Plan your future with the One Page Life Plan

In the previous articles, you figured out your core values, core competencies, and personal mission. Now, we’ll collect them and use them as a base to design your future. We’ll focus on creating a long-term plan from which your other goals can be created.

One Page Life Plan

The goal of the OPLP (One Page Life Plan) is to zoom out and try to define you and your future self on one page. Don’t go into too much details — the next chapters and documents cover that. This document will be the base to work with when you zoom in and set personal goals.

In this chapter, I’ll guide you through the process of filling in the OPLP. Even though this document is only the size of one sheet of paper, it might take some time to fill in. Take your time and try to find a relaxing space to brainstorm. Keep in mind that this is personal — so there’s no right or wrong answers.

As you move from the top left to the bottom right of the sheet, you’ll notice that the first items have been covered in previous exercises. Start by filling in your core values, personal mission, and core competencies.

Limitless Personal Goal

Now it’s time to tie it all together and create your Limitless Personal Goal, personalized to your personal mission, core values, and competencies. For some people, the personal mission is a small paragraph about things they want to accomplish. The objective of the Limitless Personal Goal is to narrow the personal mission into one powerful sentence. It’s useful to pick a goal 10 years in the future, but anything between five and 10 years will work.

The Limitless Personal Goal needs to inspire. It’s no coincidence that the abbreviation is “LPG.” It needs to become the fuel to fire up your engine — it’s something you’ll want to read regularly to stay focused and motivated.

Your LPG is like the trunk of a tree: all other goals you set for yourself are the branches that stem from this one clear, motivating base. All other goals need to support you on the journey toward achieving your LPG.

Some people choose to set a financial LPG, like “own my house and have always have a minimum of $50k in my savings account.” If this works for you, go for it!

In most people’s experience, financial goals are generally less motivating than emotional ones, like “operate a successful personal business,” “get a PhD,” or “retire by the age of 30.”

You might have noticed that these goals can only be reached with a certain amount of money. In these cases, finances are means to an end, and not the goal itself. But, as with anything in the One Page Life Plan, setting the LPG is personal. Go with what motivates you.

Do you have a LPG you are proud of? Great! Now make it visual. Print it out and hang it on the fridge. Take a picture and set it as the background on your phone. The more often you see your LPG, the better you can keep your focus.

Creating a visual will keep your eye on the goal, bringing clarity to life decisions — big or small. Have a choice to make? Think about whether the outcome will help you achieve your LPG.

Determining your core values, competencies, personal mission, and LPG is a difficult exercise. It will take some energy to fill in the One Page Life Plan, so put it aside once you have a draft. Let it go for a day or two, and then come back to it.

If you’re still happy with the things you have filled in, great! You’re among the lucky few who get it right the first time. Most people will go through a few revisions before landing on the right formula.

Climbing the Everest

To use a simple analogy, chasing your LPG looks a lot like climbing a mountain. People who have set a goal to climb Mount Everest need to make a plan. They develop a set of firm rules to guide their arduous journey to the top. Along the way, they focus on milestones along on the route: these milestones usually mark changes in terrain and other circumstances. After completing a milestone, they focus on the next day and the next steps.

The same goes for any big goal you set for your personal life. Based on core values and a personal mission, you set a Limitless Personal Goal for yourself. To be able to successfully accomplish this LPG, you need to break down your journey into smaller steps.

Everything you do is focused on getting to the top. The next step you take is determined by the road ahead. When you take these steps, think of something Bill Gates once said: “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and they underestimate what they can do in ten.”

Pillars of development

The hardest part — the personal mission and LPG — is over, but there are a few more things on the OPLP, including the Pillars of Development.

The Pillars of Development are basically categories for personal goals. This list is predefined in the spreadsheets. You’re free to change these pillars if you feel others are more suited to you, but keep in mind they are used in all the spreadsheets — so remember to make the changes on all the documents.

The Pillars mentioned in the spreadsheet were chosen by combining multiple sources to highlight different aspects of personal development. The most common pillars are the “chosen four.” One example was developed by James Hansberger, a financial advisor to some of the wealthiest individuals on the planet. He defined his pillars of personal development as the “Five Fs — Faith, Family, Friends, Fitness and Finance.” Hansberger said:

“After 30 years in the management of private wealth, I have seen thousands of business plans and financial plans, but rarely enough life plans. That’s what priorities are all about, and only after understanding such a plan for one’s life can one purposefully pursue financial success and traditional goals.”


