Developing A Life Plan (ESD)

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A personal Life Plan is perhaps one of the best ways to help keep your life on track, and is a tool that can help you become the person that God created you to be. Developing a plan for your life is a critical aspect of spiritual growth, because it lays our a tangible blueprint that can help you achieve the goals that God has for your life.

Unfortunately, most people never stop to accomplish this simple task.

Blueprints

I’ve maintained a personal Life Plan for several years now, initially starting to develop my own after reading about it on Michael Hyatt’s website. Once I got my plan in place, I wrote a blog post detailing it slightly. You can read that post here.

However, over the years, I’ve tweaked my plan to fit my life like a glove. And the more I utilize this tool, the better it becomes. This one simple activity can be traced to a significant portion of my personal and spiritual growth over the last few years.

Creating a personal Life Plan is simple, but it’s not easy. It’s simple because it’s your life. You already know your plans and goals. You know yourself better than anyone else and what you want to accomplish in life, how you impact the people and things most important to you, and where you’d like to see yourself in the next few years, and longer.

But it’s not easy. It takes some work. It requires some effort. However, it is well worth the time invested.

A Brief Overview Of My Personal Life Plan

In order to develop your Life Plan, you need to sit down and discover those areas that are most important to you. What portions of your life are the critical ones? The ones that are far more important than anything else? In my personal life, I discovered eleven areas that seem to be non-negotiables: my spiritual life, my personal growth in leadership, my personal health and fitness, my understanding of rest and sabbath, my marriage, my relationships with my kids, my relationships with my friends, my ministry, my personal finances, my writing and blogging, and my hobbies.

In setting up my Life Plan initially, it took some prayer and meditation in order to identify these areas. But these have firmed themselves up into the foundational elements of my life plan, and my life.

After identifying these areas, it’s easy to see where my priorities lie. Those are listed next in my Life Plan, along with a couple of passages of Scripture that I find especially poignant for my life. One of these is Jeremiah 29:13:

You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.

Finally, the overview of my Life Plan contains my One Word for the year. Naturally, this changes from year to year, but it is an elemental part of my plan. This gets added to a lot of other aspects of my Life Plan, enabling me to keep it in my sights for the year.

Where You Are Now Vs. Where You Want To Be

For each specific area of my Life Plan, I do two things: I envision what it would look like in a perfect scenario, my vision for that area of my life fulfilled. Then I take stock of the current reality. This will come in handy a little later as I strategize my action steps to get to my envisioned reality.

This helps me out by allowing me to dream for the future, while keeping me grounded in reality. I can see where I need to put my efforts to make the vision become real.

Passages Of Scripture For Each Area

Next, I locate a passage of Scripture for each are of my Life Plan. This keeps my Life Plan grounded in Scripture and focused on what God desires to do in my life, and not just my own agenda. For example, in my health and fitness section, the supporting passage is 1 Corinthians 6:19-20:

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

Developing Action Steps

Taking my current reality and comparing it to my envisioned outcome allows me to establish some action steps. These are the item-by-item goals that I need to accomplish in order to grow closer towards my goal. In the leadership growth portion of my Life Plan, one of my action steps is to read several books and articles on the topic of leadership each year.

Sometimes I may have ten or fifteen action steps listed. I take the next two or three for each area, print them out on a single page and keep it posted above my desk for every quarter of the year. This helps keep my goals in front of me and highly visible every day.

Evaluation Strategies

Finally, I evaluate myself and my progress regularly. Each year, I take a a couple of days in January to review and tweak my Life Plan on a large scale basis. If there are significant changes to be made, this is usually when it happens. This also helps me to make sure I’m on track with my growth in each area.

Every eight weeks I plan and implement a Personal Retreat Day. During this time, I review my Life Plan and make any course corrections necessary to continue to grow.

Each week, I take an hour or two to make sure I am on track with my goals for the near future. This helps me ensure that I’m taking the necessary next steps to accomplish my vision.

On a daily basis, I take a few moments to review my action steps, seeing what I have accomplished, and taking note of what may be next.

This is a simple but effective strategy to making sure my personal and spiritual growth is focused and targeted in the areas that are my top priorities. I make sure to do those things that contribute to this growth. If something comes up that does not contribute, or even hinders my growth, I look long and hard at whether or not that needs to happen. Sometimes, I end up adding or changing something in my Life Plan, simply because sometimes priorities change. I’ve found this to be true in my recreation and hobby areas, especially.

Creating and maintaining a personal Life Plan has probably been one of the single most important aspects of my personal and spiritual growth over the last few years. I look forward to seeing how this implements positive change and growth in the future, as well.

Question: Do you have a personal Life Plan in place? If so, how has it helped you grow? If not, what’s stopping you from doing so now? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Hey Jeff, I have also worked through Hyatt’s process. it was a good exercise to help bring some focus to what is most important to me. – I really need to revisit my plan more often. Thanks for the reminder.

    • I have taken my Life Plan further in directions that weren’t in the original setup that I gathered from Michael Hyatt. I’ve tweaked it and twisted it to fit to my own needs and life. It’s taken a while to get there, but I think it’s finally something that fits well. Now I can’t imagine living without it.