Do you ever get the feeling your life has gone “off the rails”? Do you ever wonder, “How did I get here? I always thought my life would be something different. This is not what I had in mind.”
If so, you’re not alone. Many people have these feelings of vague uneasiness about their progress in life. And this is not only true of those who are 40 and over. Many in their twenties and thirties experience these same feelings.
Recently, I found myself in an unusual situation. I had achieved every goal on my list. My income, marriage, business, and social life, all in top condition. Yet I felt aimless. It was crazy. I even set new goals, to give myself something new to work toward. But I still felt that nagging sensation of being adrift.
Right about this time, Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy sent me an early copy of their new book. It's called Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want. What a “coincidence.”
While reading the book, I had a flash of insight. Having good goals is not the same as having a life you designed.
Sometimes we’re so busy scoring points, we forget we never chose to play this game.
This may be common wisdom. But common wisdom is not common practice. I needed a more comprehensive plan for my life. I wrote just such a plan, and it has made all the difference.
What Is a Life Plan?
This term, “life plan” gets thrown around a lot. It means different things to different people. I think it’s useful to be clear what I mean when I say that I created a Life Plan. I used the book Living Forward as the blueprint to create my plan. I’ll share the definition the authors give in the book:
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.”
From Living Forward
I highly recommend you consider writing your own Life Plan. In fact, I’ll take it a step further. Even if you're not “the kind of person” who does things like “life planning”… you should design a Life Plan. Why? There are at leat 3 reasons.
3 Major Benefits of a Life Plan
There are many benefits to having a Life Plan. In Living Forward, Michael and Daniel share six. There are the three that I found most important. A properly written Life Plan…
- Clarifies your priorities. I don’t know if you’ve ever had this experience. Many decisions are easy to get right… if we know our priorities in advance. And many decisions almost impossible to get right if we don’t. Writing your Life Plan will help you get clear on how your priorities rank. For instance, let's assume your priorities rank as follows: God, health, family, and work. Knowing this makes your life simpler. You won’t struggle when the boss asks you to stay late and miss your daughter’s dance recital. You will know where that priority ranks, and you’ll have no problem saying, “Sorry, boss. I don’t miss my daughter’s recitals. I’ll do this work tomorrow.”
- Keeps you balanced. If you’ve followed my work for even a short while, you may know I believe “life balance” is a myth. When most people speak of “life balance”, what they mean is, “Every important part of my life gets equal amounts of time and attention.” Not only is that difficult, it’s impossible. The real key to “life balance” is giving each area the right amount of attention at any given moment. A Life Plan helps you do this, serving as a kind of “compass” that keeps you on course.
- Helps you sort through opportunities. For many people, the biggest problem they face is not a lack of opportunities — it’s too many! That may sound hard to believe, but if you’re this situation (even a “little”) you already know what I'm talking about. You are a busy person, doing well in business and life… and opportunities just keep popping up. It may seem like you’re in a season of having the “Midas Touch” — everything you touch turns to gold. The problem is, nobody has time to do all the good things that come our way. As Michael Hyatt says, “You can do anything you want. but you can’t do everything you want.” But how do you sift through the opportunities and decide which to refuse? Having a Life Plan will help make these decisions easier. Know your life's objectives. Then it’s easy to see whether new “opportunity” moves you toward your objective — or away from it.
Perhaps by now you're convinced you need a Life Plan. How, exactly, do you create one?
The Fastest, Easiest, and Best Way To Write Your Life Plan
There are many options for creating a Life Plan. They range from just “winging it” (making something up from thin air) to hiring a personal coach. I have an alternative recommendation. Just grab a copy of Living Forward. At the time I’m writing this, you get $360 in free bonus materials for ordering now. This ends soon (on Monday, February 29, 2016.) So don’t wait – click here to get your book now.
Living Forward is a quick & simple, step-by-step guide. It will help you stop “drifting” through life, figure out where you want to go, and develop a simple plan to get there. Best of all, you can work through the process and have your new Life Plan finished in a single day.
Do you already have a Life Plan? If not, how do you think your life would be different if you had a clear plan for every major area?