How To Connect More Deeply With Yourself And Others

As we finish up the first week of the new year, my mind is flowing with ideas and plans for things I want to make happen. At times it feels overwhelming because there are so many possibilities, but I’m ready to take on this year with as much focus and clarity as possible (and a lot less endless scrolling – who’s with me?).

 

Part of my plan to stay focused comes from the word I’ve chosen to guide me through the year: connection. I want to use this word as motivation, inspiration, and clarity to help me make intentional and mindful decisions.

Connection is a topic that’s meaningful for many of us. Whether it’s connecting more deeply with yourself, making time for self-care, or simply connecting with others, wanting to feel connected in life seems to be an important focus for this year.

Today, I want to share what connection means to me and why I chose this word for 2018. If you want to create more meaningful connections in your life, I’m hoping this post will give you insight and inspiration to make it happen.

Why I Chose Connection As My Theme

Originally, my word for 2018 was community. To me, community means a group of people who come together, usually around one thing that they have in common. Of course, feeling a sense of community is so important and it’s something I want to work on this year.

However, I took a step back and thought about what made the community appealing to me in the first place. It turns out that what I really want is to feel connected with people in a deep, meaningful way. I want to have those connections with people that make me go ‘yes, this person gets me!’.

When I look back on all of the meaningful things that have happened in 2017, they all involve other people. Sometimes I think I can get by in life just doing my own thing and never asking for help. Or being my typical introverted self and not making the effort to go out and meet up with people.

But really, connection is where the good stuff happens. Our relationships with others encourage growth, insight, and new ways of thinking.

This is also a time where I want to connect with myself more and do things to help me stay grounded. This could be simple things like journaling for self-reflection and emotional processing, making more of a priority to exercise and eat well, and continuing to explore how I want to live my life and not get caught up with what other people are doing.

The Four Elements Of Connection

Once I decided that connection was truly what I wanted to focus on this year, I figured I should define what connection means to me (otherwise it would just be an abstract term that I’d thrown out there). I broke down my word of the year into four different categories which essentially sum up what connection means to me. Here are those categories:

Community

The first word for me is community, which means feeling included and including others. It also means meeting new people, getting involved in groups both online and offline, and feeling like I can contribute to something that doesn’t revolve around me.

Conversation

I also chose the word conversation because I want to have meaningful, deep, beyond the surface level and inspiring new conversations this year. That means stepping out of my comfort zone and finding people who I can have those conversations with. I also want to make sure that I’m taking care of the relationships I already have in my life by staying in touch and being a good friend.

Compassion

Another element of connection is compassion. To me, compassion means being less judgmental, more open-minded, and more supportive and encouraging towards myself and others. Sometimes I judge others before I really know them, and I judge myself for my weaknesses, so I want to be kinder and more compassionate in this area of my life.

Contemplation

I also chose the word contemplation, which I’m using to mean reflecting often and finding time to be with myself. Whether that’s through journaling, reading, meditating, or taking long walks, I want to spend time with myself and not feel the need to jump on social media or distract myself with unnecessary tasks. I want to continue learning about myself, getting to know my strengths, and spending time doing what I love daily.

P.S. I didn’t mean for all of these words to start with the letter C, but I actually love that it turned out that way. #AlliterationNerd.

How To Feel Connected In Life

These are a few of the things that I am doing to connect more with myself and others this year. If you’re also on a journey to feel more connected to your purpose, to yourself, and to others, I encourage you to think about these four elements and how you can make them happen in your life too:

  1. Community: How can you build or find more community in your life?
  2. Conversation: How can you enhance communication and conversation?
  3. Compassion: How can you be more compassionate towards yourself and others?
  4. Contemplation: How can you make time for contemplation and quiet moments alone?

What helps you feel connected in life?

Please leave a comment below and share what you are focusing on this year!

Why You Need To Always Make Time For Self Reflection

When was the last time you took a moment to reflect on your life? Maybe it was at the end of December when you were getting ready to welcome the new year (we all love a little end-of-the-year reflecting, right?). Other than that, there aren’t many times when we might feel compelled to spend time in self-reflection.

