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Having A Plan Can Protect You From Discouragement

We've all been there: the dream didn't happen, the relationship failed, the job was eliminated, or the loss happened. All humans will visit one or all these places in the experience of living. What is the difference between those who rise again and succeed, and those who sink and live in despair?

One of those differences could be the presence of a plan. While we can't plan for much that happens in life, we can plan for life. Developing a plan demonstrates that you are thinking about your life and where you want it to go. Working your plan means that you haven't written the future off -- even if a tragedy comes. Finally knowing there is a plan can protect you from the discouragement that stops you from moving forward.

Have you considered where you would like your life to go, or are you drifting along at the whims of others? Here's a way to think about and begin to develop a plan for your life, using the word, PLAN:

Purpose: Every life has one; have you considered yours? If you do the work of identifying what you do well and what gives your fulfillment, that's a good place to start doing the inward work of finding purpose. Yes, it takes a lifetime, but you still must start.

Lifestyle: Examine how you are living and if it lines up with what you are supposed to do. Adjust your lifestyle so that it lines up with who you were created to be. Does your life reflect who you are or someone else's idea of how you should be? If for example, you are created to "turn on lights" for people, living in deception financially, socially or spiritually, should rightfully create a conflict within you.

Act & Adjust: Plans look great on paper with all the arrows, bold print and captions, but honor your plan by doing actual work every day towards the goal you have set. Your life plan, by its nature, will threaten your comfort zone; move forward anyway. When you hit an obstacle and you need to revise the plan, it's not a failure. Adjusting your actions doesn't mean you have failed, it means you have learned what will work better.

Non-Negotiable: The desire to establish a plan for your life must be something you don't compromise on. Challenges and heartbreaks are coming. Make up your mind now that even with setbacks, disappointments and losses, that you will keep moving forward with the plan for your life. Decide that you won't leave your future to chance or someone else's plans; instead be the greatest advocate for the person you are meant to be.

Michele Aikens is a certified Transitional Coach. If you need help with your plan, connect with her at, or follow her on Twitter @SepiaPrimeWoman.

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