Life Design Coach and creator of The SELF Approach™

This is my corner of the web where I share unfiltered advice, practical tools, and laughter at life's sometimes fuckedupedness - all meant to help you live & love the absolute hell out of yourself and your life.

I'm Jen Vertanen

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Life Design Coach Jen Vertanen looking skeptically with a pink circle and the words Plan For Your Future

7 Tips for How to Plan Your Life for the Future & Put Yourself First

The future is literally a blank slate waiting to be written by you. 

And here’s a universal truth ==> You can’t do the same thing over and over again and expect different results.

It’s simply 👏🏼 not 👏🏼 possible 👏🏼.

You can’t go through the motions day in and day out and expect that magically, one day, you’ll wake up in a different space mentally, emotionally, and physically.

It takes intentionality and deliberateness to live a full and vibrant rebelliously fulfilling life.

And I KNOW that’s what you want because you’re here, reading this (thank you, btw).

Putting Yourself First

Some might find this concept selfish and that’s ok. I’ve taken back the word SELFISH (and turned it into a framework for working with clients 1:1) and believe that putting yourself first, at least some of the time, is a required step in living your rebelliously fulfilling life.

So let’s put YOU front and center, at least for a hot minute.

You with me? Let’s do it.

1. Look At What’s Not Working

Time to get radically honest with yourself. We can’t fix what we don’t acknowledge. It’s time to evaluate what’s NOT working in your life so you can create plans to address the gaps, so to speak.

TIME FOR ACTION ==> Make sure you’re in a decent headspace + set a timer for 20 minutes. Take out a sheet of paper or open a Google Doc and jot down the following headings: Personal Development, Finance, Recreation, Spiritual, Health + Wellbeing, Business/Career, Family + Friends, Home Environment (these are just examples – choose what makes the most sense in your life).

From there, rate each on a scale of 1-10 with 1 being lowest and 10 being highest. For each area, jot down what would make it a 10 and if that feels too hard…what would make it a 5?

The trick here is NOT to judge what comes up for you. At this point, we’re literally just gathering data – hints + clues – that we’ll use to create a roadmap towards your future self.

2. What Do You Value and Hold Near & Dear?

What’s important to you and are you spending your time accordingly? For example, if you value taking care of your emotional wellbeing but always teeter on burnout and people-pleasing…there’s another clue of where some change may be in order to move you closer to your future self.

Are you working too many hours without asking for help? Are you always saying YES when you really mean HELL NO?

What are some tiny, intentional actions you can do TODAY to move you closer and closer to living your values?

3. You Through the Decades

I love partnering with my wisest, coolest, most badassest 80-you self but that may feel too far out for you so start with you in the next 5 – 10 years.

What type of person do you want to be? How do you want to spend your days and whom are you spending them with? What does your home feel like? How do you feel in the morning and as you go to bed each night? What makes you get up in the morning and say, “FUCK YEAH I love my life!”?

Get really specific here and paint a picture. And then? Reverse engineer that sucker.

What does today you need to be doing now to move closer and closer to your vision of future you?

4. Create a Roadmap

Thus far, you’ve been collecting hints and clues of who and what you want your future to be.

You’ve gotten specific (if you did the Ideal Day exercise in the Super-Duper-Top-Secret-Library you’ve gotten SUPER SPECIFIC down to your sheet thread count!) and identified the gaps.

Now, it’s time to plan for how to fill those gaps.

If everything is a priority then nothing is a priority so go back to the work you did in Step 1 and prioritize. What are the top 1-2 areas you want to focus on first?

Maybe it’s some low-hanging fruit like adding in 10-mins of yoga to your day. Maybe it’s a bigger thing like planning for a career pivot and researching the best degrees or trade schools.

This is YOUR plan…your future. You can either look at it as overwhelming and too hard and therefore don’t take action OR you can look at it with curious eyes and a future full of possiblity just waiting for you to take action.

My guess is because you’re here, it’s the latter. I want you to give yourself a hearty pat on the back because this shit is not for the faint of heart but oh so worth it.

Remember – a rebelliously fulfilling life is what we’re going for here and it’s going to take some work and intentionality and possibly a pivot or two.

You are a strong, independent, smart woman. You’ve got this.

5. What Might Trip You Up Along the Way?

Yup – we’ve got to plan for those things too because life WILL happen in ways that don’t always feel great. Sometimes it might feel like 1 step forward and 2 steps back.

It’s ok, nothing has gone wrong, and keep doing the work to move forward.

Spend a few minutes, 5-10 thinking about who or what might get in your way, and proactively (adult brain FTW!) come up with action plans in case that thing or person does, in fact, get in your way.

Something’s bound to happen but you are a smart, resourceful woman. Tattoo that in your mind somewhere.

6. Create Systems For Success

How are you going to get back on track when you veer off track? How are you going to remind yourself of your vision and your why when it’s feeling a bit like a slog and you just kind of want to throw in the towel?

Again, we’re going to use our prefrontal cortex – our adult brain – to create plans.

It might mean a daily reminder on your phone that reminds you of your why. It might mean signing up for a digital yoga service (I highly recommend Yoga with Adriene and Boho Beautiful Yoga). It might mean starting meal planning on Sundays.

Make it easy for your brain and create systems where you can.

7. For the Love of All That’s Holy, Get Some Support!

We’re not meant to do this work alone. What resources do you need to do the work and keep at it when the going gets tough?

Do you need to hire some things out? A grocery delivery service? (<– this is a godsend for me)

Let some trusted family and friends in on your hopes and dreams for your future so they can help you out even if it’s cheering you on?

Is working with a mentor 1:1 the way to go?


Only you can say what you need and then surround yourself with the support to set yourself up for success. People don’t know what you need unless you say it out loud and more often than not, your loved ones WANT to be part of your success.

If they don’t…I question if they’re truly loved ones. Controversial – I know.

Thanks for dreaming big and doing the work. Signed, Your Future Self

Your future self is waiting for you to make a powerful decision…to just get started. To put perfectionism to the side and dive headfirst into creating your rebelliously fulfilling life whether it’s 6-months from now, 3 years from now, or decades from now.

jen v. xo

Hey there!

I'm a magical mix of coach, perspective-shifting mentor, hair-holder, consultant, wing woman, get shit done'r, silver lining finder, & slightly annoying cheerleader

I'm Jen Vertanen, Make Shit Happen Coach + creator of The Fuck Yeah Methodology

I used to roll my eyes at the notion of self love and loving my life because it felt so far outside the realm of possibilities. I thought both were saved for those who'd escaped childhood unscathed.

But a perfect storm in 2015 had me wake TF up and heal my childhood ish. Along the way, I started to not only love but LIKE myself and I stopped wanting to escape from my life and instead, intentionally create my exciting future. That's saying a lot when you read my stories!

And now? I get to help women all around the world fall in love with themselves, their lives, and create the future THEY want. How cool is that?!?

© 2024 Jen Vertanen & A Fuck Yeah Life

An ADHD &  LGBTQ woman owned business