 

The truth is that many of us are so busy trying to move forward with our lives that we rarely take a moment to slow down and be at one with our thoughts. Plus, we often don’t recognize the importance of self-reflection and the impact it can have on our lives.

What if we made self-reflection part of our everyday routine instead of a yearly thing?

In my opinion, self-reflection is one of the best ways that you can shift your mindset, increase positivity in your life, and discover a greater connection to yourself.

Self-reflection has helped me to understand more about the way that I respond to situations, to not be completely oblivious to my faults, and to find ways that I can deal with situations positively instead of letting them consume me.

Today, I want to share the importance of self-reflection and why being a reflective person is so important for a positive mindset.

What Is Self-Reflection?

 

Self-reflection is the process of bringing your attention to what’s happening in your life in a mindful and open-minded way.

Self-reflection is all about creating self-awareness. So many of us focus on getting ahead that we don’t necessarily take time to reflect on what’s going on within us.

There are many ways to practice self-reflection, but I’ve always used writing as a way to process my thoughts and feelings. Journaling has helped me to learn more about myself by identifying patterns, habits, and regular themes that come up in my life. If I never took the time to get my thoughts out of my head, I probably would not be the positive person that I am today.

Why Is Self-Reflection Important?

Self-reflection is one of the best things you can do to create a positive mindset and discover a greater connection to yourself. Here are seven reasons why you should make self-reflection a priority in your life:

  1. To make sense of things

“There is no greater journey than the one that you must take to discover all of the mysteries that lie within you.” – Michelle Sandlin

Self-reflection can help you process your thoughts and feelings. When we keep our thoughts floating around in our heads, we only confuse or frustrate ourselves more. Getting your thoughts on paper can help you understand why you’re feeling a certain way and make those feelings a little easier to navigate.

  1. To uncover breakthroughs

“The soul usually knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind.” – Caroline Myss

Whenever I write, I end up with some sort of solution to my problems. I recognize what I need to do next because everything is laid out in front of me. When we keep thinking the same thoughts over and over without taking action, we see our problems as bigger than they really are. By taking a moment to pause, reflect, and look within, you’ll find that you actually have many of the answers you’ve been seeking for so long.

  1. To challenge your thoughts

“Don’t believe everything you think.” – Byron Katie

Self-reflection offers us the opportunity to challenge our ways of thinking. Most of us have a tendency to ruminate on the bad things; for example, our perceived weaknesses, mistakes we’ve made, or embarrassing moments. When you actually take the time to reflect and write these things down, it’s important to ask yourself if you really believe them. Eventually, you’ll start to realize that the things you tell yourself about yourself are not always true.

  1. To recognize change & track progress

“Self-reflection is so healthy. When I record the details of what I’m going through, whether it’s a relationship issue or negative thoughts, I can look back and see how far I’ve come. It makes me proud to see my progress and how I got through a bad situation.” – Kelly Rowland

Self-reflection allows us to look back and see where we’ve come from. If you take the time to write down a few thoughts about your day, you can look back on it in weeks, months, or years later and see how much has changed. This can help you recognize that the things you were so worried about before were perhaps not so significant.

  1. To increase self-awareness

“Change requires two things: a goal, and an awareness of where one currently is in order to assess the discrepancy between the two.” – Psychology Today

If you’re on your own self-improvement journey, you need to know both where you’re going and where you are right now. Without self-awareness, we can’t fully understand our emotions, values, goals, or strengths. I’ve learned so much about myself simply by reflecting on the place I’m at right now and considering how it will help me get to where I want to be.

  1. To inspire self-acceptance

“The journey into self-love and self-acceptance must begin with self-examination… until you take the journey of self-reflection, it is almost impossible to grow or learn in life.” – Iyanla Vanzant

I’m all about POSITIVE self-reflection and making sure that if I ever say or write something negative about myself, I follow it up with something good. This has helped me to increase my self-acceptance and keep going even when I doubt myself.

