How to make a life plan: detailed instructions

Every individual living on planet Earth has exactly 24 hours in a day. Why does one person achieve all his goals and get the best from life, while another constantly faces certain problems and cannot become a more successful and happy person? The thing is that in the first case the individual thinks about the future and treats his own life as a long-term project, while in the second case the person lives for today and does not want to think about the future.

People who think that life planning is trivial, boring and restrictive will never be able to achieve the results they want. And this is not surprising, because without a properly drawn up plan for the year, it is almost impossible to expand your own capabilities, unleash your creative potential and improve your quality of life. Any successful person will agree with this.

How to make a plan for the year? How to set goals for 12 months? Do I need to create a draft plan for the year? What are the basic principles of planning your own life? In this article we will discuss these and other issues related to life planning and drawing up a plan for the year.

Why do you need a life plan?

Do you feel like you're not moving forward in your personal or professional life and aren't sure you've found what makes you happy? If you're tired of letting yourself flow without knowing where you're going, take a break from your crazy race that's getting you nowhere. Take a few minutes to think about creating a blueprint for your life. This is a great way to make sense of your life by giving it direction.

Keep in mind that once a life plan is determined, immediately after it is developed, steps must be taken to implement it.

“If you don't know where you're going in your life, you're leaving your gifts, your talent, the happiest hours and the happiest days of your life to chance.”

— Robin Sharma


Are you visual by nature? Then a vision board will help you in planning your life. Such a board is often made by those people who lack internal motivation to achieve their goals. If you are used to giving up halfway, then be sure to make yourself a board. You need to attach clippings from magazines or pictures printed on a printer that will personify your dreams. For example, if you want to buy a car, print out a photo of it and pin it to your board. If you want to become a leader, print a photo of a confident leader and place it in the center of your board. Looking at bright pictures every day, you will strive to achieve your goals with great desire.

Make sure you need a life plan

Regardless of whether you are satisfied with the path in life you have already taken, know that in order to achieve success in the future, the components and strategies that contributed to your success will not be the same.

It is important to be aware of this and determine the next stages of your life as quickly as possible. What will be the main projects that you are ready to undertake: a new professional opportunity, relocation, business, starting a family, etc.

Building your plan gives you the promise that beyond the vision, you will take action to achieve your goals. If you're just looking for a feel-good read about personal development without making the slightest impact on your life, there's no point in reading further.

This is a practical and concrete method for ending procrastination. So grab some paper and pencil and get started now.

So if you're not ready to grab paper and pencil now (or at least take notes on your phone), you're missing out on a rare opportunity to take control of your life.

You must be sure that if you are in need and suffering today, or even if you are already benefiting from exceptional resources without having a vision for your life, you are on an uncertain life trajectory that is leading nowhere.

Take control of your destiny by defining a vision for your life and then planning steps to move forward.

Before you start, you need to make sure you need a vision for your life because:

  • if you don't change anything, you will end up not being completely satisfied with your life;
  • A better life can be achieved when we give ourselves the means.

Target Sources

The main source of goals for the year is our personal meaning in life . If we have compiled it, it will be much easier for us in the future: to determine what is valuable to us in the year and what to discard. Or we will start from the idea of ​​what we want to achieve in 5 years. I give abbreviated examples.

My draft version of the personal meaning of life: to figure out “Who am I?” and where I am. Goals for the year: read books on psychology, philosophy, religion. Expand the “I” – unusual behavior, roles, habits, self-image, travel.

If we have determined our purpose, global goals, personal mission or values, we take them into account and plan goals that bring them closer or realize them. If the plan doesn’t work for them, then either the plan is bullshit or global goals.

My purpose: to help others achieve their goals. Goals for the year: creating a vision and implementing the project.

Global goal: to realize oneself as an entrepreneur in business. Diversified development. Goals for the year: work on website development, gathering a team, learning to write and edit articles.

Values: family, development, novelty, peace of mind, health. Goals for the year: try the unknown, step to the next level, improve yourself in relationships.

Sources of goals for planning your life.

