Life Planning

The 4 Essential Questions for Any Life Plan

Most people approach the future like someone armed with a machete in dense undergrowth: they find their way by trying to see past everything competing for their attention, knocking aside obstacles as necessary. The result? Wasted energy and lack of direction.

Creating a plan for your life is like building a railroad: it provides a track for you to run on, leading to a predefined destination. Where goals can only go so far, a life plan takes you further into the distant horizon. But not just any life plan will do.

To go the distance, every life plan must include answers to four essential questions.

Who are you?

There will never be another person exactly like you—with your combination of interests, experiences, knowledge, passions, skills, and resources. To best leverage all that you have, you need insight into who you are.

We believe the best way to answer this question succinctly and actionably is by discerning your specific values and crafting a mission that makes you excited to get out of bed in the morning. Together, your mission and values act as a kind of compass. They shape big-picture and everyday decisions. 

What will you do?

It’s not enough to know who you are. Your future can’t run on conviction alone. You need a vision for how you’ll apply everything within you to create a brighter future. You need a compelling vision.

You’ve heard us talk about vision before. It’s essential for achieving the Double Win. You leverage vision every time you set SMARTER goals. But SMARTER goals only take you a year into the future. That’s not far enough to provide holistic direction for your life.

On the other hand, most life plans ask you to look decades into the future—even reaching as far as your deathbed. It’s hard to create a reliable, detailed picture of the future when you’re looking that far ahead. And for some people, thinking about death makes it harder to achieve the abundance mindset that’s essential to effectively imagine a compelling future. LifeFocus is different.

LifeFocus takes you to your birthday ten years from now and helps you craft simple, compelling visions for each of the nine domains: body, mind, spirit, love, family, community, money, work, and hobbies. The best part? We’ve made it fun and simple with insightful, easy-to-use card decks. When you can see a future you can’t wait to live in your mind’s eye, you gain clarity into the way forward.

Why does it matter?

Identifying your motivation is a key part of setting SMARTER goals. LifeFocus is no different. But you have access to even greater motivation for your LifeFocus. Why? The answer is two-fold.

First, you’ve already identified your values and mission. When you tie what you do directly to who you aspire to be, you access deep wells of motivation that you can draw from even on days you feel demoralized.

Second, you have a bigger picture. You’re not simply thinking about an exercise goal but about a holistic vision of what it will feel like to be in your body. You’re not thinking about a single date-night goal; instead, you have have a robust vision for how you will relate to your spouse. The big picture will continue to feel compelling, even when a specific goal temporarily loses its shine.

How will you do it?

Aspirations are powerful, especially when they’re clearly defined. But let’s be honest. Sometimes, big dreams are intimidating. How will you get from where you are now to where you want to go? Milestones and habits.

Milestones break down your vision into smaller, more accessible checkpoints. While you revisit your vision for inspiration, your milestones help you focus on what needs to happen next. These milestones easily translate into SMARTER goals, which in turn help you identify candidates for your Weekly Big 3 and Daily Big 3.

Habits, on the other hand, streamline your success by eliminating unnecessary thinking and decision-making. Like milestones, they can become SMARTER goals (specifically, habit goals). They help you invest steadily through ongoing action that takes you where you want to go.

All that’s left is to walk it out with your Full Focus Planner.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we use and believe will add value to our readers. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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