Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want by Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy

(Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2016), 203


Part One: Understand Your Need

Chapter 1 - Acknowledge the Drift

"The Drift" is the villain that has us arrive at destinations we didn't consciously choose. This is what happens if you don't plan your life.

  • Drifting happens when:
    • We are unaware
    • We are distracted
    • We are overwhelmed
    • We are deceived
  • Consequences of drifting:
    • Confusion
    • Expense
    • Lost opportunity
    • Pain
    • Regrets
  • Life planning is about proactivity. Our goals with life planning:
    • Become aware of your current location
    • Decide where you want to go
    • Start working toward your destination

Chapter 2 - Understand the Mission

What is a "Life Plan" and the three questions to focus on.

  • What is a life plan?

A Life Plan is a short written document, usually eight to fifteen pages long. it is created by you and for you. It describes how you want to be remembered. It articulates your personal priorities. It provides the specific actions necessary to take you from where you are to where you want to be in every major area of your lie. It is most of all a living document that you will tweak and adjust as necessary for the rest of your life.

  • Three important questions when life planning:
    1. How do I want to be remembered?
    2. What matters most?
    3. How can I get from here to where I want to be?
  • Life Planning is more than a document, it is a lifelong practice

Chapter 3 - Appreciate the Benefits

Why to life plan, the 6 benefits of making your plan

The benefits of life planning include:

  1. Clarifying Priorities
  2. Maintaining Balance
  3. Filtering Opportunities
  4. Facing Reality
  5. Envision the Future
  6. Avoiding Regrets

Part Two: Create Your Plan

Chapter 4 - Design Your Legacy

How do I want to be remembered?

  • First, write your Eulogy as if it were being read today.
  • Second, craft "Legacy Statements" as you would hope they would be read at some point in the future.
    1. Identify your key relationships (God, spouse, children, parents, siblings, colleagues, clients, friends, mentees, community members, etc...)
    2. Describe how you want to be remembered by each group (in a compelling manner)

Chapter 5 - Determine Your Priorities

Identify your "Life Accounts"

  • The nine basic life accounts:
    • First ring is "Circle of Being": activities focused on yourself
    • Second ring is "Circle of Relating": relationships with others
    • Third ring is "Circle of Doing": your output
  • Considerations for making your life accounts:
    • Your life accounts are unique to you
    • They can be named whatever you want
    • They are interrelated
    • They will change over time
  • After making your Life Accounts, determine the condition of each

  • Passion is your enthusiasm for the account
  • Progress relates to the results you are getting in that account
    • Then, prioritize your accounts

Chapter 6 - Chart the Course

Make an action plan for each account

  1. Purpose Statement
    • State your purpose for each account
  2. Envisioned Future
    • Describe the account when it's functioning at its best (in the present tense)
  3. Inspiring Quote (optional)
  4. Current Reality
    • What is the honest current reality
  5. Specific Commitments
    • No necessarily goals, but bullets that are SMART (specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, time-bound)

Chapter 7 - Dedicate One Day

Now is the time to make your life plan—dedicate a full day.

  • Your Life Plan requires a full day to unplug from other demands and focus fully on it
  • Trust the process and don't worry about getting it perfect

Part Three: Make It Happen

Chapter 8 - Implement Your Plan

We need margin (time to breathe, relax) in order to implement our Life Plan.

  1. Triage Your Calendar
    • Protect the basics
    • Eliminate the nonessentials
    • Reschedule some of what remains (put off what you can)
  2. Schedule Your Priorities
    • Reference your ideal week (ref Free to Focus)
    • Plan an Annual Time Block (put "big rocks" on your calendar first)
    • Say "No" with Grace

Chapter 9 - Keep It Alive

A Life Plan is worthless without regular review.

  • Start by Reading Your Plan Daily for the first 90 days
  • Review Your Plan Weekly, Michael's Weekly Review consists of:
    1. Read your Life Plan
    2. Gather all loose papers and process
    3. Process your notes
    4. Review precious calendar
    5. Review upcoming calendar
    6. Review your action lists
    7. Review your "pending" list
    8. Review your project lists
    9. Review your someday/maybe lists
  • Tweak Your Plan Quarterly
    • Review your Life Plan
    • Write goals for the upcoming quarter
  • Revise Your Plan Yearly

Chapter 10 - Join a Revolution

How to implement Life Planning in your organization.

  • The business benefits of Life Planning
    • Communicates you care
    • Ensures employees are proactive at work
    • Empowers employees to be engaged on the job