It’s been amazing to discover how many people don’t have written life plans; in fact, life plans and life planning aren’t even part of most people’s everyday vernacular.
We are told to have wills, financial plans, advanced directives, powers of attorney and life insurance. Shouldn’t we have life plans first? (Or shouldn’t they at least be part of the list above?)
As we published “Write, Open, Act: An Intentional Life Planning Workbook,” I set up a Google Alert to track mentions of “life plan” and “life planning.” It’s been stunning to see how few mentions there have been (mainly around end-of-life planning).
A survey by DHM Research found that 67 percent of Americans do not have a written plan for their lives.
Our lives our valuable, and our time on this planet is finite: What are we doing here? Are you living your greatest life? What do you want to say you accomplished at the end of your life? When I went to Powell’s Books here in Portland, Ore., to see if there were any life planning workbooks, I found none. Same on Amazon. There were life planning books—200 to 300 words long filled with case studies—but nothing that could help someone quickly get down to work building a practical, visual life plan.
“Write, Open, Act” is 100 pages and can be read in an hour or two. The book will help you develop a life plan in four steps:
Step 1: Uncover Your Life’s Wishes
Step 2: Build Your Timeline
Step 3: Turn Your Timeline Into an Actionable Plan
Step 4: Keep to the Plan
Yes, you should definitely have a financial plan and a will, but those should be informed by your life plan. When you see your financial planner, they’ll ask you what you want to do with your life, and what major expenses you see ahead. If you have a life plan, you’ll be able to show them the life your financial plan will enable.
The Beatles sang, “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”
It could also be sung, ”And in the end, the life you take is equal to the life you make.”