- by Don
The Power of a Life Plan
When I read Living Forward by Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy back in 2016, I had no idea how quickly it would impact my life. But within weeks of reading it, I put the teachings of this book to use, and I was extremely grateful that I had developed a life plan.
What is a life plan?
The idea behind Living Forward is really quite simple: instead of drifting through life, doing whatever is calling loudest at the time, you design the life you want and then develop a plan to achieve it.
A life plan is a short document written by you, for you, outlining how you intend to live your life with purpose and meet your goals.
Now, on the surface, this may sound a little too hardcore, like something only high achievers, or “Type A” people want. But in reality, it applies to everyone. If you want to be happy, if you want to fulfill your purpose in life, then you need a life plan. If you want to leave your current job and start RVing more, a life plan will help you achieve it.
How I created my life plan
After listening to the book, I decided to give the lessons taught in it a try. Since I finished the book a week or so before my birthday in 2016, I decided I’d gift myself a day off from work and spend my birthday working on my life plan.
I was amazed at how easy it was to create a lifeplan and how much ownership I felt over it. I had expected piecing together a life plan to be a difficult endeavor. After all, I’d done similar exercises in the past and never felt comfortable with them. I believe there were several reasons I found it easier when I developed a life plan:
I was highly motivated to do it. Kudos to the authors for writing in an inspirational and motivational style that made me want to follow their advice!
The book is packed full of examples. As each component of the life plan is discussed, and sample snippets are provided. In addition, there are complete sample plans at the end of the book. These samples gave me a much clearer vision of how to create the plan. I used the Kindle edition to “steal” pieces from several examples, and then crafted them together into something that I could own, a life plan that truly represented me.
I used the provided Evernote template. If you know anything about me, I'm obsessed with Evernote. I found the provided template simple to fill out, and I knew that I’d actually reference the plan since it would always be with me on my phone and computer.
As I reviewed my plan over the next few days after my birthday in 2016, I made a few tweaks and corrected a few typos. And then I knew I had a plan that was right for me. It sat well with me in my soul, and I was ready to implement my life plan.
Snippets from my life plan
Not everything in my life plan pertains to the growth and success of my business (although it certainly is included). For example, some of my top priorities are:
- My spiritual growth
- My physical health
- Continuous learning
- My wife
- My family (children)
Detracting from my life plan
Unfortunately, a few days after completing my plan, my life was turned upside down. My parents came to visit, and while they visited, my dad suffered from a heart attack.
Suddenly, I found myself getting up earlier to be at the hospital when the doctors made their rounds, staying at the hospital to support my mom, and spending evenings supporting my wife and kids. There was no time to work on my own personal endeavors.
That also meant I didn’t have much time to work on my business. But I knew that was OK. After all, I’d just completed a life plan. I’d defined my priorities, and I had put my relationships with family and extended family ahead of my business and financial goals (remember, you absolutely should not be "always on" for your business). I had defined how I wanted my relationships with my family and extended family to look. And I knew that I was doing what I needed to do to have that kind of relationship.
Fortunately, my Dad survived the heart attack. After getting some stents and spending a few more days in the hospital, he and Mom spent another week with us to recover before returning home. During that time, I worked on my business a few hours a day and could still be available to support and take care of the whole family.
After my parents returned to their home, I took a few days to give myself some self-care, and then started focusing on my business during the workdays. But I left the incident with a stronger relationship with my parents and my brother.
My life plan for 2020
Four years have passed since I created my life plan, and three have passed since my father died. I miss him terribly everyday. My father’s passing is likely indicative of why 2017 was my worst year - the impact of his loss rippled into all aspects of my life.
I continue to review and update my life plan. As a result, I have plans and goals for all of the areas of my life. I refer to it at the beginning of each year, and it helps me set my annual goals. I also review it each quarter as I set my quarterly goals. This review makes sure that my life plan is still relevant and up to date. Doing so helps me validate that my quarterly goals are congruent with the life I desire.
Now, in 2020, I know how to shape my goals for the year because I’m still following my life plan created 4 years ago.
How to get started with your own life plan
To get started on your life plan, go to http://livingforwardbook.com. There, you'll see some awesome bonuses in addition to links to order the book. It was an amazing resource that has helped me stay grounded over the years, and I highly recommend it, especially if you feel like you need help setting your New Year’s resolutions and annual goals.
Do you have a life plan? If not, are you willing to consider creating one? Let me know in the comments below!
Get Started Here
If your life plan involves starting and owning your own business venture, hop on the phone and receive a 30 minute complimentary discovery call with me to see how I can get you started!