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5 Step Process to Write a Simple, but Achievable Life Plan

As we head into a new year, I want to help you think through life planning. I believe in purposeful living and that means you have to be intentional in where you spend your time. We are told in Ephesians 5:16 to “make the most of our time.”

Here is a reality I have experienced personally and in observation of so many others. Most likely, the degree of success you experience this next year will be directly proportional to the direction you head your life and how intentional you are with the decisions you make. If you have an idea or goal of where you want to go, and a plan of action coupled with discipline, you are more likely to achieve your desired results. You can’t control many of the things life brings you, but you will have a better chance of achieving what you want in life if you create some organization in your life to help you reach them.

I also believe simple is good, so for the next few posts, I want to offer segments of developing a one-year life plan. I’ll break it down a little each day to keep it from seeming overwhelming. At the end of the series, if you follow along, you’ll at least have some plan of action. The key is you are doing it far more than how you do.

This is NOT a complex life plan. If you don’t know me, you wouldn’t know I prefer simple. If it’s complicated or too involved, I’ll opt out quickly. My goal here is to keep it simple. I think with something simple you feel you can and will actually do you have a better chance of achieving success than with something complex you are never going to do.

I should be transparent here. I’ve posted this series several times over the years. There are far better “models” out there than the one I’m sharing with you, but I keep bringing this forward, because I hear from people who have incorporated it and found it helpful. But, you’ll notice some of the comments are from years past.

I’m praying God allows many of us to realize dreams and goals we never thought possible.

Here is step one in writing a simple life plan:

Step one, List three or four goals you want to achieve next year.

Think through several areas of your life where you would like to see improvement. Areas such as:

  • Spiritual
  • Personal
  • Marriage or relationships
  • Physical
  • Financial
  • Professional

Include a stretch goal, such as run a marathon, read through the Bible. learn to fly a plane, get out of debt, start a side business, or write a book, but limit yourself to three or four. In my opinion, if you have too many goals you’ll burnout trying to reach them and too few will keep you from achieving all that’s possible. You can add more goals later if you have initial success in these first goals.

At this point, the goals can be very general. They shouldn’t all be “stretch goals” – limit those to one or two, but they all should be goals designed to take you somewhere you want to go in life – somewhere you hope to improve.

Spend some time today and list your goals. Remember, no more than four. No less than three.

Here are some examples:

  1. Lose 10 pounds. (I went specific here, because most have an idea of a number on this particular goal. You can simply put “lose weight” at this point if that’s one of your goals.)
  2. Improve my marriage communication.
  3. Pay off my credit card.
  4. Read through the Bible.
  5. Write a book.

In the next post we will take this a step further.

Are you up for the challenge? Do you need something like this? Have you ever written out a plan for the New Year?

(Side note for those who are thinking.God is in control of my destiny ,so I’ll just let Him direct my paths. I don’t need a plan. I couldn’t agree with you more about God being in control – as He should be. All our plans and goals are futile without His input, but read through the Bible and you’ll see countless illustrations of how God allows men and women who seek Him to create a plan of action; sometimes for good and sometimes not. There are times God gives us clear and direct instructions and other times – and I would even say most times – God allows us to figure out the best course of action based on the wisdom and experiences He has allowed us to have.)

Of course, all of this should be done by committing your plans to God first. For help and an example of that, you might read this post: 7 Ways to Make Your Prayers More Effective

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Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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Join the discussion 8 Comments

  • Kevin says:

    I’ve nest in my marriage one time I’m trying too fogger out way too help jomp start are marreg she is everything too me she had went and help some of her friends out then at time her friend was having in the hospital and she had started at her friends home why her was in the hospital and the same I found my self having heart attacks small ones . it really hurt me too the point her friend was getting her nee worked and I was having heart attacks driving myself too the hospital . it made me feel like she didn’t care no more it completely tore me apart she wouldn’t even call and check on me at times I was taking this heart attacks and yes I mest up big time over all this and she cannot find away too forgiving me I’m trying too find ways too fix are marreg again too have a better life and I know the truth is always better than any lies any one will tell . at same time she was at her friends I went too see her so I could have a talk with her too come too find out she had been having sexly partners ive seen pictures and videos of her and other people as from some of her other friends had apposite me . ive ask meany of time since then and all I’m asking for the truth from her face to face and all I get is lies saying them pics was made up from someone else . ive now it’s still hurts me so badly that all the lies I know I’m willing too forgiving about all of the truth and no more lies and we both can get together too make are marreg work with out letting no one come in between use. I know deep inside if we can work through this are marreg will be stronger if cares as much for me as I do her . I’m willing too jump in front of a bullet for her . I’m other words if I know she could live a longer life id lay my life down for her too a much longer life . she is my everything

  • Pastor Patrick Alobo says:

    Thanks you so much dear Edmondson for the great idea. We are able to write ours soon as we trust to work together for God’s kingdom this year. May God bless you greatly for the good heart and for working for His great kingdom.

    Pastor Patrick Alobo.

  • Mark John says:

    when i write some thing then i had many difficulties but by your 5 step of writing give me lot of thing to learn now i think i can write some and use your 5 steps thanks for sharing this nice post.

  • Brent Dumler says:

    This is so good, Ron. Thanks for posting this. I learned how to do this really well initially from Jim Wideman. I'm going to do this today. It will compliment my 'One Word' for 2015 nicely. God Bless and Happy New Year.