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wikiHow to Make a Life Plan

Three Parts:Determining Your PrioritiesCreating Your GoalsWriting Your Plan

One of the characteristics of life is that it is constantly changing. When you are feeling adrift, or simply want to figure out what your priorities are, you may want to consider writing a life plan. The beauty of a life plan is that it can give a structure to your life while also changing and growing as you do. Scroll down to Step 1 to create your own life plan.

Part 1
Determining Your Priorities

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    Consider what roles you play in the present. Each day we play different roles, or give ourselves different labels through our actions. These roles can include things like ‘daughter’, ‘painter’, ‘student’, ‘girlfriend’, ‘lover of cheese’, etc. Create a list on a piece of paper. Which do you think are the most consistent roles?[1]
    • Examples of other roles include (but are certainly not limited to): chef, dog lover, brother, photographer, boss, mentor, traveler, grandchild, thinker, etc.
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    Think about the roles that you want to play in your future. Some, if not all, of your roles from the present might be the same roles you want to play in your future, such as ‘mother’ or ‘painter’. However, these roles are the nouns that you would want someone to use to describe you at the end of your life. Think about any of the roles you are playing the present that are stressing you out or causing a negative impact on your life--perhaps those are roles you would like to cross from your list in the future.
    • To help you form your list, think about things that you hope to do. Do you want to travel to another country because you’ve never left your home state? If so, ‘traveler’ would be added to the future list.
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    Consider the reasons you play, or want to play, these roles. To create a life plan, you need to decide what your priorities are at this moment in time. To do this, consider the roles that you want to continue playing, or those you want to add to your life in the future. What is the reason you want to play a certain role? Maybe you have ‘father’ written on your future goals because you want to have children with your partner and give them an amazing life.
    • A helpful way to figure out the reasons behind your desires is to imagine your own funeral (while this is a morbid thing to do, it really does help!) Who would be in attendance? What you want people to say about you or describe you as? Perhaps the most important things you would want someone to say is that you were an amazing mother and changed the lives of thousands of animals through the organization you volunteered with.
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    Write down your priorities. Once you have really considered the why behind the things you want to be and do in your life, make a list of them. Making a list will help you to stay organized when coming up with your plan.
    • For example, you list might include: am ‘sister’ because I always want to be there to support my brother; want to be ‘writer’ so I can write down my grandparents’ story, etc.
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    Think about your physical and emotional needs. What will you need to be the person you want to be? If one of the roles you want to play is ‘climber of Everest’, you’re physical needs might include staying fit and eating well. If one your roles is ‘friend’, your emotional needs might be met by surrounding yourself with loving people.[2]

Part 2
Creating Your Goals

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    Consider what goals you want to accomplish during your lifetime. Use your roles, priorities, and needs to help you solidify some things you want to achieve. Think of this list as your ‘bucket list’--what do you want to do before you die? Remember, these are the goals you really want to achieve, not the goals you think others want you to have. If you need some extra help narrowing down your ideas, consider putting your goals into categories. Some example categories include:[3]
    • Career/Vocation; Social (family and friends); Finances; Health; Travel; Knowledge/Intellect; and Spirituality.
    • Example goals (according to the order of categories): Become a renowned architect; get married and have two kids; make enough money to comfortably send my children to college; maintain a weight of 120 pounds; visit every continent; earn my Master’s Degree in Architecture; visit Borobudur Buddhist temple.
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    Write down some specific goals with specific dates to achieve each goal by. Once you have outlined the vague goals that you want to have in your life, such as earn your Masters, set out some defined goals and the dates that you want to reach them by. Here are some defined goals that are less vague than the ones written in the previous step:[4]
    • Lose 10 pounds by June of 2014.
    • Be accepted to Master’s degrees programs in architecture by April 2015.
    • Travel to Indonesia to visit the Borobudur temple in 2016.
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    Figure out how you will accomplish your goals. This means assessing where you are right now. What steps are you going to need to do actually reach your goal from where you stand in the present moment. For instance, to continue with the goal of getting a Master’s in Architecture:
    • From now until April 2015, you will need to: A. Research graduate architecture programs. B. Write any necessary documents for the program’s application. C. Fill out the rest of the application and submit it to the proper authorities. D. Wait to hear back from the schools. E. Pick the program that you want to attend from the programs that accepted you. F. Enroll!

Part 3
Writing Your Plan

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    Write down the steps you will need to take to reach each of your goals. You can do this in any format you like--handwrite it, type it in a Word document, paint it on a large sheet, etc. Whatever format you choose to use, write the steps you will need to take to achieve each of your goals in chronological order. Congratulations--you have just written out your life plan.[5]
    • This is a good time to review the details of each step--like the names of the specific graduate programs you are going to apply to. Or, if one of your goals is simply to be happy, write out the details of what will make you most happy along the way.
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    Review your life plan. One fact of life is that it always changes--and so do we. The goals and priorities that you had when you were 15 are probably not the same as the goals you will have when you are 25 or 45. It is important to review your life plan every so often to make sure that you are following a plan that will truly give you a happy and satisfactory life.
    • When you review your life plan, also assess the successes that you have achieve so far. It is good to keep track of your accomplishments.
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    Adjust your life plan. When you do find that your priorities and the goals associated with those priorities have changed, its time to rewrite at least part of your life plan. Consider what is different, what is more important to you now, and how you will achieve this new goal. Rewrite your life plan as much as you need to.
    • Don’t limit yourself to a certain number of goals--your life plan is a fluid thing. Add goals as they become priorities in your life and remove those that aren’t as important anymore.


  • Continually revisit and adjust your plan. Your life will constantly change--your plan should too.
  • Don't be too hard on yourself if you miss a date that you planned to accomplish a goal by--make adjustments to your plan and continue forward.
  • Be yourself and don't let anyone put you down for who you are.

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Categories: Creating Life Balance | Personal Development