Today, I want to talk about Life Planning. This exercise, outlined in the book Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Help You Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want (Harkavy and Hyatt), is a POWERFUL one.
The first step in life planning is to write your eulogy … engage your head and your heart … and start writing down what people might say about you at your funeral …
If you can get past the “morbid-ness” of imagining your own funeral, the exercise has the potential to be EXTREMELY powerful …
If I’m being honest, when I sat down to complete this exercise back in August of 2020, I was concerned about what my husband might say about me.
I also felt a little concerned about my kids. What would they say?
When I engaged my head and my heart in this exercise, as the authors encouraged, I cried …
I didn’t like what I saw, especially when it came to my husband (though I know he would NEVER ACTUALLY say ANY of these things … he’s TOO KIND) … but nonetheless, the thoughts were there …
“She harboured a lot of resentment towards her husband for working all of the time.”
“She was bitter.”
“She was constantly overwhelmed.”
“She relentlessly pursued PERFECTION, but she was never truly satisfied.”
I didn’t like how these things felt. Or how they sounded.
But this is the way I was living … of course, the words spoken at my funeral wouldn’t be all bad … but there would be things left unsaid … but stamped on the hearts of those I love the most … those wounds, the scars, the damage of living with someone full of resentment or bitterness … someone who is constantly overwhelmed …
It was time to make a change …
And, so I did.
I took a day back in August to create my Life Plan. Following the eulogy exercise, the process involves determining your life “accounts,” prioritizing your life accounts, then creating “action plans” for each of your life accounts. Each action plan requires:
- a Purpose Statement
- an outline of your Envisioned Future
- an Inspiring Quote
- an assessment of your Current Reality
- Specific Commitments
*If you’re looking for examples or specifics, read the book (I’d gladly lend you my copy after I wrap up my Book Club this month).
The authors highly recommend setting aside ONE FULL DAY to sit down and work on your life plan. Why? Because there’s value in being FULLY immersed in something for a day … your head and your heart. Attempting to create a Life Plan in bits and pieces over a number of weeks, doesn’t have the same impact.
Finally, once you have your Life Plan created, it is important to review it regularly … daily, weekly, quarterly, and annually. In December 2020, as I write this book, I am doing my first “quarterly review” and, I can honestly say, I’ve worked through a lot of the resentment and bitterness I was harbouring upon my initial review back in August. I’ve also “did the work” to get those horrible feelings of anxiety and overwhelm under control (see “Goodbye Hot Mess Mama”).
Creating a Life Plan is POWERFUL … it allows us to set our intentions … to be better stewards of this one life we’ve been given … to love FULLY those around us … to pursue our own dreams and desires …
If you make the time to complete this exercise, it REALLY does have the power to CHANGE YOUR LIFE.
It has, undoubtedly, changed the course of mine!
As 2020 draws to a close, it’s time to sit down and make a plan for the next year of your life … and for the years that follow that!
I’d love to coach you through this process! I’m “coaching” two amazing women right now, who are excited to sit down and set some intentions!
Are YOU next?