The third source for life planning is our Wishlist :

  1. Dreams: learn to draw, sing.
  2. I have long wanted to: repeat a one-arm pull-up, weigh 63 kg, bend a spoon, visit Chile.
  3. Vision of an ideal day 12/20/2025: successful company, Spanish language, sports, vocals, family and children.
  4. List of 100 wishes: a bunch of goals for, family and future role in it.
  5. Life balance wheel: I fill all sectors to 9-10. I've been using it for a long time, I've already cleaned out the main stuff.

The fourth geyser is “I don’t want” reformulated into “I want”:

I'm angry that I have little energy ⟶ Explore your energy. Close old mini-goals ⟶ Make cheesecake. Crafts from napkins.

How to leave a life plan in 7 steps

First of all, you need peace of mind to determine your life plan. Sit in a quiet and inspiring place where you will not be disturbed for at least two hours. Turn off all notifications on your phone.

If you are not willing to spend two or three hours and or dedicate several hours to give meaning or direction to your life, then you will not be among the 5% of people on Earth who succeed in life.

“Tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.”

— Malcolm X

If you are tired of living automatically and want to manage your life, set goals and achieve them, you have every chance to succeed. So, let's begin.


When planning your life goals, you need to pay special attention to priorities. Sometimes a person wants to do everything at once. If a person chooses such a policy for himself, then nothing will work out for him. If a person focuses on one or at most three big things, then he will be able to achieve great success in his chosen areas. So think about what you want to achieve first. There are always things that can be put off, and there will always be projects that should be completed today.

A person must be able to distinguish between important and urgent matters and find a balance between them. For example, your job urgently requires you to undergo advanced training, but you are also required to submit an annual report. First of all, you should make a report, and only then think about how to improve professionalism.


Take a pen and paper and write down all the ideas that come to your mind. You can carry this list with you everywhere to capture ideas that may come up throughout the day or week.

It may be helpful to give yourself a few days to think about it. If you can't find inspiration, do this: mentally transport yourself 3, 10 or even 20 years into the future. Imagine what your perfect day, your perfect week, your year filled with happiness will be like.

You can also delve into your past (childhood, adolescence), focusing on moments in your life when you were very happy. Look for what made you happy in the experience. Was this possession something? Was it a group of friends? Was it in contact with nature? Continue on this path to find what makes you truly happy, forgetting for a while the standards set by society.

Close your eyes and immerse yourself in these moments using your 5 senses: sight, smell, taste, hearing and touch.

At this stage you define the vision. It should be clear in general terms, but not necessarily precise. If you enter elements that are too precise, you will limit your options and miss out on great opportunities.

Don't limit yourself, think geographically on a global scale, think as if you have no limits.


If you are serious about setting goals and planning your life, then you need to write a list of what you would like to buy. Without such a list, it will be very difficult to plan your future expenses. Of course, you don't need to plan all your purchases. The list should include things that you cannot afford to buy with one salary. This could be expensive equipment, branded clothing or accessories, as well as vouchers and subscriptions. Think in advance about what and in what month you will buy. This way you will be able to live within your means, without going into debt and not squandering your savings aimlessly.

Avoid classic mistakes

Here are some classic examples of mistakes you can make when you start planning your life. In most cases, a simple, more general formulation will suffice.

Classic mistake #1

Your vision is to live in a specific place, say on that island paradise you once went on vacation to. This is good, but too restrictive. In this case, you need to go deep into your mind to understand the original reasons for such a desire. Do you need the sun, the beach, nature, human friendliness, a festive atmosphere?

A better wording might be something like this: “I want to live near the water in a region where the weather is good all year round.” So, instead of settling down on an island paradise in the Bahamas, you will positively evaluate your professional opportunity in Hawaii.

Classic mistake #2

The desire to work in a specific company, to make it the ultimate goal of your professional career. Again, this is too restrictive. Rather, you need to take inventory of what you like about the business and then summarize. Additionally, while some companies may be viewed as very attractive from the outside, professional life on the inside can be frustrating.

