I’m a perfectionist when it comes to this blog, I have realised.

This week alone, two fully written posts have gone unpubliihed because they just aren’t what needs to go up. I know – you see the photography in some of my more rushed posts (namely, hauls – I’m sorry, okay?) and you find that hard to believe, but it’s true. Anyways, pointless intro aside, this post is about something we all struggle with:

How To Decide What You Want From Life

and

Creating Life Goals and Plans

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This is because I’ve recently been thinking about my future (as uni applications, for me, start in September, or something as equally scary close) and – as someone the definition of aimless – I thought it would be nice to start planning and share with you all. Helps to have a little direction in life, right? Everyone’s always asking about what you want to be when you’re older, or where you want to go and do – and nobody stops consider that maybe you don’t fucking know.

Huh? The concept that you didn’t just pop up out the premade box mould the world seems determined to shove people in knowing what you want to do like some kind of Rockstar Barbie that from her concept sketchboard aspires to sing country tunes for the rest of her life is somehow foreign?

Or that, because you like certain things, or have affinity in certain subjects you obviously want to do that for the rest of your life.

(Side note: I never played with Barbies, so I had to check the website and see which ones were there – and go feminism – there are firefighter and pilot Barbies now. There’s a nice ad that flashes all these previously “masculine” jobs with their respective Barbies and the tagline is “You can do anything”. Progress.)

That’s it, I’m bohemian.

Well, when I’m not being tumblr, or craving luxury or just feeling like a complete Goth.

But you know what, guys? I AM A PERSON. I AM A REAL PERSON CONSTRUCTED OF REAL THOUGHTS, EMOTIONS AND PREFERENCES BASED ON MORE THAN JUST ONE SOCIAL CATEGORY I PUT MYSELF INTO BECAUSE SOCIETY TEACHES THAT “IF YOU LIKE THIS, YOU ARE THAT”. I LIKE WINGS, DOESN’T MAKE ME A FUCKING FAIRY.”

Yes, I just quoted myself. It was a good point I couldn’t be bothered to reword and I’m feeling pretentious, fuck you. The moral of the story is that we are so much more than set definitions or predictable outcomes. The fact you’re expected to know the direction of your entire life based on your current preferences (from when you’re bloody young too) or your skills or whatever else you’re meant to know by is just bullshit. I’m a very academic student that was told I should go into something like Science or Maths because I had the capability – and I gave all that shit up for creative subjects because I hate Science and Maths and would probably put a gun to my head if that was my career.

Or – God forbid – what if your life dream isn’t a career? What if a job is just a way to earn money to survive? Oh, gosh, they haven’t prepared you for that, have they?

(Side note 2: I was looking at a job site, indeed.co.uk – that you don’t even need a registration for, may I add – and there was an MI5 recruitment ad for digital/technical safety. Our government recruits spies online, and not even through the Dark Web. How’s that for disillusion?)

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Tips:

  1. Remember it’s not a be-all, end-all. Your life dream doesn’t have to be a career, so don’t feel like you have to plan that out to a T. Get into a position where you have a career you don’t hate to fall back on and go from there.
  2. Not knowing what you want is fine – you haven’t had enough life experience to know yet. In all honesty, you can make it up as you go. Your dream now could change in five years – the point is just to make a vague plan to keep it moving.
  3. Keeping it vague can be useful; especially when picking degrees and courses, things that are wildly relevant (like English and Maths) can be pretty useful so that wherever you end up, or want to go, you have a foundation.
  4. When you think about your future, what do you picture and, more importantly, want? Where do you want to end up? When you think about this, everyone probably comes up with different answers – I want to have an really open, very naturally well lit apartment in Italy (preferably Venice) where I can lounge around in silky robes and drink coffee and look at pretty views; my best friend Josh wants to be CEO or something as equally well paid and be surrounded by his twenty brand new cars; my best friend Amber wants to be married and have kids. See how what you want may not necessarily be a job, but how it can lead you to picking something? Josh wants to be earning a crazy large amount of money, so he wants to go corporate and is looking into either marketing or accountancy. I want a job that gives me enough freedom to relax at home some days and allows me to travel and just generally enjoy my life and Amber . . . well, she wants to meet a guy, so I guess that has nothing to do with her career choice, but it does give her a pretty wide option net.

how to make life goals and plans

So, as I do practice what I preach, let me show you how I’ve put this all into a plan.