For example, I was having one of those days when I kept comparing myself to everyone. In my mind, I was telling myself that I wasn’t beautiful or pretty enough. I started to write because I knew this was something I needed to let go of. As I started to write down my feelings, I began to wonder WHY I needed to believe I was *pretty*. What importance did that have in my life? It seemed so inconsequential to who I am as a person. I started to write, “I just have to be confident in myself and know that I AM beautiful, inside and out.”

  1. To live with more intention

“When you’re living deliberately, you’re living from a position of responsibility; you’re making choices with greater awareness.” – Lauren Mackler

Reflecting on what’s going on in your life can simply serve as a reminder of what you do on a daily basis. Most of our days end up blending into one another, so regular reflection can be an opportunity to show you that the days are different. On the other hand, it can encourage you to think about how you can add more joy and fun into your daily life. 

How Do You Practice Self-Reflection?

I hope this post has encouraged you to make self-reflection a bigger part of your life. Remember that reflection is not about overthinking or focusing on the past – this is a time to connect with yourself and uncover your hidden depths!

Never Talk Yourself Out Of Something Again! Here’s How!

How many times have you come up with a brilliant idea for something only to psych yourself out of doing it? If you’re an overthinker or perfectionist, you probably talk yourself out of doing things on a regular basis.

Maybe you get all up in your head and convince yourself it’s no longer a good idea even though you were super excited about it before. Perhaps you pick apart your ideas and focus on what could go wrong instead of what could go right

Though it’s important to think things through and weigh the pros and cons, overthinking is often a form of procrastination that leads to inaction. In order to find success, you have to take imperfect action instead of living in your head.

In this post, I’m sharing the common reasons why we talk ourselves out of things, how that can sabotage your success, and ways you can take action instead of letting your ego get in the way. 

Why We Talk Ourselves Out Of Things

One of the biggest reasons you talk yourself out of things is because you think you don’t have the confidence to succeed. The keyword here is *think*. When you start to overanalyze your confidence levels, you pick apart the things about yourself that you’re not confident in. This only convinces you that you shouldn’t take action.

This also happens if you overthink things to death. When you go on tangents in your head until you’ve thought of all of the worst case scenarios, you start to fear the negative outcomes. But really, you’ve just created these negative outcomes in your own head.

Maybe you worry what people will think of you if you don’t succeed. This takes the focus back to the negative outcome again which creates more resistance towards a positive outcome. People are going to think what they think of you regardless. They’ll either judge you because you messed up or they’ll judge you because you never made an effort to change. 

When you continue this pattern of talking yourself out of things, you eventually make yourself believe that you’re not good enough to make changes in your life. You reignite that belief every time you decide to avoid or not do something. 

You hold yourself back from doing what could truly make a difference, not just in your own life but in the lives of others. Whatever ideas you have could truly make a difference in this world. Instead of focusing so much on yourself and how the outcome will affect you, think about how it could positively affect others.

After all of this overthinking and inaction, you later regret the things you never did and beat yourself up for not giving it a shot. We’ve all heard the phrase, “Better an oops than a what if” and it’s so true. If you are a logical and rational person, you will most likely be able to deal with whatever goes wrong – but you have to believe this about yourself.

How To Stop Talking Yourself Out Of Things

Don’t wait until you’re ready

There is power in planning, but planning often becomes a form of procrastination because you avoid doing the work. We plan because we want to feel prepared and ready, but there is really no such thing as feeling ready.

Instead, you have to build your confidence by doing little things every day that take you out of your comfort zone. Whatever the big thing is that you want to do, break it down into smaller steps and push aside any self-sabotaging thoughts. Don’t let perfectionism or the need to be ready give you a reason to procrastinate. 

Find accountability

You are so much more likely to accomplish things if you tell others what you’re trying to do. Even just saying your idea out loud to someone can help you recognize if it feels like something worth pursuing.

