It’s always an amazing moment in our Intentional Life Planning workshops when we watch people experience their first visual representation of the rest of their lives.
Then, we give them a six-foot-long sheet of butcher paper and ask them to perform this task: Write the current year on the far left and their expected death year at the far right of the sheet. Number the years in between and divide them into decades.
That’s how much life they have ahead!
“Looking at my lifespan ahead was very valuable,” wrote one 40+-year-old attendee at our 2018 workshop in Dufur, Ore.
“That’s all the time I have?!” exclaimed one 20-year-old.
“It’s so valuable to look out 5, 10, 20+ years when making annual goals,” said an attendee.
“This 65-year-old had better get to work!” said another.
We’re living longer than ever before. My original calculation was that I’d live to be 80 years old. I just did the online calculator again, and it’s now 90! That has ramifications for how long I will work and how much money I’ll need to save.
Here are some additional reflections from the participants of our April 2018 workshop about the Write, Open, Act process:
- “I plan to take each major life goal and work through an implementation plan, then layer those 3-D on an online calendar.”
- “I really worked to learn how to plan for my life and structure my plan and goals. I believe I can utilize the knowledge from your program to be successful in my life.”
- “The opportunity to check in with my partner about what we want more of in our lives—and then having a structure with which to start plotting out our goals—really worked.”
- “The simple nature of this life-planning approach really worked, as did breaking down the process into visible steps. We are both convinced this is/was needed.”
- “We will revisit our plan once a week post-initiation and keep a monthly schedule to view our goals and see if we are on track. We’ll celebrate our accomplishments with a large, bold checkmark when we accomplish a life goal.”
We write plans all the time for projects with a finite end. Shouldn’t we all have strategic, carefully crafted Intentional Life Plans?