3.11.2016

3 Reasons You Need a Life Plan

I so appreciate my friend Michael Hyatt and his vision to help people create a Life Plan. It’s something my husband and I did early on in our marriage and I can honestly testify to what a huge difference it made in our family. I’m thankful Michael is guest posting on the blog today to share just how beneficial a Life Plan can be.

I was fried. It started when my boss quit, and I was tapped to fill his position as publisher of Nelson Books, a division of Thomas Nelson.

Pretty cool, right?

The trouble was our division was in the tank — I’m talking dead last in the company. And I was supposed to pull it out of the fire.

I got a plan and went into beast mode. Early mornings. Late nights. Always traveling.

The good news was that within eighteen months my team and I took our division from dead last to first place. We became the most profitable group in the whole company.

But there was bad news too.

Risking Everything

Rescuing the division meant endangering everything else. I had a wife and five daughters at home then. The long hours meant they hardly ever saw me.

My health suffered too. My weight went up as my time exercising went down.

Finally, I landed in the emergency room with a heart attack. Well, I thought I was having a heart attack. It turned out it was the worst case of acid reflux ever. But the scare woke me up to what was going on.

I had a plan for my division. But if I didn’t get one for my life, I was going to lose it all.

A Better Plan

Thankfully, a friend introduced me to an executive coach named Daniel Harkavy. He convinced me I could get a plan for my life.

That was more than fifteen years ago now, and my Life Plan has meant more purpose, satisfaction, and peace than I could have dreamed when I first created it.

In our new book Living Forward, Daniel and I share what a Life Plan is and how to create one for yourself.

Recipe for Sanity

A Life Plan is like a recipe for a balanced, meaningful life.

It’s a short document — eight to fifteen pages is all it takes — that articulates what you want your *whole* life to look like, not just one or two areas.

When we focus on just one or two areas, we inevitably lose sight of the rest. And that can mean disappointed family members, rocky friendships, troubled finances, bad health, and worse.

Here are three things a Life Plan can do for you:

1. **Clarity.** No matter where we are, most of us spend a lot of time in reaction mode. Our spouses, bosses, kids, churches — everybody has requests, demands, and plans for us.

But what do we want for ourselves? A Life Plan clarifies our priorities so we can know where and how to use our yeses and noes.

2. **Direction.** A recipe has a goal in mind. All the ingredients work together for a desired end product. A Life Plan provides direction two different ways:

* Painting the picture of the end product
* Giving you a plan of action

No matter how much disarray you might experience, you’ll always know when to add what and how much so you finish with something desirable.

3. **Motivation.** One thing I know from studying goals is that the more exciting the outcome, the more motivated we are to achieve it.

A Life Plan helps us paint a truly irresistible picture of our relationship with God, family, wellness, work, friendships and finances. It excites us to pursue the best in every area.

And here’s what’s really great – it works for everyone.

You don’t have to be a burned-out business person for a Life Plan to make a major difference in your life and the lives of those closest to you.

I’ve seen it help people at every stage and station: parents, homemakers, professionals, college kids, you name it.

We all have lives brimming with potential. We can make the most of it with a plan, or we can drift to a destination we don’t really desire.

I’ve seen where that goes. Maybe you have too. A Life Plan can give us all the focus, direction, and motivation we need for something far, far better.

livingforward Michael Hyatt is a popular blogger and the coauthor of Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want. Get your copy here!