How’s your Intentional Life Plan looking for 2022? My wife, Melinda, and I met in January to update our plan for the year. Two months later, with COVID becoming endemic and restrictions changing, according to Axios, the world is now looking at the busiest travel season ever.
We always enjoy starting the year updating our plan and looking a few years out, as well as at what’s on the horizon. We started our planning by reviewing our life goals for 2021 and were thrilled we had completed all 13 of our goals, including selling our business, moving Melinda’s mom to Maui, getting vaccinated, doing short road trips together, celebrating our kid’s 30th birthday, seeing Willie Nelson with our other kid, finishing writing a book, Melinda sewing again, me losing weight (thank you, Noom) and more.
It felt fantastic—especially knowing we accomplish these goals in the throes of a pandemic!
We then started looking at 2022, laying out our plan on the counter, with each of us bringing notes and talking and listening to each other. We then created a bunch of life goal sticky notes for this year and the next few years, and nested to the right side of our timeline some old goals that we’re not sure if we still want to. It was really heartwarming hearing each others’ hopes and dreams and being on the same page. If you are single, you can do this planning on your own or together with a friend.
Reinvention, Not Retirement
With the sale of our PR business, Melinda and I have entered a new period—the third act of our life—which we’re calling “reinvention” as we consider what to do next. Having worked continuously since I was 13, I wanted to see what it felt like not to work in the traditional sense and listen to my soul. I took two years to reexamine my life, using the special instructions in our book, Write, Open, Act: An Intentional Life Planning Workbook. I also started a separate journal, which I titled 60+, using the Day One app to take notes about what I want this next chapter to be about.
Some life goals take more time to accomplish and require an action plan and steps, as described in Step 3 of our life planning methodology. We’ve been planning and executing against our life goal of selling the PR business we co-owned for four years.
Beginning our new third act has been a learning experience. The first thing I did when I no longer had to go to my old job was turn off my morning alarm, then all the news notifications on my iPhone. I am trying to get away from the computer and screens as much as possible, checking email at 8, 12 and 5. Meditation has increased, and I am deeply thankful for my yoga teacher and getting on the floor.
Life Intention Quadrants
We took a page from our friend Bob, who retired five years ago. Bob and his wife, Debbie, developed four quadrants for their lifestyle intentions going forward:
Give: charitable works
Play: we don’t do near enough when we are working
Learn: essential to remaining engaged
Care: we are at a point in life where we have both the time and the need to take better care of ourselves.
The lifestyle intention quadrants Melinda and I developed are similar:
Our Updated Life Plan
Here are our new 2022 life goals by quarter, which are underway (we’ve already checked off three)!
Q1 (January, February, March)
Care for our moms (all year)
Monthly dates together
Purge all closets
Dinners with couple friends
Q2 (April, May, June)
Q3 (July, August, September)
Trip to see kids
Q4 (October, November, December)
Plan ’23 Europe trip
Having a Life Plan Works
It’s been so wonderful hearing from many of you who are using the Intentional Life Planning methodology in Write, Open, Act. It really works! Congratulations to alumni April and Rob, who are getting married this year, which was on their plan! I heard from two people who took the workbook with them to an Airbnb for their first day of planning and a birthday celebration. What better gift than a life plan? I’m hopeful that all the people we’ve been reading about who left their jobs are setting up new lives to pursue their intentions for our short time on earth.
We only get so many trips around the sun! What do you want to do with your one exquisite life?
Life Planning Workshops? Some of you have asked about future life planning workshops. For now, we don’t have any planned. However, I am considering creating an online training platform at writeopenact.com. Stay tuned! In the meantime, if you’re thinking about doing a life planning day, consider getting out of the house and going to a hotel or Airbnb—it’s a special occasion, so you may as well make it memorable!
(Lee Weinstein is an entrepreneur and author of Write, Open, Act: An Intentional Life Planning Workbook, available at writeopenact.com and at bookstores worldwide, including Amazon, Apple Books and Kobo.)