Moreover, building your entire life around one business is dangerous. If you gain access to that company but one day lose your job, or if a conflict with your boss causes the atmosphere to become untenable, you risk putting yourself at risk entirely.

Whereas if your life plan states your career aspirations in more general terms, you are spoiled for choice to switch to other experiences that fit your life plan.

Classic mistake #3

You write a life plan to impress others. Lifestyle, material wealth, position in the company, social status... Is this really important to you? Or are you doing all this to impress someone? Perhaps you are doing this because your family strongly suggested it to you? Or because you want a bigger house than your neighbors, a cooler car than your friend?

You have to ask yourself: If all these people disappeared, would your goals still be as important? Check each element of your vision for life - it's what you want, not someone else wanting it for you. That you want to change your life not for the sake of others, trying to look your best for them.

So, take all the elements of your life project to either generalize them (open up new horizons) or eliminate them (after all, deep down you don't really need them). This simple check will allow you to:

  • increase the likelihood of success because the field of possibilities is expanded;
  • reduce the time to achieve your ideal in life, because you will take away everything superficial, everything that would force you to waste a lot of time, energy and money.

Article information

wikiHow works like a wiki, which means that many of our articles are written by multiple authors. This article was created by volunteer authors to edit and improve it.

Category: Family life

In other languages:

English: Make a Life Plan, Español: hacer un plan de vida, Italiano: Fare un Piano di Vita, Português: Fazer um Plano de Vida, Deutsch: Einen Lebensplan schreiben, Français: faire un plan de vie, 中文: 制定人生计划, Bahasa Indonesia: Membuat Rencana Hidup, Nederlands: Een levensplan maken, ไทย: วางแผนชีวิต, العربية: عمل خطة للحياة, Ti ếng Việt: Thiết lập kế hoạch cuộc sống

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Write your life vision

Your initial sheet of paper should be covered all over. Take a new piece of paper, a computer file, or your journal and write down an outline of your life vision. Summarize in 3-5 sentences.

Example of a life project:

So that my children have a good education and live in a developed country, away from big cities, away from pollution, in a socially beneficial area.

Constantly improve your skills and gradually switch to working from home.

Live in the mountains in winter and in a tropical country in summer.

Throughout my life, to be able to travel frequently and comfortably.

This example specifies inaccurate geographic locations and does not mention physical goods. This life project, as formulated, has the advantage that it is very flexible and has a high probability of becoming possible.

In any case, as you reach maturity and self-awareness, your vision will develop and gain clarity. If you're single now, expect profound changes in your outlook on life when you have a partner.

But the most important thing is that whatever path you take in your life, you do not compromise your values ​​or deep aspirations in your vision for life.

The road to success is not always straight. Sometimes you need to know how to take a detour to get to your destination faster. If today, despite this method, you are struggling to clearly define your life plan, you should not jump to the conclusion that this method is not suitable.

Maybe you're not relaxed enough. If you are young, perhaps you are not mature enough, you have not had enough experience to know yourself. Maybe you haven't had strong enough experiences to understand what happiness is. In this case, bookmark this article so it's easy to find, and resume this exercise in a few months: during your next vacation away from home, for example.

Life is long

When planning life goals, people quite often make the same mistake - they create too narrow a framework for the implementation of something planned. What if something doesn't go according to plan? Even the slightest mistake can cause one to give up and a person not to realize even half of what he had planned. Therefore, it is worth remembering that it is better to run two kilometers every day in the morning than to complete a marathon once a week. Well, I couldn’t go for a run today because I wasn’t feeling well – that’s okay. There are still six days ahead to catch up, adding only 300-400 meters to the total distance.

It’s also worth noting that it’s most effective to set “tempo” goals for yourself. That is, you need to run not a sprint, but a calm jog. Read 100-150 pages of scientific literature a day, but thoughtfully. This attitude towards self-improvement not only helps you stay motivated every day, but also helps you achieve your goals more effectively. Our brain is designed in such a way that it does not like to solve big problems. Therefore, it is worth dividing one big task into several small ones, writing down all the points in your diary.

