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Homesteading is a hard journey that requires a lot of work and dedication. It requires planning and goal setting on a constant basis. It is all about looking ahead to see if you are traveling in the right direction. But all of the planning you do is useless if it doesn’t coincide with your life plan.
A life plan is like a guidebook for your personal life. It is the master plan of where you personally need to be to be happy. Your personal life plan needs to intertwine with your homesteading plan. And the end results of both should be in sync.
What is a Life Plan?
A life plan is a set of steps or tasks that need to be accomplished in order for you to attain a sense of satisfaction. It is like a to-do list.
You decide where your life needs to be at in order for you to be truly happy, and then you take the steps to get there one at a time.
It is not always measured by days, months or even years, although the tasks or steps can be planned in this fashion. Instead, it is measured by your level of happiness and satisfaction.
You may reach that level in a year or you may reach it in 20 years, it depends on what you need to happen to reach that point, and how quickly you can take the steps to get there.
How to Write a Life Plan: Dreaming
Homesteading starts as a dream that you have. From there, you take that dream and imagine all of the ideas that make up that dream.
I tell new homesteaders to make a vision board so they can have a visual representation of what they want their homestead to look like.
The same concept works for your life plan.
Think about what will make your life happy and complete. Is it having a homestead? What about children or a family? Do you see yourself working for someone else or maybe working from home? What matters the most to you in order to be happy?
These ideas are your dreams. Get them on paper. As I said earlier, a vision board is a great way to put your dreams on paper.
Putting all of those ideas on a vision board shows you the big picture. My life plan includes having a successful and profitable homestead. It also includes some traveling. writing a book, having a new car, and running a successful farm stand.
As you see, my life plan coincides with my homesteading dreams but includes other areas too.
How to Write a Life Plan: Goal setting
When you are planning your homestead you set goals based on those dreams you have when writing a life plan you also set goals, but they are slightly different.
When writing goals for your homestead, you need to be very specific on when you need those goals to be accomplished. You set specific dates.
However, when writing a life plan, your goals may not be as time-specific as they are action specific.
Homesteading vs Life Plan Goals
If one of your goals for your homesteading plan is to get chickens, you set a goal to build a chicken coop. You set a date to finish the project so you can purchase chickens.
If you know when you are ordering your chicks you know that the coop must be done before they arrive. That is a goal you set with a date in order to accomplish that goal.
However, when writing a life plan goal the focus is on what you need to do not necessarily when it needs to be done by.
I want to travel to Australia at some point in my life. In order to reach that goal, I must be financially able to do so, so I may set a goal to start a savings account to save for that big trip.
I can’t and won’t set a date yet because I know that all of my homesteading plans and my other life plan goals need to be accomplished first before I can actually plan for that trip.
I still set a general goal to go to Australia, but it doesn’t get a date, at least not at this time. Does that make sense?
Writing Out Your Goals
Now that you understand the difference between homesteading goals and life plan goals sit down and make a list of the goals you wish to achieve in order to be happy in your life.
Maybe a goal for your life plan may be to start your own business. Then you may write something like; “Start my own farm stand business selling candles, baked goods, produce and fruit on my homestead and make an income high enough to support myself and my homestead.”
If you are already an established homesteader this may be a goal that you can start working on immediately so you can set some figurative dates.
However, on the other hand, if you are new to homesteading there is probably a lot of things that need to be accomplished before you can consider setting a timeline to this goal right now.
Just write the goal as specific as you need to now and worry about the dates later.
If dates are an issue to you, it is okay to say “in the next 5 years” or “upon completion of such and such”. That way you can feel a sense of accountability without being too specific.
Just write them out now, in whatever way you feel most comfortable.
Writing a Life Plan: Action Steps
Okay, you have your goals written out. Now what?
Take each goal and think about all the steps or tasks that need to be done to complete them. Let’s say one of your life plan goals is to be debt free. The tasks that may be listed under that goal may include the following steps:
- Pay $20.00 per month extra on Capital One bill until paid off.
- When Capital One is paid off, pay $40.00 extra to pay off Master Card
- When Master Card is paid off, pay 75.00 extra to pay off auto loan.
- Stop using all credit cards.
- Deposit $100.00 into savings every 2 weeks.
- Make a budget to curb spending.
- Track income and expenses monthly.
As you can see it is possible to set dates to these tasks. However, unless you can be very specific with all of the dates for the tasks, the overall goal may be hard to set an exact date for.
Go through each of your life plan goals. Write out all the tasks you can think of that need to happen in order for you to reach that goal. If you can set dates, by all means, do so, but don’t fret over the dates right now. Just make a plan.
What to do with Your Life Plan
Okay, you have a set of goals and the steps that need to take place in order to accomplish them. But now what?
Compare your life plan to your homestead plan. Do they work together?
You may learn that some things that you have planned for in your homestead may need to change or be done in a different way in order to match with your life plan. That’s okay, just adjust your plans accordingly.
Maybe a goal that you set for your homestead needs to be pushed forward and be done sooner. Sometimes you will see a goal that you wrote to be completed now is something that can wait until another time.
Maybe this is because it really doesn’t fit in with your life plan. Maybe you need to add a goal to your homesteading plan in order to move closer to your life plan.
What is important is that your homesteading plan fits in with your life plan. The two should work together to a common goal, a happy life that you enjoy.
Do you have a life plan? For a great explanation of making a life plan check out How to Create a Master Plan for Your Life and check out the link to the podcast within the post for an audio explanation too.