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How to create a plan for the life you want

February 20, 2022

When you think about the life you want, what comes to mind? Your version of a good life might be getting yourself ready to go out in the morning without any assistance, it might be entering the workforce, it might be skydiving!

You deserve to live the life you want and the best way to get there is to set goals and make a plan to achieve them.

While you’re version of a good life may look different to someone else’s, the initial steps you take to get there are often the same.

We spoke to Veronica Wain, Power to You project lead and goal-kicking champion, to find out what steps you need to take in order to start living your best life.

Set your goal

Setting goals is important. Goals give our lives purpose and direction and help keep us motivated and excited about the future. But when was the last time you really thought about what you want in life?

There are many ways to plan your goals, but Veronica recommends visualising your best and worst days to help you figure out what you really want out of life.

“Think about what makes your best day and how you enjoy spending your time,” she says.

“Then think about your worst day (don’t dwell there!) and what sort of actions can be taken to make sure that those days happen less and the good days happen more.”

Start this exercise by asking yourself three questions:

  • Where am I now?
  • Where do I want to be?
  • How can I make that happen?

You may find you have one goal you’d like to tick off your list, or many goals you’d like to achieve. No goal is too big or too small, and every goal is important because it’s yours.

Planning ways to achieve your goals

Once you have set your goal, it’s time to plan. This is where you outline the tasks and strategies you need to achieve your goals. Try asking a friend, family member or carer to help you with this stage – it’s always helpful to hear advice from those who are close to you.

Think of the things you might need to achieve your goal. Will you need help from a loved one or carer? Will you need to buy equipment?

Figuring out what you need is the first step in the planning process, and from there you can build towards success.

If you’d like some guidance on how to start planning, there are resources available to help.

Planning resources

Power to You has some fantastic downloadable worksheets, like this S.M.A.R.T Goals Planning booklet. This activity uses the ‘smart’ approach to help break your goals down into actionable steps. In this case, SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely.

You can do this activity by yourself or with a loved one or carer, who can help guide you.

Power to You has a range of resources available online that can help you on your journey to achieve your goals. You can register for Power to You content for free at https://powertoyou.org.au/ for unlimited access to all learning lessons and resources.

The NDIS also provides participants with three planning booklets (which you can find copies of here), that can help you create your NDIS plan and learn how to get the most out of your plan – including ticking those goals off your list.

Be flexible

Life loves to throw us curve balls, so being flexible with your goals and understanding that sometimes things don’t go to plan is important.

We’re bound to come up against obstacles along the way, but these can be an opportunity for us to show our strength and rise to the challenge. Change isn’t always bad, and it sometimes can lead to new possibilities.

“Be really flexible and understand there will be barriers to those things that we hold really near and dear to us,” Veronica says. “That doesn’t mean that we stop trying.

“Sometimes it might be that our goals have changed because we do or our circumstances change, so that’s when we have to go back and reset. I think approach the task of planning with passion and vigour, but with a slight sense of humour too.”