Assess the required resources

Let's get down to business. Great intentions and dreams are good, but to flesh out and fully live this life project, you will need resources.

When it comes to money, we strive to finance life, and it is on this scale that financial goals should be set:

  • Durable goods that do not depreciate in value and, once purchased, can be used for life (real estate, land, boat). But be careful, after purchasing them you have to think about the costs of maintenance, maintenance and storage, periodic repairs, energy consumption, insurance, maintenance, taxes. These costs must be properly estimated so that they are adequately covered by cash flow.
  • Consumer goods that need to be updated regularly: subscriptions, services, car, household appliances, furniture.
  • Daily budget and leisure: food, fuel, services, subscriptions and more.

When you estimate the money you will need to finance a life project, you should classify it into two categories:

  • Capital: This is the price one has to pay to buy assets and durable goods.
  • Cash Flow: Monthly budget will fund your lifestyle, daily and leisure budget, renewal of durable goods.

Personal growth

Every day you need to get better. This is one of the most correct life principles. Having completed the points of the “Personal Growth” block, a person should note with satisfaction at the end of the coming year that he has done everything he wanted. He got better. Here are some goals you can include in your list for the new year:

  • Start learning a foreign language, and by the end of next December master it at an everyday conversational level.
  • Read 12 scientific books.
  • Find an interesting but not entertaining hobby. For example, start studying chemistry.
  • Sign up for some courses.
  • Unlearn making “emotional” purchases. We are talking about acquiring those things that you want at the moment, but two weeks later a person has a question about why he took them?
  • Develop your vocabulary. Learn one new term a day and remember its meaning.
  • Master mnemonics.

This block can include both educational goals and those related to purely personal self-improvement.

Find your way

Now you know what you want: you have a vision for life. It will develop over time. If you've already had a lot of experience and know yourself well, your vision shouldn't change radically. You need to strategize and plan to get there. And, above all, provide financing.

Just like a vision, your life plan will not be fixed. It will constantly evolve according to the opportunities and obstacles you encounter. Because life is full of uncertainty and filled with surprises, you must always remain flexible.

So now take another piece of paper or a computer file like Excel. Spend an hour, or several days if necessary, writing down all the ideas that come to your mind to achieve your desired goal.

Now the financial elements should come into play in your plan. Money will allow you to achieve your ideal, your freedom. Don't forget about the financial aspects of your life plan.

  • How to Create an Action Plan and Achieve Your Personal Goals

Don't stop brainstorming until you have at least 20 different ways to achieve your goal. If you need inspiration, go for a walk in nature. Don't write immoral, illegal, luck-based things on your list, such as winning at a casino, robbing a bank, waiting for an inheritance, suing someone, etc.

Relationships and family

Depending on the situation and personal preferences, you can change the “clerical” style of writing goals to a more convenient one for you. The following example will give you an idea of ​​what we're talking about.

  • There is fear and no relationship - I have to visit 15 different places in a year where I can meet my soulmate.
  • There is no more fear, but there is no relationship yet - go on 10 dates with one or different girls.
  • There are relationships - arrange a romantic dinner on the seashore, go on a trip abroad with your other half.
  • Additional measures - consultation with a psychologist, identifying the cause of fear.

You should formulate a goal in such a way that, looking at it, you want to quickly check the box next to it. To do this, it is not necessary to follow the above templates. It will be enough to draw up a plan that is as clear and convenient as possible. You can write down this plan in a beautiful leather-bound journal or hang it on the wall so that it is always in front of your eyes. You can even decorate it with pretty pens or pictures. In a word, do everything to make it comfortable for you to complete the assigned tasks.

As you can see, drawing up a life plan greatly simplifies the process of achieving your goals. For most people, simply resolving to “exercise in the New Year” won’t be enough. As a rule, a desire may disappear over time, but written words always have power. They will motivate you to get up at 5 am every day and go for a run in the winter cold.

Best idea so far

The main principle of this life planning method is to always work on the best idea at the moment. This will allow you to gain skills and, above all, to be on the move to discover new opportunities. Stillness gets you nowhere.

