Until recently I had never thought much about creating a life plan for myself.  I’ve been in business long enough to have created goal sheets, vision boards, 5 year plans and 10 years plans.

And honestly, that’s what I thought a Life Plan was all about.

And then I went to Nashville and sat in on an amazing event and book launch that really helped me understand what a Life Plan was and why I really needed to create one.

In Nashville with Michaela Hyatt & Daniel Harkavy at their book launch for Living Forward

With Michaela Hyatt & Daniel Harkavy at their book launch for Living Forward

Living Forward – A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting & Get The Life You Want – By Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy is more than a book, it’s a guide to helping you create a valuable and workable Life Plan.  Helping to bring clarity to your priorities and designing a plan to invest deeply into the people and things that matter most to you.

Prior to my visit to Nashville I had been doing a lot of contemplating about my life going forward.  I kept asking myself the question – What do I want the next 40 years of my life to look like?  I was taking a hard look at the things on my plate personally and professionally.  I knew it was going to be important to define those things that really mattered to me most so that as I moved forward those important things did not get overshadowed and drowned out.

Then this past week happened and I was reminded once again the value of having a life plan to refer back to.

playball

It was just a regular church league softball game.  The first game of the season and it was a close one.  My husband was on base and at the crack of the bat took off around the field.  Somewhere between 2nd and 3rd something popped in his ankle and he found himself staggering to third base, pain shooting through his foot.

Three hours later, we headed home from the ER with a splint, crutches and instructions to call the orthopedic surgeon in the morning.

It’s moments like this, when life throws a curve ball that you have to do a shift.  With a busy family of six, careers and other commitments, life comes to a screeching halt when one of us goes down.

When we drift through life, it’s easy to be thrown off balance when these kind of things happen.

But when we have a plan and we know where our most important focus needs to be, then strong gust don’t throw us off course – we simply adjust and keep heading for our intended destination.

For my life, I identified 8 key priority areas:  Faith, Self/Health, Marriage, Children, Extended Family, Friends, Homeschool, Finances, Work.

Michael and Daniel’s book helped me to design a plan to make sure those areas are being cared for and nurtured. It wasn’t complicated but it did require me to take the initiative to read and then follow through to create my Life Plan.

The  Nuts and Bolts of Creating a Life Plan:  (Excerpts from Living Forward)

  1. Acknowledge the Drift“Without a Plan, chances are good you’ll end up at an unintended destination.”
  2. Understand the Mission – “A Life Plan is a short written document, usually eight to fifteen pages long.  It is created by you and for you.  It describes how you want to be remembered.  It articulates your personal priorities.  It provides the specific actions necessary to take you from where you are to where you want to be in every major area of your life.  It is most of all a living document that you will tweak and adjust as necessary for the rest of your life.”
  3. Appreciate the Benefits“We fool ourselves if we think balance means giving equal attention to everything in our lives.  Balance only happens in dynamic tension.  Balance is giving not equal but appropriate attention to each of the various categories of your life.”
  4. Design Your Legacy“Our legacy comprises the spiritual, intellectual, relational, vocational, and social capital we pass on.”
  5. Determine Your Priorities“We tend to thing that effective people are busy.  Not so, unless they are busy with the right things – and many people aren’t.  When things in our business or life get busy and hectic, we often lose sight of our priorities.  But by keeping the truly important things front and center, we often get the perspective we need to make better decisions.”
  6. Chart the Course“If we’re not crystal clear where we’re headed, we may allow other well meaning people or exciting opportunities to influence us and then make decisions we later regret.”
  7. Dedicate One Day“A plan in the heart of a man is like deep water, but a man of understanding draws it out.” -Solomon
  8. Implement Your Plan – “If you are to be successful with your Life Plan, you must create margin so that you have room for what’s important, not merely urgent.”
  9. Keep It Alive  – “Self-discipline is the ability to make yourself do something you don’t necessarily want to do, to get a result you would really like to have.” Andy Andrews

So the question is – Are you just drifting through life?  Do you have dreams and goals? Do you know how your going to get there or are you just hoping it will just all come together somehow?

For me it came down to what Michael and Daniel say in Chapter 5 and 6 –

We tend to think that effective people are busy.  Not so, unless they are busy with the right things – and many people aren’t.  When things in our business or life get busy and hectic, we often lose sight of our priorities.  But by keeping the truly important things front and center, we often get the perspective we need to make better decisions.”

I don’t want to merely be busy for busy sake.  I want to be able to put my hand to the things that matter the most to me, that will allow me to leave a legacy for my children and ultimatley allow me to love, live and lead well.

“If we’re not crystal clear where we’re headed, we may allow other well meaning people or exciting opportunities to influence us and then make decisions we later regret.”

A life plan helped me pivot when Brian got hurt last week.  To put on hold those things that were not priority in my life because at the end of the day He is higher on my priority list.  It may seem like a no-brainer but having a Life Plan allowed me to make a quick and decisive decision about where I needed to be without guilt or the need to explain myself to anyone.  As a recovering people pleaser, this is a huge win in my book.

And I can tell you that making a Life Plan has been one of the most significant things I have done for myself and for my family to date.

Is it time for you to make a Life Plan? Are you tired of just drifting through life? Are you ready to truly chase those dreams and passions that reside deep in your heart?

Then go grab a copy of Living Forward and make it happen. No one else can do it for you but we can cheer you along in the process.

Keeping it Simple,
Victoria

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