Whether it’s a friend, coach, or co-worker, share your idea with someone supportive and open-minded, not someone who might crush your idea to smithereens. The last thing you need is another person doubting you if you already doubt yourself. And even if this person never asks you about your idea again, sharing it can give you the push you need to get started on it.

Work on your mindset

Above all else, you need a strong mindset in order to get out of your comfort zone. A strong mindset gives you the confidence to take action and helps you become aware of the moments when you’re sabotaging yourself. Create a mindset routine like this one that helps you cultivate healthy thoughts about yourself and focus on what you want to accomplish.

 

What’s one thing you can take action on today?

I hope this post has encouraged you to get out of your own head and believe in your own ideas. By doing things before you’re ready, working on your mindset, and holding yourself accountable, you’ll start to see big changes in your life.

How To Level Up You Life With A Personal Growth Plan

Since you’re reading this blog post, I’m sure you’re a personal growth enthusiast like I am. There are things I want to change about myself, and I’m proactive in making it happen. There are also parts of myself that I don’t really want to change but probably should.

The problem is that personal growth isn’t just about learning. It’s easy enough to consume all of the self-help books and resources out there, but actually putting what you learn into action isn’t always fun. And if we don’t implement what we learn, we’re not really growing.

Maybe you want to make changes but never know where to start. Maybe it gets too overwhelming to make all of the changes you want to. Maybe you get excited at first but then lose sight of the goals and changes you want to make.

If you can relate to any of those statements, you need a Personal Growth Plan to keep you on track. In this post, I’m sharing how you can take all of the things you want to change and create an actionable Personal Growth Plan to make it happen. 

What Personal Growth Really Means

Personal growth is more than reading self-help books and liking quote posts on Instagram. It’s more than just meditating and detoxing your room with palo santo.

At its root, personal growth involves improving your habits, behavior, attitude, and actions. It involves self-discipline and commitment to yourself, even when you don’t really like yourself. 

In order to truly grow as a person, you have to actively work at your own growth instead of trying to absorb all of the self-help advice you come across.

The most important part of personal growth is self-awareness. You have to know your strengths and weaknesses in order to change. 

You also need a healthy mindset that encourages you to improve as a person, rather than believing that you are fixed and can’t be changed. We can’t change the things that have happened to us, but we can make choices and decisions that help ourselves in the future. 

How To Write A Personal Growth Plan

I’m a firm believer in taking action in order to actually make changes. It takes some serious work to improve the parts of yourself that you often try to avoid. That’s where a Personal Growth Plan comes into play.

Step One: Awareness

The first step to creating your personal growth plan is to identify the areas of your life that need a little TLC.

I’ve shared an exercise on the blog before called the Wellness Wheel or the Wheel of Life which is a coaching tool I use with clients to see where they’re struggling and where they’re thriving. 

The best way to create awareness around the areas of your life that need improvement is to rank the following on a scale of 1-10 based on how satisfied you are with them:

  1. Physical Health – The way that you take care of your body

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Do I get enough physical exercise each day?
  • Do I eat a balanced diet?
  • Do I have a healthy sleep schedule?
  1. Mental Health – The quality of your thoughts and attitude

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Am I kind to myself and do I make healthy choices for myself?
  • Do I reach out for help when I need it?
  • Do I know how to calm myself down when I’m stressed?
  1. Spirituality/Personal Growth – How you connect with yourself and learn new skills

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Do I have regular practices that help me connect with myself (journaling, meditation, reading)?
  • Do I make time for learning to improve my skills and knowledge?
  • Do I have goals that I’m working towards to improve myself?
  1. Relationships – The quality of interactions with family, friends, partner, and colleagues

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Do I have reliable friends and people I can count on?
  • Do I spend quality time with other people?
  • Do I feel that my relationships with others (romantic or non-romantic) are healthy?
  1. Recreation – The way you spend your time outside of work

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Do I make time for hobbies and activities outside of work?
  • Do I take enough time to simply relax?
  • Do I allow myself to have fun without feeling guilty?
  1. Finances – How you handle money and savings for the future

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Do I make smart choices with my money?
  • Do I keep track of my finances and know exactly where my money is going?
  • Do I have money goals that I actively work towards for the future?
  1. Career – Your productivity levels and attitude towards work

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Do I feel a sense of purpose with my work?
  • Do I feel valued and affirmed at work?
  • Am I appropriately compensated for the work I do?
  1. Home – Your level of comfort with your living space

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Do I feel comfortable and secure at home?
  • Do I live in an area that I enjoy living in?
  • Am I comfortable with who I share my home with?

