From high schoolers looking at colleges to young adults who have recently graduated, the most daunting question continues to be, “What are you going to do with your life?”.
This single question accounts for a stunning amount of stress and anxiety that can be found in most young people. But, for all simple problems, there is a simple answer. Create a life plan.
Your life comes at you in different stages. High school, then college, then entering the workforce, then middle age, then retirement. If you break down something so enormous, like your future, into smaller parts, then it is much more manageable.
Take your life, and split it into stages:
What will you be doing in your twenties, thirties, fifties or seventies? What are your goals for these phases of your life?
Studies show that mapping out what you want to do with your future makes you a lot more successful when those years come.
Take a blank piece of paper and start at the top. Divide the paper into sections: Up to age 25, 25-40 and 40-60. Now, write down what you want to achieve by these ages. How will you achieve this? What job/education will you have at this time? Simply take a piece of paper, and write down what you will do at this stage of your life to achieve your goals. Have a cause and effect. The effect should be the goal. For instance – at age 40 I want to own a commercial real estate holding company. The cause is how I will build up to this.
This style of plan has a very macro view of things – it looks at your life in large chunks. I like having this as it provides me rough guidance and sense of stability while allowing me to do my own thing. However, I find that a micro life plan also allows me to stay on track, motivated and focused.
This style of plan complements the larger life plan but is more of a short-term goals list. For instance, I am age 16 now, so my micro plan goes from 16-25 with a section for each year. At the bottom of the plan, I have my main goal – Millionaire By 25. Each age section has a smaller goal that will allow me to work up to the final goal for age 25. So for this year, my goal is to have an online income of two grand a month.
Many feel pressured when asked to create a life plan, and don’t want to create something that is concrete, and says that “you will do this, then.” You shouldn’t feel this – life plans change and grow with you. Personally, I’ve revised my plan at least five times in major ways.
You will find that making a plan of what you are going to do with your life makes you less stressed and more motivated to reach the goal. Jot down a quick goal, and pin it up on a wall. Review it every day, and remember – your life is what you make it.