"Where do you see yourself in 5 years time and how will you get there?" It's a simple question, but how confident do you feel answering it? Are you focussed and energised, with a life plan that clearly maps out your goals and how you'll achieve them? Or are you taking each day as it comes and enjoying the ride? Maybe you're feeling stuck in limbo, wondering where the last 10 years disappeared and not sure what to do next?
The simple answer is yes!
(But only if it's the right plan). Plans challenge us to dream and think big. Without that, it's easy to put your slippers on and settle into your comfort zone with a mug of hot chocolate. Whilst that feels like a safe place full of familiarity, structure and routine, it's not that exciting and robs you of opportunities to experience new things and live a full life.
If you have a plan you're much more likely to successfully achieve challenging goals. You'll be more focussed, motivated and use your time productively to do the things that get you where you want to be.
Will your plan deliver what you want, or what's expected of you?
It's easy to fall into the trap of building a plan that's based on you think is expected of you, rather than what you want. You know the drill... work hard at school, get a good job, meet your love, get married, buy a house, have kids, get promoted, earn loads of money, retire with a comfortable pension and complete your bucket list.
It's a well worn path that many of us expect to travel, but sometimes life doesn't work out that way or we have other goals that are important to us. If your plan is based on what others expect of you, you'll never feel truly motivated to put the work in and any successes you achieve will feel like hollow victories.
Only you can live your life and only you can judge your success, so it's worth checking your plan is what you really want.
You need to know where you're starting from before you can move forward
If you're not yet clear on your goals for the future or you've been unexpectedly knocked off your intended path, there's no need to panic. Stepping off the treadmill and looking around at the view for a while could bring some fresh perspectives or reveal a new path to explore.
Taking time to understand yourself and talk about what you want from life may feel self-indulgent, but it's an investment you won't regret. Look at how far you've already come, what's important to you (and what's not), your values, accomplishments, strengths, motivators and passions. These are the essence of who you are and will give you strength during times of change. They also serve as a compass for what's really important in life and will help you set goals and define future success on your own terms.
Set backs are ok - there isn't a single path to success!
Even with the best plan tucked under your arm, life is likely to throw some unexpected challenges into your path. There's often an expectation to dust ourselves off and get back on track as quickly as possible, but it's important to take time to recover, reflect and readjust course if necessary.
You're not a failure if you've had a set-back. You're not weird if you decide you don’t want the same as everyone else. You’re not inadequate because you haven’t ticked something off a list. You’re human! So be more human. Embrace it. Be curious. Be intentionally lost for a while and rediscover who you are. Then explore your options, regroup and go again.
What you learn will help you create a plan and set goals that are perfect for you - and that's the best way to guarantee success!
If you'd like to learn more about how coaching can help you develop a deeper understanding of who you are and define a life plan that works for you, please get in touch.