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My final goal: To get into a job in graphics, preferably branding or advertising. I know that I always say that I’m a pretty aimless person, but I’ve always loved branding – it’s my favourite things about art and advertising combined and it’s just something I really enjoy. I’m currently trying to decide between university and an apprenticeship, but will apply for both and either take a year to complete an apprenticeship and then go to uni, or go to uni and hopefully land a graduate scheme after that.

So I guess for now I just have to work towards getting into university or an apprenticeship. Because I currently have nothing noteworthy to my name.  (Or that I could put on a UCAS form. Which may be more important. Who needs individuality; let’s conform to the government’s pre-paved pathway!)

Just remember that this is my plan – you don’t have to do the same thing. Hell, I’m only half kidding when I say that we have a preformed path set out for us; it’s conventional to go through high school, then college, then uni, then a job, then progress through that job, then die. You really don’t have to do it like that. Become a beach bum if you want and live off a hut on a seafront. Go become a modern day adventurer. But, regardless of what you want to do, I would definitely recommend making a few life plans just so that you don’t feel like you haven’t done anything. And tell me what your life plans are in the comments box because I’m nosy and want to know!

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33 thoughts on “{ What Should I Do With My Life, and How Do I Decide? How To Make Life Goals and Plans }”

  1. Life plans and the real world are scary! but I love the way you’ve laid out your plan in your notebook, I think you’d be great at graphic design xD May I suggest doing a foundation year in art and design before uni if you haven’t already thought about it, it was honestly the best decision of my life to do mine! 🙂 x

    1. Hehe that’s true 😢 and thank you! I actually would quite like to, but I’m not really sure what they are and when you’re meant to take them as someone told me you do them with your A-levels which was like….wut x

        1. THANK YOU SO MUCH. I just looked into it and the uni I really want to go to actually offers a foundation year for free that’s pretty close to me! I think I may actually choose that because it would be nice to have a year to develop and practice my skills – and I seriously need to create a portfolio. Seriously, I cannot thank you enough for recommending this.

          1. That sounds great! Even if you don’t go into a degree afterwards I think it’s great experience, where you can try different things out and find out what you love, and it’s definitely loads of fun! 🙂 they’ll also help you create a portfolio… Where can you go wrong really!
            (I’m actually working on a post to blog soon about portfolio advice, which you might find interesting – yes, that was a shameless plug haha!)
            You’re welcome x

  2. I try to live my life aimlessly, because I’m so much of a control freak, that I have to go the opposite way to stay in the middle. Great tips by the way, I think this could really help people, because making life is rather daunting. Also, I love the way you write, it’s actually really inspiring and I always look forward to your posts x

    1. I actually really get that – and I like it. It sounds so much less stressful! & thanks, I just kind of tried to summarise what my thought process was going along…which was easier said than done because this was done over Easter so a vast majority was *kawaii bunnies* and *I know I’ve eaten the Oreo egg, but the Maltesar bunnies look so lonely…*
      Anyway, thank you so much for taking the time to comment lovely, comments like this totally make my day x

  3. Deciding on life choices is always scary but honestly if all fails and you want to change your mind / life path it’s no biggie! I think teachers / tutors and mentors put so much pressure on young people to make decisions so early on but noone tells you you’re allowed to change your mind and change career direction! Lovely post! Love your little life plan page too, I used to do this!! <3 xxx http://www.miniaturemilk.wordpress.com // Imogen xxx

    1. Hehe, they help, right? Even if it’s just to feel like you have some idea of where you’re going… & thank you so much! I kind of like that idea, as doing a degree and getting stuck in that one area of work is not really something I want if it turns out I don’t like it xx