Step Two: Focus

Now that you’ve ranked each area from 1-10, choose 1-2 areas to focus on for your Personal Growth Plan (PGP). These don’t necessarily have to be the areas that you gave the lowest score. Sometimes the things we score low are only temporarily that way. Instead, choose the areas that you feel excited or drawn to work on first. It’s important to only choose a few to work on at a time otherwise it will feel too overwhelming and you’ll lose motivation.

Answer these questions:

  1. Which areas do I want to work on first?
  2. Why do I want to work on these specific areas right now?

Step Three: Evaluate

Now that you’ve identified the areas you want to work on, evaluate where you’re at right now so you can brainstorm ways to improve. Repeat this process if you’re focusing on more than 1 area. 

Answer these questions:

  1. What does this area of my life look like right now? 
  2. What is missing or not working for me in this area?
  3. What would make me feel more fulfilled in this area?

Step Four: Brainstorm

Based on your previous answers, think about what it would take to increase your score by one point (e.g. from a 5 to a 6). Then write down what it would take to get you to a 10. The goal is to take small steps to increase your score.

Answer these questions:

  1. What would need to change in order to score 1 point higher?
  2. What would need to change in order to score a 10 in this area?
  3. What actions can I take in the next 3-6 months to improve my score?
  4. What habits would support my growth in this area?

Step Five: Create Your Plan

Set a time frame for yourself to work towards. 6-8 weeks is a good amount of time to truly see progress. The main goal here is to increase your satisfaction with the focus area(s) by 1-2 points. 

Next, create an outline of your Personal Growth Plan. Here’s what to include:

  • Area of Focus
  • Current Score
  • Goal Score
  • Timeframe
  • Action Steps
  • Daily Habits

Step Six: Follow Your Plan

At this point, you have a detailed plan to follow. The trickiest part is, of course, sticking to it.

Here are some tips to help you stay accountable:

  1. Map out dates in your calendar to keep you on track with your plan.
  2. Add reminders to your phone of the daily habits you want to stick to.
  3. Print your Personal Growth Plan and put it somewhere you’ll see it every day.
  4. Find someone who will hold you accountable. If you have a hard time sticking to your own plans, tell a friend about your goals. You could even have them go through this exercise too so you’re in it together.
  5. Put a date in your calendar to reevaluate your progress. In 6 weeks, go through the Wellness Wheel exercise again and see how you rank the area of your life that you’ve been working on.

What does personal growth look like to you?

I hope this post has encouraged you to start taking action to improve yourself. Make sure to grab the free worksheet and map out your own personal growth plan. Share your finished plan on Instagram and tag @healthful.hearts so I can see!

How To Design An Action Plan For Your Goals

Do you love setting goals but never seem to follow through with them? I’m sure you’ve felt the excitement of setting goals…only to forget about them a few weeks later. Don’t worry, I’m right there with you.

If you’ve ever not achieved a goal you’ve set for yourself, I’m guessing your goal wasn’t specific or realistic enough. You probably felt overwhelmed by how much work it would take. Maybe you gave up because you weren’t making progress when you weren’t actually taking any action.

If you want to start achieving your goals, you have to break them down into steps that don’t completely stress you out. I recently mapped out my yearly goals into action steps, and I’m determined to make them happen this year.

I’ve set goals for my health (train for a 5k), finances (pay off debt), and business (more clients, products sales, and sponsors). From there, I’ve figured out what I need to do on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis to make them happen.

