“You can’t plow a field simply by turning it over in your mind.” ―
Compose And Update A Life Plan
Three years have passed with regular reviews and a tweak or two. However, this year there were a few more significant revisions. Why? Progress! Although my nine life accounts remained, some of the action item steps were completed and needed next steps.
Life planning differs from annual goals in that it has the long view, the dreams, visions, hopes and desire with one or two steps identified to get moving. The fact is, no age or time is too late to begin the process.
I have done some form of this for decades. However, this one is different in that it does not center on career activities alone.
Around Thanksgiving, I evaluate where I am in my goals for the current year (although I have been tracking them all year long). I also begin to tie up loose ends in order to finish the year strong while looking to the coming year.
Here is a review of the process:
Start with “Why” To Compose And Update A Life Plan
The first part of the book, which was discussed in Living Forward- Review, Share, Grow
talks about the “Why” of and for a life plan . The remainder of the 200 or so pages discussed the components of and the process for formulating a life plan.
The simple elegance is stunning:
- Start with the end in mind by asking, “How do you want to be remembered?” Write your own eulogy.
- Identify your life accounts and priorities
- Write the purpose of these accounts
- Envision what you want each account to look like
- Write what that account looks like as it exists today (the good, the bad and yes, the ugly)
- Commit to at least one step to take to close the gap between the dream and the “what is”.
and Daniel Harkavy
have a compelling way of distilling to the sweet essence, a concept, not necessarily new, yet with fresh life. Rather like a fresh batch of cookies from a great recipe but tweaked with a, yet to be identified, ingredient.
The truth is, being intentional about one’s life is more critical today than ever. Going with the flow these days leads to some not so wonderful places. At least it bears evaluation, but I am getting ahead of myself….back to the process.
Components of a Life Plan
Starting with the end in mind. When I first thought of writing my eulogy, it was creepy. However, as I stepped into that moment and realized this was about envisioning and recording how I WANT to be remembered rather than how I perceive I would be, was a most empowering few hours. In my review, this section of the plan was virtually untouched.
Life Accounts. I then moved into identifying my life accounts. I ended up with nine. The book walks you through the process and gives examples to help stimulate your personal process.
One of my life accounts is: Personal health – soul (mind/emotions) and body
Purpose Statement: To nurture my body and mind so that I may live out the full number of my days finishing in strength and with joy.
Envisioned Future: I…
- am lean, strong, fit and full of energy for every day.
- awaken each day with gratitude for a new day, refreshed spirit, soul and body.
- have extraordinary health, with no signs of physical aging,
- enjoy running, walking, bike rides or swims each morning and weight work-outs three times a week .
- maintain a positive and grateful mental focus, choose healthy foods, take appropriate supplements and get proper rest.
- have an ongoing personal growth plan that includes reading, flying currency and other intellectual nourishment.
Hooking Life Plan Steps To Goals
There is a current reality section and specific next actions I am taking. I was able to mesh key goals I had set for this year into this, but without dates. I do have a separate goal plan for this year that has dates and a bit more detail, but as the book states, goals are a look from 10,000 feet, a life plan looks from 30,000 feet.
This too was untouched. Interesting. However, when the envisioned future for this account was composed, things like, joy and gratitude (especially in the morning!) we just that – a vision. With some intention, these are becoming more familiar friends.
In order to facilitate the status of the life accounts an online life account assessment exits, along with templates and other helpful tools to avoid getting bogged down in the potential distraction of administrivia. There are also examples of life plans that assist in stimulating one’s thought process.
I finished drafting my plan in one day. Over the next few days I tweaked it as I began the recommended 90 day review. This Life Plan is all it clams: a guide, a filter and an encouragement when life gets thrown at me.
Life Plan 2019
One thing I have done to keep this plan a hand is I have recorded each life account “envisioned future” in my own voice in my iPhone (I use Evernote). Each day, during my morning quiet time, I listen to at least one as I get ready for the day. Most are less than a minute recording.
My Life Plan serves several purposes. It:
- articulates who and what I know I am on earth to be and do
- prevents “drift” and distraction from taking hold
- serves as filter in my decision making
- is a plan that can be adjusted and,
When things tug and pull, it provides a clear path back.
Are you ready to Compose And Update A Life Plan? Is this YOUR year to get clarity? Don’t let another year drift by!
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