There is no bad age or
time to begin the process, yet I am glad for this timing. The fall is when I evaluate where I am in my goals for the current year (although I have been tracking them all year long). I begin to tie up loose ends in order to finish the year strong while looking to the coming year. This year I am beginning with a review and adjustment of my life plan. The opportunity to have some friends along on the journey is a blessing.
Start with “Why”
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 and goes like this:
– 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 very compelling way of distilling down to a sweet essence a concept that is 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. It is true that being intentional about one’s life is more critical today than ever, as going with the flow these days leads to some not so good 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 it might be at this moment, it was a most empowering few hours.
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. I awaken each day with gratitude for a new day, refreshed spirit, soul and body. I have extraordinary health, with no signs of physical aging, I enjoy running, walking, bike rides or swims each morning and weight work-outs three times a week . I maintain a positive and grateful mental focus, choose healthy foods, take appropriate supplements and get proper rest. I have an ongoing personal growth plan that includes reading, flying currency and other intellectual nourishment.
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. It is a larger umbrella from which to live.
To facilitate the status of the life accounts there is an on-line life account assessment 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. It has been all the book says: a guide, a filter and an encouragement when things got thrown at me. I will be taking another day during this class to reflect and update.
In my next BLOG I will review “the drift”: That unseen villain that comes in seemingly benign ways and leads to undesirable destinations – but for an intentional plan. The drift is real and I will share what that looked like this year is my life.
Are you ready ? Don’t let another year drift by!