Goals don’t have to be daunting. You simply need an achievable action plan. Because I want to help you achieve your goals, I’m sharing a simple process you can use to break down your goals into action steps. Keep reading so you can create your own step-by-step goal plan!

Goal Action Planning 101

“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.”

– Pablo Picasso 

What is an action plan?

An action plan is a step-by-step method to get things done. I like to think of it as a plan of attack. It’s a way to break up huge, overwhelming tasks into smaller, more manageable ones. If you’re overwhelmed by the amount of work your goal will take, an action plan will make it feel achievable.

Why do I need an action plan?

Creating action plans for my goals is something I’ve done since I was in college. Before that, I kept vague goal ideas floating around in my head until I forgot about them (surprise, surprise). Breaking my goals down into an action plan helped me get more done and generally feel more on top of my life. Also, it’s rewarding to feel like I’m making progress even if I haven’t achieved the end goal yet.

What if my goal isn’t actionable?

If you can’t find a way to break a larger goal into smaller steps, it’s most likely not the right goal for you. To figure out the right goals for you, I recommend reading through these posts first:

  • How To Define Your Top Priorities In Life
  • How To Create A Clear Vision For The Future You Want
  • How To Set Intentional Goals And Actually Achieve Them
  • 30 Goal Ideas To Nourish Your Mind, Body, And Soul

How To Create Your Action Plan

 

There are so many ways to plan out your goals, but this is a simple (yet detailed) process that has worked for me. Start by grabbing the free goal planner then follow the steps below.

Step 1 / Goal Planner

Download the free goal planner here or grab a blank piece of paper. Writing down your goals with pen and paper can make them feel more concrete.

Step 2 / Bigger Goals

Write down your top 3-5 goals for the year. For each goal, repeat steps 3-10.

Step 3 / Set Deadlines

Set a deadline for your goal. Be realistic with your time frame, but challenge yourself to get it done sooner rather than later.

Step 4 / The Why

Write your reason for pursuing this goal. The “why” is important for helping you identify the positive impact this goal will have on your life.

Step 5 / Habits

Identify a daily or weekly habit that will keep you on track with your goal. For example, keeping your phone in airplane mode while you work. Habits are the framework for success, so it’s important to align your habits with your goals.

Step 6 / Action Steps

List out every single step that needs to happen to achieve this goal. What it would take to get from A-Z? What about from A-B? Once you’ve done that, condense your list into 3-5 action steps.

Step 7 / Order

Review your list of action steps and order them in a way that makes sense based on what needs to happen first.

Step 8 / Smaller Tasks

For each action step you’ve identified, ask yourself what smaller tasks need to get done to make the larger action step easier for you.

Step 9 / Due Dates

Set a start date and end date for each action step and smaller task. Add them to your calendar or favorite to-do list tool (I love Asana).

Step 10 / Reminders

Set up reminders on your phone or computer so that you always know when to work on each action step or habit.

How To Stay Focused On Your Action Plan

Visibility

Be clear on what you’re trying to do by writing down exactly how you’re going to do it. Keep your goals in a visible place (download this goal planner) so you’re reminded of them often. Review your goals every morning or week as part of your routine.

Responsibility

Take responsibility for your own actions. You have an obligation to yourself, so commit to yourself and your future. Don’t blame others for holding you back or delaying your success. Work on being consistent with your actions and putting effort into your goals day in and day out.

Resiliency

If you get off track, pick up and keep going. There’s no point using up your energy by worrying about how far behind you are. You might have to adjust some deadlines here and there (or completely), and that’s okay. Keep your vision for your future top of mind, and you’ll find a way to get there.

Need more tips for sticking to your goals? Read this post about goal setting.

“By thinking about your goals every morning, many times during the day, and every night, you begin moving toward it and bringing it toward you.”

– Bob Proctor 

Which goals are you working on right now?

I hope this post has encouraged you to break your own goals down into actionable steps. I’d love to know if this process works for you and what your top goals are right now. Leave a comment below and share your thoughts!

