The Pros And Cons of Writing a Life Plan

By Sarah Little

March 29, 2016   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

happiness101Which will lead to a happier and more fulfilling life, creating a detailed life plan, or taking life on as it comes? Maybe, for you, the right answer depends on what is important to you. Perhaps you have no idea if your life will be better with or without creating a road map for yourself. If you aren’t sure, you are definitely not alone. Many people don’t know if they need a life plan. The next question is, how do you find out? You can begin by looking at these pros and cons of creating a plan for your life.

The Arguments For a Life Plan

Here are some of the benefits of creating and sticking to a life plan.

1. You Can Create a Balanced Life For Yourself
When you start out with a life plan, you create a life that balances work, leisure, family, spirituality, and anything else that is important to you. If you simply take life as it comes, things can quickly get out of balance. You may find yourself neglecting your family and spirituality because you allow work to take over. Alternatively, you might find yourself spending too much time being there for your family and boss, but not enough time pursuing your own interests.

2. You Can Set Your Priorities Now
What looks like a great life to you? Do you want to travel, start your own business, or write a novel? Will work be your passion, or will it simply be the means to fund the activities you truly love. Writing your life plan will help you to get these priorities in order. Then, when you are faced with life decisions, you can look to your life plan and determine which decision meshes with it.

3. Creating a Life Plan Forces You to Examine Your Current Reality
Before you can create a plan for the future, you have to take a strong look at where you are right now. It can be difficult, but forcing yourself to undergo that kind of reality check is ultimately a good thing. This is because once you truly wrap your mind around your current situation, you can include any changes you need to make when you write your life plan.

4. Creating a Life Plan Gives You Purpose
Try to complete the following sentences:
• I am a…
• I am passionate about…
• My goals are…
• Everyday I want to…
• Before the end of my life, I want to…
Once you have completed these sentences, you will have a good idea about your life’s purpose. Your plan forces you to put your purpose down on paper, and then do the things needed to achieve it.

The Arguments Against a Life Plan

Here are some valid arguments against creating a life plan.

1. Your Experiences Reveal Your Passions
The problem with writing a life plan is that it assumes that you know everything up front. That’s just not realistic. After all, most people change careers at least once. In many instances, this is because they gain the life experience to realize where their true talents and passions lie. If you are deeply entrenched in following a life plan, it is going to be difficult to change gears, even if that is what will make you happy. Worse, following a life plan might cause you to miss your shifting of passions altogether.

2. You Don’t Have to Settle For Things Because They Are Part of The Plan
All too often, creating a life plan means doing things by the book. When people tell you that you need to make a plan for the future, they mean going to college, getting a good job, buying a home, saving for retirement, etc. In other words, follow society’s expectations and if you’re unhappy, suck it up. If that’s not the road map you want to follow, don’t create any road map.

3. Lack of a Plan Helps You Conquer Fear of The Unknown
The people who say you should have a life plan often say that it will make you more likely to stay on your path. This may be tempting if you have a fear of the unknown. After all, as long as your next step is part of your plan, you know what is going to happen next. Unfortunately, failing to conquer the fear of the unknown can lead to a life that is devoid of passion and interesting experiences.

4. You Will be More Open to Adventure
If you eschew the idea of a life plan and choose to accept life as it comes to you, the result is that you will be open to the next adventure that comes your way. Isn’t that better than denying yourself a fun, passionate life because you are so busy following a plan?

Sarah Little

I'm a UK native who lives in Los Angeles. My breadwinner is educational writing and contributions for different websites.

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