  4. I realize I don’t know you, but I have been enjoying your blog. You are very creative and free-spirited and you DEFINITELY remind me of my younger self. So….finding this as an opportunity to give my younger self some unsolicited guidance- A. your headed in the right direction. I like everything you’ve said in this post. Its all true and great. B. With “a” in mind, graphics is a great choice. And you should go for it. BUT….also try and make a path for yourself where you can earn money. A lot of it. I know right now you probably think its stifling or not what you care about but believe me it matters. What I have found as I’ve aged is money doesn’t buy you happiness but it DOES buy you the things you need to feel comfortable. And that apartment in Italy with the gorgeous views and the silky robes….its not cheap and you wont have it unless you make some money. Also the older you get, the more life costs. There are things we have to pay for that you can’t yet even imagine exists. Now, if you are lined up for a huge inheritance or a trust fund, disregard this advice. Either way please DO NOT give up your dreams or your passions. I definitely don’t mean that. Do the things you love. Do that art foundation or whatever. Allow your passions to grow and change as you are introduced to new things. At the same time, go to university and double major- graphics and accounting. Graphics and finance. Hell, graphics and science. You may hate those subjects but if your good at them- MAJOR in them along with what your passionate about. Then when you graduate you do both. You figure out a way to combine them in a way that is fun and make a killing doing it so you can have your own company, freedom of scheduling your own time, and a great income that will support your lifestyle. Double major. It will give you SO many more opportunities. C. Mini milk above is totally correct, you can always change your mind so don’t be too stressed, My friends mother decided she wanted to be a clinical psychologist. So she went back to school and just graduated and started a practice. She’s 70. D. Not sure if they have internships where your from- but if they do- do them – in graphics. The more people you can network with after graduation, the better. Do many internships. As many as possible. E. Keep writing your blog. Its great!
    xoxo
    quintessentialjill

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to type this. Seriously, when I read comments like this it just makes me so happy to think that people read my blog enough to actually take the time to help me out and give me advice 🙂 I totally agree with you about money – I don’t necessarily think it buys happiness, but it does buy most of the things I want to be happy (like travel expeditions, and books to read, and nice silky robes!) … thank you for the suggestion of a double major – i actually looked into it because of this and what we have is joint honours (basically the same – you can take two subjects), which sounds pretty great! I’ve yet to find a graphics one, but I have hope! And OMG. She sounds pretty awesome, I barely have enough motivation to get through college let alone completely learn a new career path! Wow.
      I’ve actually been looking into internships for graphics and have found some pretty cool ones in things like creative media and things around graphics (app design, web design etc), which is why I was thinking of going the apprentice route and jumping straight into it – but I think it would be nice to have a bit more time to practice and learn first 🙂 and thank you so much lovely, I definitely plan to keep blogging I get to “meet” great people like yourself! ;D xx

  5. I love the way you laid out your life plan in that notebook! It looks so organized and neat. 🙂 I’m currently looking towards biomedical engineering, but I still haven’t set that in stone. Nice to read about your goals though!

    1. Thanks lovely! And OMG you genius! Seriously, WOW! You actually should really follow that (if you want to) as we actually got a talk about STEM and how those are essentially the jobs of the future, so you’re pretty much guaranteed a well-paid job at the end 🙂 x

  6. This post is so relevant! For the longest time I thought I was the only one who was so lost.. but turns out there are many out there who are just like me.
    One difference is, though, that I’m nearing the end of my Bachelor programme. If all goes well, I should be getting my degree in English Language and Culture by the end of this academic year. Alas, I still have no idea what I want to do. All I know is I thoroughly enjoy language and all that comes with it. But what kind of career do you make from that? I know people who are doing their Master and still have no idea what to do with life. Or better said, what they want to do. We’re expected to know precisely what we want to do from the very start. How do you make that choice at 16? I’ve changed “career paths” so many times since then and even quit two study programmes. I’m 22 now, and tbh, I’m still not 100% sure. I’ve narrowed things down for myself considering the fact that I’m almost done with my Bachelor and I love language, but where to from here? Only time will tell. The best advice I can give is to take it step by step and keep calm.