Learn How To Create An Intentional Life Plan For Your Future

Do you ever feel like you can’t figure out what to do with your life because you change your mind all the time?

I’ve personally never had one of those 5-10 year plans that people make. I’m an indecisive person with lots of passions, and I never liked the idea of sticking to one thing for the rest of my life.

The trouble with not having a solid plan is that I never knew what my life was going to look like. I’ve known people who’d decided their career path in high school or knew exactly what age they wanted to get married and have kids.

Not having a solid plan for the future can be both a blessing and a curse. Though it means you’re open-minded to what might happen, it also means you might lack direction. Being indecisive can make you think you have it all figured out until you end up changing your mind one week later.

If you have no clue what the future holds or you’re not sure if you’re on the right path, it can feel like you’re never going to get anywhere. Luckily, you can create a plan for your life even if you have no idea where you’re headed.

With a life plan, it becomes much easier to focus on what matters to you and not what other people are doing or telling you to do. In this post, I’ll help you find clarity around what you truly want in life so you can have more direction.

What Is An Intentional Life Plan?

You might think a life plan is only about the type of career you’re going to have. If people can figure out early on that they’re going to be a doctor, they’re set for life, right?

But what if you’re multi-passionate? What if you’re indecisive about the kind of job you want?

The thing is that a life plan includes more than jobs and relationships. Your vision for the future is about the values you want to uphold. It’s the legacy you want to leave behind and the small changes you want to make to yourself and the world.

Even though I’ve never had a 5 or 10-year plan in place, I’ve been clear on my values, priorities, and vision for my life. My values and priorities are specific, but my vision has been more open-ended.

Rather than focusing on your career, a life plan helps you visualize what’s important in all areas of your life. That way, you can have something to guide you when you feel lost. Even when you’re not sure what your future holds, your plan reminds you that you’re striving towards something that matters.

“Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Related Post: 7 Ways To Create A Vision For The Life You Want

How To Create A Life Plan

Visualization Exercise:

Want a life plan of your own? Here’s a quick exercise to help you get clear on what you want. Imagine the way you want your life to look 5-10 years in the future. Visualize what’s around you. 

 

  • Who is in your life? Try to imagine the types of people you’d like to surround yourself with. Maybe it’s specific people you know already. What are their personalities like? What are their interests and hobbies? How do they make you feel when you’re with them? 
  • What kind of environment are you in? Are you near the beach or the mountains? Are you in the countryside or in the middle of a bustling city?
  • What does your lifestyle look like? What kind of habits do you have? How does your morning routine look? What’s a typical day like for you? What do you do for fun?
  • What are your finances like? How much money are you making? What does your bank account balance look like?
  • What have you accomplished? Which goals have you made happen?
  • How do you feel? Are you content, motivated, calm, excited?

I created my life plan based on an exercise from Jack Canfield’s book, The Success Principles. After visualizing what I wanted, I wrote down a list of what I wanted from these areas of my life:

  1. Finances
  2. Career
  3. Physical Health
  4. Mental Health
  5. Spirituality
  6. Relationships
  7. Home
  8. Recreation/Fun

If you want to create your own life plan, you can brainstorm your thoughts using the Intentional Life Plan worksheet below 

Q&A:

What do I do once I have my Life Plan? Am I supposed to work on it daily?

  • The Life Plan is a reminder of what you’re working towards. You don’t have to use it as an action list, but rather a tool to guide you when you feel lost or uncertain about a decision. Put it somewhere you’ll see it every day to remind you of what’s important.

What if I’m having a hard time visualizing what I want?

  • Be patient and compassionate with yourself. You won’t find direction if you’re too hard on yourself. Do little things daily like practicing gratitude, meditating,  and journaling to help you with your soul searching. Keep going through the visualization exercise above and eventually you will have more clarity.

 

What does your Intentional Life Plan look like?

I hope this post helped you to gain clarity around what you truly want out of life. Don’t forget to download the Life Plan worksheet so you can map out your own vision!