Life Balance and a Five-Year Plan

Richard ArthurAdvice

Having a more balanced life should be a goal on its own, and this blog post will show you a simple way of making progress on that front.

While most goals are overly ambitious, unrealistic, and without a plan, the singular focus and obsession of reaching one goal can be detrimental. It can lead to imbalance in life, and living without balance is unhealthy—we see it all the time.

We see it in the dad who is always in the office—and never with his family.

We see it with our friend who disappeared as soon as he got a girlfriend.

And we see it with the friend who loves to have fun so much that he blew some major opportunities and messed up his career.

Balance is what allows you to do so much: perform with highest ability, achieve clarity, define what you want out of life, and really go after it.

So with that, here are the main life categories whose balance affects your daily and long-term satisfaction:

  • Personal Development
  • Career
  • Health
  • Family
  • Relationships

I didn’t mention “financials” — you can file that under career.

These five categories are the most important aspects of your life—they are the main contributors to your happiness and sense of well-being.

Most importantly, each of these categories require balance. So how do you achieve it?

STEP 1: Assess Each Category

Run an honest assessment about how you feel for each category —and what you hope to achieve for each.

Be honest with yourself. Write with no filter. Remember, the truer your assessment, the easier step two will be.

STEP 2:  Set Goals for Each Category

Once you have this assessment, it’s time to set some goals.

If what you hope to achieve is “way out of reach,”  break your goals down into smaller steps and be specific.

Being specific will help you with the next step: turning these specific steps into realistic goals that are achievable, and contribute to the overall “bigger goal.”

On the same day each month, I open up my journal, and reflect on each category. Don’t wait for New Years, don’t wait for the first of the month. Just set a day, and repeat your reflection process on that day each month.

(By the way, get a journal or notebook made out of paper. Don’t let these goals get lost in a file on your computer or phone.)

During my monthly assessment, I write down what went well, what didn’t, and what I’m going to do to make sure that doesn’t happen again next month.

This has not only made me more self aware, but also more accountable to the promises I make myself.

Keeping track of the balance helps me make small progress each month. This has significantly altered the quality of my life, and continues to move me towards my ultimate self.

STEP 3: W.I.N. = What’s Important Now

Everything I do today is guided by my vision of the perfect future.

Regardless of where you’ve been and what you’ve done before, what matters most for your future is RIGHT NOW. Your goals and assessments must be present in your mind in everything you do.

Let’s face it, the most non-renewable resource is time. A smart investment in your time now is the best investment for a greater future for yourself.

If you’re unsure about your vision for the future, Neil’s five-year plan will help:

NEIL’S FIVE-YEAR PLAN WORKSHEET (click, download, and print)

Neil likes to run all new Society members, and even his employees, through this activity.

And for good reason:

Your five-year plan should guide every decision you make, and every goal you set.

And sure, expect it to change. Neil even said on a recent episode of The Truth Barrel podcast that you should revise your five-year plan each year so that you’re always in the midst of year one of your five-year plan.

After you fill out your five-year plan, take a minute and watch the video below that Neil posted to his Instagram about goal setting. Then get to it yourself.

Ready, go.

While Neil is writing books, Richard Arthur is busy sharing his latest knowledge with readers. If you want to be on the inside, and learn the latest tools and techniques we are using here to improve our lives and the lives of others, then you’ll want to be part of this limited email distribution list. Click here while we’re still doing this.