How To Cultivate Your Personal Plan

A personal plan begins with setting the first goal. You can enjoy better success and avoid becoming overwhelmed by breaking down your choices into small steps.

Choose your main goal. This goal should be the one that is most suited to you and not necessarily the biggest one. You increase your chances of success when you prioritize your aims around tasks that you feel are attainable and compelling according to

Start with a big question. Do I have a long term vision for my life that is related to my goal? Your big dream might be something like scaling Mt. Kilimanjaro, completing a marathon, reducing your blood pressure so you can get off the medication, losing weight so you can fit into your favorite dress again, or becoming fit enough to play sports with your kids. A word of wisdom: if you are unable to articulate a big dream at this time, don’t spend too long on this step. It’s still possible to achieve your goal using other approaches.

Personal Plan

Choose something you want to change. Choose a goal that you feel is a sure bet. Are you looking to improve your diet, stick to a workout plan, reduce stress? It’s advisable to focus on one change at a time. Once a new change starts to become a part of your everyday life, you can shift your concentration to your next change.

Make a commitment. Make a verbal promise or written commitment to yourself and two people you don’t want to disappoint, such as your child, doctor, best friend, wife, or boss. Having that commitment will help you to ride out the difficult spots. Make sure you are explicit about what you are going to achieve and why it’s important to you. If your goal is a stepping stone towards a greater goal, include your overall dream too. For example: I commit to improving my health by taking a mindful walk twice a week. This is step number one towards my bigger goal which is to take part in a stress-reducing activity each day. It also helps me to achieve a further goal I have which is to take 30 minutes of exercise each day. The reason why I want to achieve these goals is that my mood will improve, I’ll sleep better, and be more patient with my friends and family when my daily stress levels are reduced.

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Identify all the easy obstacles. Perhaps you’d like to start meditating, but can’t even imagine finding the time to engage in it. Or, maybe your dreams of eating healthier foods go out the window when you get home hungry and exhausted, each need to a kitchen stocked with junk food.

Brainstorm some of the ways you can remove the obstacles. Now come up with ways to get past those roadblocks. Short of time? Start getting up 20 minutes early. Kitchen cupboards void of healthy choices? Put 10 healthy food items on your grocery list.

Plan a basic reward. Is there a simple thing you might enjoy as a reward for doing a job well? For instance, if you manage to get all of your planned activities for a week completed, you could treat yourself to something like a luxurious bath or a few episodes of your favorite Netflix show. Try to avoid food rewards, as they can be counterproductive to your long term success.

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