Writing a Life Plan for the New Year, Part 1

This week, as we head into a new year, I want to help you think through life planning. I believe in purposeful living.

Here is a reality that 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 the intentionality you have 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 some of the things life brings you, but you will have a better chance of achieving your dreams if you create some organization in your life to help you reach them.

I also believe simple is good…so for the next few days, 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 week, if you follow along, you’ll at least have a plan of action. (If you have a better way of doing this…I welcome your input…the key is doing it far more than how…)

Today, let’s set some goals for ourselves…

List three to five goals total…if you have too many you’ll burnout trying to reach them and too few will keep you from achieving all that’s possible.

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

  • Spiritual
  • Personal
  • Marriage or relationships
  • Physical
  • Emotional
  • 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.

At this point, they can be very general. They shouldn’t all be “stretch goals”; limit that 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.

So, spend some time today and list your goals. Remember, no more than five….no less than three…

Here is an example:

  1. Lose 10 pounds. (I went specific here because most have an idea of a number here…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.

Tomorrow we will take this a step further.

Feel free to share your list in the comment section of this post.

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 (I would 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.)

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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45 thoughts on “Writing a Life Plan for the New Year, Part 1

  1. Thanks for this, Ron. As someone who has always shyed away from "New Year's Resolutions", I think it's time I was more intentional about life, rather than dropping the ball in God's lap and taking the "God is in control" escape route. So, with prayer and trepidation, here is my general list:
    1) Be a better steward of my time and my finances.
    2) Pass my classes (and thereby keep my financial aid).
    3) Be much more intentional about learning God's Word.
    4) Network so that when I finish my degree, I already have the connections I need to open my practice as soon as I'm licensed.
    5) Build and strengthen personal relationships.

  2. Plan:
    Start process of losing 30 Lbs (I call this my "post baby belly and the baby is 8 yrs old")
    Finish study on Discipleship and get it in to a rough edit form for a book/Bible study
    Improve communication
    Read more of the Bible

  3. I'm not sure what you mean by the emotional category. I never thought about relationships as a new years resolution, but I will try to include that in mine now.

    I was using the same idea for goals that I did last year, going by that I have 23 goals set for this year, but if I were to generalize them they would be:
    1. get promoted at work
    2. pay down my debts and start a savings
    3. sing in my churches Easter production, finishing reading the Bible (I choose to take 2 years to go through it), and write in my journal / write more poetry
    4. work on my blanket (it is a continual growing blanket), work more with my horses, and this is the personal category so I have a few other sowing projects listed
    5. get in shape and loose wight

    • In the emotional category, I was thinking of issues such as worry, anger, frustration, etc. If a person wants to rid their life of worry, that could be a goal…

      Thanks for your list

  4. Interesting how most goals fall under the catogories listed. I find people who reach goals in one area often do in many areas….Thanks for the great insights. Don't give up! Many people give up because they think they didn't do it in the past so why try now. Satan would have you believe these lies. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

  5. Thanks so much for this post Ron. I attended a planning your life in a day seminar by Bobb Biehl maybe fifteen twenty years ago. I'm going to get my material out and revise it for this year.
    Have a GREAT rest of 2010 and an awesome 2011.
    Blessings,
    Dave

  6. Thank you so much for this "push"! I, too, am very reflective this time of year and look forward to making some positive changes in 2011. I plan to prayerfully think this through today, but off the top of my head I am already thinking:
    Lose at least 30 lbs
    Find a job
    Be a better steward…of my home, my finances, my time
    Love my husband more intentionally

    God Bless You!
    Amy

  7. Ron this past year has beem exhilarating and exhausting. I am reeling from the opportunities coming to me and NEED to simplify. I'm glad I Spirit stumbled on your tweet. Thanks for the help!

  8. My list: Read a book each month
    Get completely out of debt except for house by end of the year
    Two family trips, two weekenders with my wife this year
    Start a young men's ministry at my church
    Lose 20 pounds
    Run a 5k