Let’s get real: Life can be overwhelming. There are so many things you want to do and (seemingly) so little time. If you’re tired of struggling with how to manage your life, you’ve come to the right place. This three step guide will help you manage your life through setting life goals. Life goals will help you see the big picture of what you want your life to be. Once you set life goals and create an action plan to achieve them, you’ll be able to better prioritize your time. This will help you better prioritize your time, leaving your life balanced, manageable, and meaningful.
How to Manage Your Life in 3 Steps
Step 1 – Create a life goal list
To truly design and cultivate the life we want, we need to set goals. Goals help us see what we want out of life. That said, life goals are a little different than regular goals. Life goals are goals you set in order to have a better, more fulfilling life. Accomplishing them helps you achieve your ideal life and gives you a sense of deep satisfaction. Life goals are usually big, like buying a new house or getting married. They take time and cannot be achieved within a day (unless you’re extremely lucky). Creating a list of all your desired life goals will help you learn a lot about yourself: You’ll realize what it is you desire most that you may not have been consciously aware of.
Here’s how to determine what your life goals are:
- List different areas of your life, such as career, school, love, and family, on a piece of paper, but leave enough room between each for further writing.
- Feel free to add more or less life categories, but don’t add too many. Try listing no more than 10 different categories.
- Once you write your life categories, brainstorm what your life goals for each are. For example, if love is one of your categories, what are your life goals for love? You can list more than one, as long as you left yourself enough room.
- A few examples of love life goals would be to get married, go on a fancy dinner date, or travel to a romantic place with your significant other.
- Once you fill out your life goals for one category, move on to the next category and repeat this process. You don’t have to write more than a sentence for each life goal. Just be clear, specific, and concise.
Your life goal list may look something like this:
- Earn a raise
- Earn a promotion
- Start a business
- Earn extra cash through freelance writing
- Write a book
- Get married
- Adopt a dog
- Have a child
- Take parents out for dinner.
- Help cousin find a job
- Visit New Zealand
- Swim in the Dead Sea
- Go birding in Africa
- Explore Italy
- Save $5,000
- Open a second bank account
- Invest in a stock
- Pay off all debts by 2020
- Pay off all credit cards
This is only one version of what your life goals could look like. Feel free to get as deep and creative as you’d like!
Step 2 – Create an action plan to achieve your life goals
On a new sheet of paper, you’re going to create an action plan which will show you how to manage your life. Creating an action plan may sound a little intimidating, but all it really requires is time and thought.
- Look at your list of life goals. Focus on one category at a time and pause on each goal. Ask yourself “how would I go about achieving that goal”?
- For example, if one of your life goals is to get married, first ask yourself, do you have a significant other at the moment? If not, your first step would be to find one. You can do this through a number of ways: Online dating websites, visiting places that interest you, or getting involved in your community.
- If you do have a significant other already, think about ways you could keep the relationship going strong and indicate you’re interested in marriage. List the steps you would take to achieve this outcome, such as being extra sweet, arranging more dates, and dropping hints of marriage to your significant other.
- Do this sort of analytical, deep thinking for each of the goals you have listed until you come up with action steps for each goal. Each goal is different, so some might require more steps to get there than others. This is perfectly fine.
- Also, remember to start small and work your way up as the steps go on. In other words, try to write your steps in chronological order, so they’re easy to follow.
Here is an example of what your action plan may look like:
Love Life Goal: Get married.
Step 1 – Drop hints to my significant other about getting married. Possibly ask them about their thoughts on marriage, living together, and kids.
Step 2 – If I sense there’s a mutual interest for marriage, look into my finances. Start investing money for a ring ASAP.
Step 3 – Buy the ring. Propose.
Step 4 – If all goes well, talk about wedding plans and start making arrangements. Discuss finances and consider hiring a wedding planner.
Step 5 – Choose if we want an engagement party, where we want the wedding, who will be there, the decor, the cake, the wedding attire, and where the honeymoon will be. Calculate how long it will take for us to be financially stable to afford all of it.
Step 6 – Once finances are in line, book and buy everything we need.
Step 7 – Get married.
Step 3 – Take action, stay motivated, and keep organized
Now it’s time to put your life goals into motion through your action plan! Based on what you wrote for each category and each goal, you may choose to focus on only one category at a time, or one goal at a time. For example, maybe you want to tackle all of your love category at once? Or perhaps you want to tackle one goal from each category? Decide what works for you and get started. Since you have already laid out the steps you need to take to achieve your goal, you are completely in control of executing them.
The best way to stay motivated and organized in regards to your life goals is learn time management skills. Here are some tools that will help you stay organized and on track with the goals you created in the previous steps:
- A planner: This is good for keeping track of important dates. Use it to write down birthdays, due dates, and deadlines. Some planners offer a section in the back where you can write notes. You can use this area for numbers you should memorize and passwords you don’t want to forget. You can also use this to set the days you want to accomplish your life goals by.
- A calendar: Hang this in your room to remind yourself of important days, holidays, and goals. It’s nice to have a visual reminder you can walk up to at any time. Use this to mark down dates you want to accomplish life goals by.
- Sticky notes: Seemingly simple, sticky notes can help you a lot when you need to jot something down really quick. They’re also ideal when you need to leave a message for someone. If utilized the right way, these can help you manage your life by keeping tabs on the little tasks you complete throughout the day.
- Writing utensils: You never know when you’ll need to write something down. Whether it’s for work, school, or creative endeavors, it’s always a smart idea to have a pen or pencil handy.
- A notepad: This is handy to keep on you to track your finances. Perfect for writing down budgets, loans, or just general math. Also handy for writing down impromptu poetry.
Even with all these tools, you might find yourself lacking motivation to complete your life goals. At moments like this, it’s essential to believe in yourself and keep finding the strength and courage to achieve what you want. In order to create a life you’re proud of and happy with, you need to be confident. Change can be scary, but a life unlived is even more scary. If you truly want to learn how to manage your life, you must take risks, set goals, and keep the promises you make to yourself.
To recap, let’s go over everything one more time, only in a simplified manner.
Action steps to take
- Write down your life goals for each area of your life, be it career, love, health, finances, etc. List up to five life goals in each category of your choice, but keep them as simple as possible. One sentence per goal will do.
- On another page, tackle each life goal you wrote individually for each area of your life and come up with an action plan. Write down the steps you would take in chronological order to complete each life goal. Some life goals will require more steps, others less. Make sure each life goal in each life category (love, career, finances) are broken down into steps. This might take a while, but have patience and reflect on the lessons learned in life to guide you through.
- Select which life goals you want to start working on immediately. It can be multiple life goals from each category or only one. The choice is up to you, but be sure to analyze the list of steps you made to accomplish the life goal you want to start working on. Stay motivated and manage your life using tools that can help you keep tracks of your new goals and everyday tasks. These tools are (but not limited to) a personal planner, calendar, notepad, writing utensils, and sticky notes. In no time at all, you will truly be the master of your own destiny.