Friendships, colleagues, family, or romantic — relationships are important. Strengthening relationships and developing relationship skills are high on most people’s lists. Understanding and communication are of utmost importance in this pillar.

Better levels of communication mean higher success with relationships goals. Your self-worth, self-image, and your opinion of yourself all influence how well you do in your relationships. All these areas can be worked on and improved.


The second pillar is about successfully achieving things that are meaningful and important to you — things that make you feel you’re moving forward in life, that you’re progressing and advancing toward bigger goals, and taking steps forward.

This pillar is about actively creating and feeling that you are living your life in a powerful, active way. It involves incorporating intention and efficiency in the things you do, and making sure these things are meaningful to you — that your goals are aligned with your values, and you prioritize important things in life over distractions and “noise”.

Goals in the achievements pillar are steps in your career you have taken or aspire to take — like switching to another role or starting your own business. The achievements pillar also includes new skills you want to learn.


We are human beings, not robots. Managing our health is crucial in order to achieve all the other goals we set for ourselves. This pillar focuses on three different aspects of health: mental, physical, and emotional.

A few solid goals for your mental health might be: meditate for ten minutes before starting your day, or reading a book before going to sleep at night instead of scrolling through Instagram. Set goals for yourself that will help you move toward a more relaxed and positive state of mind.

Remember the importance of physical health. Your body is what carries you through the world — it’s crucial to maintain good physical health in order to be successful in other areas of your life. Change takes time, especially when setting physical health goals. The start will be challenging, but the reward will be great.

Emotional health tends to be the most difficult area for people to set and achieve goals. There’s a lot of self-reflection — knowing more about yourself leads you to success in other areas. Your goal could be to share your feelings more often, or to devote more time to a creative outlet. It all comes down to getting more confidence in your decisions and how you continue to grow as a person.


Wealth goals are about the house you live in or want to live in, the money you have in your bank account, and the things you can afford to purchase for yourself and your loved ones. It’s about emotional fulfillment supported by physical resources.

Most personal goals depend on money in some way or another. Some consider money as a means and not a goal. Because it is so important for all other personal goals, it is most definitely a pillar of personal development.

It is sometimes necessary to question the traditional “do well at school, go to university, get a job, save for retirement” model that we’ve all been brought up with. These days, you need to be smart with your cash and come up with other ways to make money that don’t require you to work all hours to make ends meet.

Peter Adeney has created a compelling blog on the subject under the alias “Mr. Money Mustache.” Adeney believes that in Western societies people can retire decades earlier than we’ve been taught to believe. Adeney stopped working when he was 30. “Retirement” doesn’t mean he’s able to slack off for the rest of his life — rather, he’s liberated from the pressure of having to make money. And spends his time in the most meaningful ways possible.

Another critical look at our relationship with money is Lynne Twist’s “The Soul of Money.” Through personal stories and practical advice, Twist demonstrates how we can replace feelings of scarcity, guilt, and burden with experiences of sufficiency, freedom, and purpose. She takes an honest look at the extraordinary power that money wields over our lives and its profound and often destructive influence on our self-image and relationships. The book asks us to step back, examine our relationship with money, assess our connection with core human values, and change this relationship — which leads to transformation in our lives.

Promises to myself

Keeping promises is key to experiencing the life we dream of. That is what empowers us to dream big, to grow, and achieve that dreams — then outgrow that dream and dream even bigger dreams. In the process, we gain all the approval we will ever need — our own.

Michael Kibler of Harvard Business Review suggests you start taking the promises to yourself just as seriously as the promises you make to others:

“We advise people to start by making one small but exceptionally meaningful promise to themselves — and to stick to it with 100% integrity. For example, if you decide that more time with family is most important to you, you might commit to eating dinner together at home three times a week for the next two weeks.

And, if you successfully keep that promise, it should give you the confidence to try another: you might commit to walk for a half-hour every weekday, or to sharpen your presentation skills by tackling a public speaking course. Everyone knows the customer service principle ‘under-promise and over-deliver.’ Treat promises to yourself in the same way.”

On the One Page Life Plan, there’s space to write down four promises to yourself. You can include multiple promises for the long term (one to five years). If you want to write more, go for it. But keep the quote from Kibler in mind: it is better to take small steps and do it perfectly than do it all at once and not deliver.

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