What is "Personal Futures Planning"?
Most people's lives are more satisfying when they have a clear picture of what they want for themselves. When people develop a mental image of how to achieve their goals, their sense of hope is strengthened. As these mental images become more detailed, we might think of them as mental maps. Mental maps show us what is likely to be helpful and what may be barriers to reaching a better future.
When we think of "maps", we may imagine a road map – one showing the United States, for example. If you wanted to get to Miami from New York and you didn't know the way, you would use such a map. The mental maps we will discuss in this workbook do not look like geographical maps. They more often look like lists. Still, they are a kind of map – one that will help show you the way to a better future.
Not all people have mental maps.
- They might have dreams or hopes, but not know how to take action.
- Or, they may dwell on what is wrong in their lives, without moving on to think about how to make life better.
- Or, they may not see what can be done to improve their lives.
- Or, they may feel they don't have a right to dream.
If you have no plan or map for your future, you lack an important tool for making your life all that it can be. This book offers you a tool to help you make a plan for your future and to work on carrying out that plan. That tool is called Personal Futures Planning.
Personal Futures Planning will help you develop maps to a better future by:
- ... helping you sort through what your life was like in the past.
- ... helping you think about your current situation, both what you like about your life and what you feel needs changing.
- ... helping you map out your future, both what you would like for yourself and how you can go about achieving those things.
Personal Futures Planning can:
- ... encourage you to have hope.
- ... help you see yourself as a whole person.
- ... encourage you to pull your life together.
- ... empower you to acknowledge the obstacles in your life, without losing sight of the opportunities.
- ... show you how to create a vision of your future and what you want for yourself.
- ... enable you to create your own personal maps that can help you direct the course of your life.
People who have used Personal Futures Planning feel that they are on a journey. In this journey, they develop mental maps based on who they are and what they want for themselves. They find valuable resources from the past and opportunities in the present. They then use those resources to create their maps to the future. Personal Futures Planning helps them to move on in their journey and keep on track.
From the Mount Sinai Medical Center. www.mssm.edu.