myself even when people tell me to “calm down” or “take a chill pill” when I am happily excited about something. It doesn’t faze me anymore. I am not the same person that I was years ago thought I have many of the same personality characteristics. What has changed is my ability to fully love myself and embrace who I am. It’s the ultimate freedom and I suggest that you open your heart to yourself. You are enough. You are ALREADY enough. In discussing practices that will allow you to love life, we must start with recognizing that you are good enough, loveable, and perfect the way that you are.
MasteryAs you take on creating a life that you really love, I want to pause and have a brief conversation on the topic of mastery. Mastery is defined as comprehensive knowledge or skill in a subject or accomplishment or control or superiority over something. Research shows that the number of hours it takes to become masterful or have mastery in a given subject or field is 10,000 hours. Malcolm Gladwell talks about this in his book Outliers – The Story of Success. A different author, Cal Newport, states in his book So Good They Can’t Ignore You that ridiculously successful people are that way because they practice. While there has been some controversy or disagreement on Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours concept, the point I am making is that you get good at something most often by doing it over and over and over. By practicing. By being willing to do whatever it is – even if you are bad at it – until you get good at it. Having a life that you love is going to involve you taking on some new practices – things that you are not used to doing. If you have the proper expectations going into this journey, it’s going to produce a much better result. And I am all about results! If you have not spent the last decade or more making lists, setting goals, thinking about what makes you happy, doing what makes you happy, creating a vision for your life – then ALL of this is going to feel foreign and uncomfortable to you. And that is okay and good. And at the same time, you want to expect that there is going to be a transition period until you have practiced so much that you are masterful – regardless of the hours it takes for you to get there.
Think BigAs you contemplate the life that you want to create, I highly recommend that you think big! Thinking big is not a common phenomenon in our culture. We tend to think that you have to start at the bottom and work your way to the top. We tend to think that you can’t double your income or triple your income in a year. We tend to put limits on what we can achieve. An excellent classic book on this subject is, Think and Grow Rich, written by Napoleon Hill back in 1937. Another way to consider this topic is to start looking at what miracles you would like to have in your life. What things, unexpected as they may be, would you love to have happen? What would you be doing if you could do anything? What would your life look like if you had a magic wand or if you were granted 3 wishes by a genie? What are your dreams? What are your hopes? What is it that you want that you might not even be able to tell yourself or your friends? If you can answer these questions that will put you on the path to thinking big.
How to Create a Life Road MapTo create a road map for a life that you love, there are many aspects that you will have to consider and flush out over time. To help you get started on this exciting journey, I have sketched out a diagram of things to contemplate. Creating a life that you love doesn’t happen overnight. It takes thought, consideration, planning, action, growth and development, and more. You might be surprised to learn that only about 3% of Americans write their goals down on paper according to the research, and less than 1% review and rewrite their goals on a daily basis. And I can just hear some of you moaning and groaning right now at the thought of writing down goals or making lists. Yes, you will have to make notes, eventually write up goals, and yes, review them on a regular basis. People with goals that they have written down are 50% more likely to achieve their goals. And yes, I have been doing these things for pretty much my entire life. Here is a visual of a very simplified starting point to creating a road map for your Life: However, you can do this or whatever form it takes. These are the questions that you are going to have to answer to start creating a life that you love! If you are in a dark place or as I call it “up against it”, it could be overwhelming to embark on answering these questions. Do it anyway. Your life is never going to change if you don’t start doing something different. Consider: if you devoted 15 minutes a day for a year to improving your life that would equal over two 40-hour work weeks. So, what are all the things that you can accomplish in 15 minutes? You could start answering the questions on the road map sketch. And clearly write the answers down! Decide whether you will notebook, scrap paper, or maybe even get a fancy blank journal. I recommend that you do it in a way that brings a smile to your face. Remember this journey is all about love, happiness, the good stuff, and having fun along the way! If you look at having a life that you love as a chore…it’s kind of counterproductive. Completing things is very, very powerful. Whether it’s a job, a task, a project, or a relationship, getting things finished, cleaned up, or done is a life-giving force. The best advice on answering the questions listed in the visual is to be honest with yourself. No denial. No inflated exaggerations. Just the hard, cold truth. And sometimes that is painful. But so is living a life without love and joy. The more honest you can be with yourself, the more likely you are to attain the goal of you living a life that you love. I am extremely excited to be supporting you on your journey to a life that you love! Please let me know if you have any questions by contacting me or posting in the comments section. I hope you are excited for yourself because I am over the moon excited for you. Count me in as one of your fans, someone to love you through the process, encourage you, nurture you, say the hard things you might need to hear, and just cheer you on!