    1. I think we’re all a little lost really. I don’t really understand where the concept that we have to have our lives totally figured out before we live them came from (it actually makes basically no sense to me – are you expected to watch a movie knowing its ending first?) but it doesn’t seem logical to me.
      Congratulations! I don’t know if this will help, but there’s actually a tool online we were shown that’s meant to find you jobs through your interests ( link: https://www.whatcareerisrightforme.com/ ) so check it out 🙂 I think as long as you know what you enjoy, you’ll be able to find things around it – you could be a translator, or work abroad (seriously, if I could speak another language I would do one of those international nanny gigs in Italy). Whatever you do, I’m sure you’ll do well with anyway 🙂

      1. I completely agree with you! It doesn’t make any sense. How are you supposed to know exactly what you want if you haven’t figured yourself out yet?
        Hahah, well, I’m already abroad! And I speak about 5 languages. I’ve thought about translating but it doesn’t appeal to me at all.. It all depends on my Master and the Masters offered in the city I live are quite limited. A master also usually lasts 1 -2 years and I don’t have the means to move again. There are so many factors, if I have to think about it.. but right now I’m focused on graduating!
        Thanks! 🙂 I’m sure you’ll end up doing well too!

  7. Scrolling through & catching up on all the blogs I’ve missed :/

    Loved this! I have already decided I don’t want to go to Uni – I’d rather do an apprenticeship. Just think of all the debts I’d have, it scares me and I’d rather keep my money than pay off debts😂but you know what you want to do and go if you want lol.

    Btw your notes and notebook is generally my life goals

  8. Loved this so much. I just had my first ever “big kid” job interview yesterday… and failed miserably btw… it really bummed me out. I started questioning whether or not my desired career choice was really fit for me. I started rethinking my whole future life and just questioning if my goals align with my actual abilities. One thing I learned in my first year of college is everyone is so different and has different stories. Not sure how it is in the UK, but here in America it’s not uncommon to see people who are married and have a family to still be attending school. Everyone is of different age ranges and walks in life. Although society expressively and even impliedly tells us to do certain things at a certain time to be a normal, functioning human… it’s quite impossible to do so. It’s great to have goals in life (obviously lol) but it’ll take each individual a different time span to complete it. To be honest I’m not sure where I was going at with all of this but hopefully it makes sense!

    1. Thanks lovely! And ugh…you’ll do better next time – interviews are seriously soul crushing things let’s not lie. And I totally get that, I reassess what I’m doing like 30 times a month and I haven’t even begun doing anything ;-; I’m sure you’ll be great at what you do, the interview was just a bit motivation sapping 😭 and that totally makes sense, I couldn’t agree more!

      1. You’re welcome! Whew, I’m glad that all made sense to you lol. Sometimes I feel like a jump around from topic to topic whenever I talk. But yeah, thanks for the words of encouragement! I’m certain you’ll be great at what you do as well. Why does life have to be so weird and hectic? Haha.

  9. Thanks so much for this I actually really needed it today! I’m 23 and just recently dropped out of college. I’m still not sure what I want to do because what I thought I wanted to do changed. I wanted to be a dental hygienist for the sole reason that it makes a lot of money. That isn’t what I really want though unfortunately. I want to do makeup for a living but every time I tell someone that they of course say “well you’ll have to move to a city to make any money” I’m okay with my life not going in any determined direction right now because I have too much stress to do much of anything anyways. But I’m okay with figuring out everything a little later than normal because everyone is different and figuring yourself out is so so so important in life so don’t stress too much if you aren’t ready to make concrete decisions about the future.

    1. I’m so glad this post was helpful! Ugh, it always seems to be like that – either make money and do something you hate (cough cough ACCOUNTANCY) or do what you love but be told it will get you nowhere… i say go for what you love and side hustle like mad. i have a few posts on how to earn through your blog, and i know you can earn through youtube – i personally have a good earning per month through etsy – so theres always ways around it if you get a ‘lil unconventional 🙂

  10. I love your jeans!! Awesome post. I love planning and writing things in my journal but I also think at some point you just have to step back and let go. Planning is so important but so is living in the moment. Still trying to balance the two. Great tips!

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