Developing a life plan is one of the most important things you can do if you intend to grow.
For years, I’ve developed personal and professional goals. And for years, I’ve been hit or miss in accomplishing them. I wasn’t ever sure what was keeping me from achieving my goals; but I was missing something.
A couple of years ago, I changed my approach to goal-setting. I continued to create an annual list of goals, but I added an extra dimension. I started breaking my goals down into quarterly action steps. And I posted these on the wall above my desk.
When I completed a task or a goal, I crossed it off the list.
This process helped my increase my completion percentage by a good amount; but I was still not as effective as I knew I could be.
That’s when I discovered how to create a Personal Life Plan. In January of this year, I embarked on a new approach to personal growth.
Most of the information for this new method came from Michael Hyatt. He wrote a post in 2008 detailing how to create a Personal Life Plan.
So I decided that I’d give it a shot. I set aside a couple of days in late January and went out to Discovery Ministries. In the quiet and solitude I experienced there, I read, listened, and wrote down ideas about how to be more intentional in my life.
Shortly after that, Michael released his ebook Creating Your Personal Life Plan. You can find out more about it at his website. This is an incredible resource; and it will help you develop a strategy that can influence your life drastically. But in order to experience this, you have to use it.
Here’s a part of my strategy:
- Annually – I plan on taking a couple of days in January every year to review and really dig into my Personal Life Plan. I want to make sure that I’m on track with where I want to be. If I need to add new areas, I will. If certain areas need to be dropped or changed, I can do that as well.
- Every 2 months – I take what I call a Personal Retreat Day. This is an opportunity for me to review my Personal Life Plan and create action steps for each of my growth areas.
- Weekly – Every week, I take an hour to make sure I’m on track with my action steps. This helps me to identify what needs to be done immediately to ensure my growth.
- Daily – Each day, I take about 15 minutes to glance over my action steps, checking off what I’ve accomplished, or taking note of what I need to work on for that day.
That’s my plan. I’ve only been using this system for a few months now, so I’m sure I’ll tweak it as time goes by. But it works for me so far.
Why am I doing this? Because I want to be the best man I can be: in my relationship with God, in my relationship with my wife, in my relationship with my kids, as a leader, as a minister, and in other areas.
If I’m not intentional about growing personally, the results can be disastrous. You can read about some of the consequences of a life that is out of balance in a recent post by Michael Hyatt.
In order to avoid the consequences, and grow to be more of the person I want to be, and God wants me to be, requires a strategy. The Personal Life Plan approach seems to be the most effective way I’ve tried. So far, I’m pleased with the results.
How do you make sure you succeed in achieving your goals? What’s your strategy? Share your ideas in the comments section.