Put yourself into action on the best plan you have today until a better idea presents itself to you. The world is full of riches and available opportunities for those who try to explore them.

To explore, you have to be on the move. It is by constantly trying new possibilities that we find our way. And once you find it, learn it thoroughly and become one of the best in your field to create maximum value in minimum time.

Now that you have this long list of possibilities, add the following columns:

  • Implementation efforts;
  • Skills to be acquired;
  • The total time required to achieve the goal;
  • Probability of success.

Now that you have evaluated all your ideas, rank them from most significant to least significant.

Take the first three ideas and analyze their likelihood of success in more detail. From these three ideas, choose the best one and start working on it carefully until it produces results.

Then just move on to the second idea. The magic is that if your first list of ideas took a long time to develop, once you start promoting the idea, many more ideas will sprout within you and many opportunities will appear out of nowhere.

Focus on your first best idea and write down any new ideas on your list—they'll come in handy later.

Planning tools

To organize and plan your life, you need to use either a paper notebook or notes on your phone. The second option is more convenient for those who always carry their smartphone with them. You can enter your affairs on paper, but it will be inconvenient to carry it with you all the time. For example, at a meeting with a client, you promised the person to find out or see something. It will be easy to record this information in an electronic diary. And your personal notebook with your schedule will definitely not be present at the business meeting. You can write everything down on a piece of paper, but there is a very high chance that you will lose such information before you get to your office or home. Therefore, switch to taking notes on your phone, it’s convenient and practical.

How to implement a life plan

Now that you have identified the best idea so far, transform that idea into an action plan in several steps, ideally 2 to 4.

The minimum duration of each stage must be one year. At each stage, break your plan into smaller intermediate periods: 3, 4, 6 months.

Frame each major step and each intermediate step as a goal to be achieved. Then break the first step down into weeks. Every week his goal must be achieved.

There is no need to waste time planning the next steps until you have taken the first one. Because not everything will go according to plan. At first, you will fall into the classic beginner trap: you will underestimate the time and effort required. For example, as part of starting a business, you will overestimate financial income.

The benefits of a planned life

  1. Life according to plan includes a greater number of interesting events. Life with a plan becomes more interesting and varied. You won't have time to just lie on the couch and watch TV.
  2. A plan for life contributes to faster personal development of a person.
  3. Plans give creative freedom. When you clearly know what you want to achieve, you begin to use creative thinking to the maximum to get the desired result as best and as quickly as possible.
  4. With a plan for life, you will enjoy the present. You will have no time to dwell on past traumas or worry about the future. With a plan, you will learn to constantly be in a state of “here and now”, since all your tasks will be clearly planned in time for each day.

It is very important to learn to plan wisely. Competently making a plan for life means not losing sight of any area of ​​life. Living according to plan does not mean constantly just working, but also correctly finding time for hobbies, leisure, and spending time with loved ones and friends. A person who lives without a plan is often too lazy to even go for a walk. A person with a plan, who cares about his health and the right environment, will always have time and energy not only to work, but also to have quality rest.

The more experience you have in managing personal projects, the more accurate your planning will be.

Having a life vision, represented by a life project and implemented by a life plan, is the best way to move forward and ensure success.

Achieving your ideal life will take several years. If you think that you can achieve your ideal in less than a year without doing anything, it is because you are underestimating the effort, or you are not far-sighted.

There is no quick method. Making a life plan means articulating what you want. This makes it easier to make a decision when the opportunity arises. You can easily evaluate it by asking yourself the question: is this opportunity, this decision, this action taking me closer or further away from my ideal life?

  • How to Write a Personal Development Plan
  • Good habit: plan your day


As Napoleon Hill says: “I have studied more than 25,000 cases of failure and have been able to prove that lack of decision-making spirit almost always tops the list of the leading causes of failure.”

If you want to succeed and get results, you must:

  • Decisions.
  • Take responsibility for your life.
  • Act like a champion.

If you go around in circles, hesitating to start, you won't be able to progress and get results.

Don't forget that a dream is only an intention, and that without action, a dream will always remain an intention.

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