It would be an understatement to say that our life plan for 2020 didn't go quite as we thought it would! We put goals on hold as our priorities shifted, or found ourselves forced down a very different path from the one we thought we were set on.
But, as we near the end of this year, taking the time to create a Life Plan for next year isn't the pointless exercise it might sound! In fact, now more than ever, we all need a Life Plan – to help us reflect on what we want (and what we don't), and to focus our energy on achieving those things that matter most.
Festive and new year celebrations will likely be quieter, perhaps more solemn, than last year. We might face difficult decisions about who to spend the holidays with. We might even be spending it alone for the first time. So, why not take this to as an opportunity to reflect?
Think first about your values and the things that make you truly happy. Have they changed over the past year, or remained exactly the same? Take a moment – several moments – and think about the kind of life you want, and why.
Making time for this type of reflection will help you to make sense of what has happened, where you are now, and, eventually, how best to move forward again.
Questions such as these may seem frivolous. This year, you may have faced too many empty days, or an overwhelming workload; financial worries for yourself or for your loved ones; unexpected caregiving responsibilities; or lots of time spent isolated and alone. You've almost certainly listened to and watched way too much distressing news over which you have no control.
The likely toll of such an onslaught is physical and emotional exhaustion. So, it's important to learn some stress-management skills that can help you to weather this storm of uncertainty, and to avoid lasting damage that might impact your health and your career. Give yourself permission for self-care. As the saying goes, "You can't pour from an empty cup."
Once you've properly reflected, and recharged your batteries, you'll be feeling far stronger and more positive. You'll start to get a sense of the things you want to accomplish over the next days, weeks and months – even years. You'll revisit old dreams, and create some exciting new ones, too.
But what do you need to do to actually achieve those dreams, and how will you stay motivated? This is where the Mind Tools Life Plan Workbook and the Mind Tools Members' Forum can help.
The Mind Tools Life Plan Workbook has helped thousands of people to achieve personal and career goals since its first edition was published more than a decade ago. The forthcoming 2021 edition guides you through the reflect, recover and reset process, and helps you to put together – and put into practice – a powerful plan for the year ahead, and beyond.
From today until January 7, 2021, you'll get a copy of our 2021 Life Plan to download for FREE if you subscribe to the Mind Tools Club!
Existing Club members and corporate licensees will be eligible for a free copy too, and anyone can buy their own in the Mind Tools Store for $29.99/£23.00.
Once you're a member of the Mind Tools Club, you'll have unlimited access to the entire Mind Tools suite of resources. That's 2,400+ articles, videos, infographics, exclusive Expert Interviews, and more, to help you on your journey!
Plus, Members can chat with one another in the private Forum, and get advice and guidance from our in-house career coaches and content creators. You won't be alone as you get to grips with your Life Plan.
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