Do you work hard at living forward: investing time, energy, talent and money into projects, yet it feels like nothing gets accomplished?
Are you ready to give up because you’re frustrated, overwhelmed and exhausted?
If you answered yes to either or both, it might be time to create a life plan.

Where to Start

It can be daunting to begin with the end in mind—especially if your detail-oriented, planning and organizational skills are stronger than your vision-minded, big-picture creating skills.
But for a life plan to become effective, it’s helpful to identify your life purpose (the big picture vision for your life) and then fill in the details (planning and organization).
At the end of your life on planet Earth:
How do you want to be remembered?
What do you want people to say as they stand around at your funeral, as they talk about you?
Generally speaking, I want people to share: “she helped others ‘be still and know that {He} is God’ (see Psalm 46:10, NIV); to know He is God and be still.”

A Tool For Living Forward

While I identified that vision for my life almost six years ago, Michael Hyatt’s book Living Forward helped me to envision and create a detailed plan so that I can intentionally live forward.
Hyatt walks readers through the process of “writing your eulogy” by creating short legacy statements, as part of creating a life plan.
Here’s one of my legacy statements (real name replaced with Jane).
“I want Jane to remember the time we were on the phone for almost five hours, into the late night, sharing stories about how God blessed us and kept us dry through some of the most difficult rainstorms of our lives.”
In my mind’s eye, my life plan appears as a one thousand-piece puzzle.
My purpose, the vision for my life to help others “be still and know {He is God}” (Psalm 46:10, NIV), is the big picture on the front of the box of puzzle pieces—the guide for taking one thousand scattered pieces and putting them together.
It’s a picturesque green pasture beside still waters (Psalm 23). Red, yellow, black and white people dot the landscape, as they enjoy community. Some relish a picnic, while others worship God. Kites fly. It’s food, fun and fellowship at its finest. Faith, hope and love flow freely.

Putting It All Together

If I want the pieces of my life to form into that picture at the end, I have to be intentional about what pieces will go into the puzzle.
The conversation with Jane is one piece. Other pieces related to Jane represent my on-going relationship with her, which form one of the images in the puzzle—she and I sitting on the grass, talking beside still waters.
Having this structure in my life plan reminds me to nurture my relationship with Jane. This requires that tasks throughout my days, weeks, months and years include intentional activities with her that help us both—to know He is God and be still.
To learn more about how to put together the pieces of your life plan, check out Michael Hyatt’s book:

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