Creating a life plan can bring you big benefits. Steve Spring explains why.
Have you ever noticed just how many men are discouraged with their life? They are frustrated with their jobs, their homes, and even their families.
Some of them just sit by and watch as they drift through life. Others find themselves living a plan designed by someone else. In the end they all seem to end up at the wrong destination.
The common cause seems to be that they don’t have a plan for their life. Maybe you are one of these men, drifting through life without a plan.
Do you often wish that there was a better way?
What if I told you that creating the marriage and family that you want begins with creating a plan for your life?
A life plan will help you to take a more active role in the direction of your life and your family. A life plan will help you make decisions aimed at creating the life of your dreams, rather than the dreams of others.
What is a Life Plan?
So, what is a life plan?
A life plan is simply a written document that answers these three questions:
1. Where are you now? First, you need to know where you are. Ask yourself, what are your strengths? What are your assets? What skills and talents have you been given? The Answers to these questions will help you determine where you are today.
2. Where do you want to be? Second, you need to know where you are going. What are your dreams? What are your desires for the future? What are your big goals? How do you want to be remembered by people who are important to you? The answers to these questions will help you decide who and where you want to be.
3. How do you get there? Finally, you need a roadmap to get you to where you want to be. This roadmap is your life plan. It involves creating simple action plans to help you reach each one of your goals.
Can you see why a life plan has the power to help you to create the life of your dreams?
Why Create a Life Plan?
The truth is that most of us work with professionals to create legal, financial, and insurance plans for our lives and our businesses, but we never take the time to create a life plan.
Because of this we are forced to either wander aimlessly through life, or worse, we end up following someone else’s plan for our life. We never take the time to create the life of our dreams. Since your life is your most important asset, shouldn’t you take the time to plan the life that you want?
Good, I think so too!
A life plan will give you five benefits:
1. A life plan will give you a vision—Without a vision for your life, you end up living a life that just happens. Worse yet, you may end up living a life someone else has created for you. Only you can identify what is most important to you, and only you can decide what you want to accomplish in your life. When you create your life plan, you create your vision for your life, and what you want to accomplish.
2. A life plan will give you a road map—Without a road map you don’t have anything to guide you through life. It has been said that, If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there. Once you create your life plan, you will know where you are headed, and you have a road map for your life.
3. A life plan will give you balance—Without balance in your life, you may end up sacrificing your family, friendships, and even your health for your career. This often leads to broken marriages, lost friendships, spiritual dilemmas, and illness. When you create a life plan, you create balance in your life.
4. A life plan will help you with decision-making—Without a decision-making tool, we tend to make reactive decisions based on our circumstances. Sometimes these decisions are not our best long-term choices. A life plan allows us to be more proactive and intentional in our decision-making. When you create a life plan, you create a tool that will help you make better decisions.
5. A life plan will help you make a difference—Without a vision for the future, we don’t know where to focus our efforts. Sometimes we focus our attention on things that don’t have a long-term impact. A life plan will help you clarify your most important priorities.When you create a life plan, you create a tool that will help you make a difference.
Can you see how a life plan can help you to create the life of your dreams? Can you see how the time devoted to developing a life plan will help you live a life that is more proactive and intentional? A life that is aligned with your vision and goals.
My challenge to you, is to take the time to create your life plan today.
Let’s create one right now.
How to Create a Life Plan
Your life plan is a short, written document that contains your answers to these three questions:
1. How do you want to be remembered? The first step in planning your your life, is to decide what you want it to look like when it is over. Steven Covey recommends starting with the end in mind. With that in mind, (no pun intended) imagine for a moment that you are dead. Think about your funeral for a minute. Who are the people at your funeral? What are they saying about you? Why does what they are saying matter to you? What do you want the people who are attending your funeral to say about you? Think about this for a minute and write it all down. Capture as many thoughts as you can, but get it all down on paper.
2. What matters most to you? The second step, in planning your life is to figure out what matters most to you. This is where the concept of “life accounts” comes in. Think about each category of your life as a “life account,” where you are continuously, adding or withdrawing from each “account.” For example, you might have an account for your wife and each of your kids. Your life plan is built on these “life accounts,” and each account represents a different category of your life. The key is to identify each of your accounts and arrange them in priority order. For example, my accounts are God, my wife, my daughter, my extended family, my career, my finances, and my health. Review the answers that you wrote down to the first question, and use it make a list of the “accounts” that matter the most to you.
3. How do you get from here to there? The final step in creating a plan for your life, is to create an action plan for each of your “accounts.” This involves three steps: describing your vision of the future, acknowledging your current reality, then identifying specific actions to take you to where you want to be.
a. To do this, list each account that you created in step #2
b. For each account, list the future that you envisioned in exercise #1. Think about how you want to be remembered by each account.
c. List 3-5 specific actions for each account that will move you closer to the future that you envisioned for each one.
Sounds great and simple, doesn’t it? Your life plan doesn’t have to be elaborate. You can use a sheet of paper, a word processor, or pre-designed template to capture your plan. The important thing is that you write it down.
Creating a plan for your life is the first step in becoming a better husband and father. It will help you realize what is really important to you, help you focus on what really matters, and help you to create a more balanced life.
Question: What would a written life plan make possible for you? How would it help you create the life of your dreams?
I’m also happy to share with you a free checklist to help you implement all 10 of my keys to creating the life of your dreams. It’s my gift to you.
Originally published on SteveSpring.org.