We learn so much from the people who attend our Life Planning Workshops, who hail from all walks of life, ages, ethnicities and more. We’re always interested in learning from them as we continue to evolve Intentional Life Planning.
At a workshop in Astoria, Oregon, last year, one of our participants shared her life areas. This attendee considered their life in areas, drawing a wheel that included:
Denver based artist and author Kimmy Joy has a wonderful “Wheel of Intentions” process PDF available for free downloading here. “My hope is that when we all commit to being more intentional and loving with the way we engage with ourselves, each other, and this planet – we will usher in an era of light, healing, and unity!”, she writes.
My friend, Bob, who recently retired and reinvented his new life, divided his life into four quadrants:
- Live: charitable works
- Play: we don’t do near enough when we are working
- Learn: essential to remaining engaged
- Care: for healthcare, both because you have the time but also because you are at a point in life where you have both the time and the need to take better care of yourself
Creating your life intentions is a fascinating exercise. As you approach it, revisit your life journey to date:
- Scan your journals, diaries and photos.
- Write your biography by decade from birth—what were your major milestones, lessons, mistakes and problems?
- What moments had the greatest effect on you? (We had a wonderful woman in our Portland workshop who noted on her Intentional Life Plan the things she had done in life so far that were the most memorable and impactful. She did this “to seek inspiration from those events and create more like them in the future.”)
- What themes do you see from #1-3 above? What have you learned about yourself? Pretend like it’s someone else you’re looking at—are any other themes apparent? Write them down; they’re part of the trail to your future life.
- Now, look at all of the above for your life areas—the things that really make your life fulfilling.
What ties them all together? What about writing a life mission or vision based on these learnings?
As you do this work, you may want to get out a flip chart or a whiteboard so you can stand back and consider both your thinking and your heart. Listen to your gut and your emotions. Walk and meditate about it. Cross some things off and add others. Show the list to your loved ones and ask them how they see you and for their feedback (which you may or may not want to do anything with!).
In business they say to measure everything you can. To that end, if you were to apply a measure to your life intentions, how would you do it? We spend one-third of our 24 hours each day sleeping; depending on the other hours you have available, what percent of your waking hours would you ideally like to devote to each life area?
Now go write, update or reinvent your Intentional Life Plan timeline. Consider adding a drawing of these life intentions somewhere on your timeline. Don’t wait. We only get so many trips around the sun.