This week, I met with the eight-field staff in my part of the Greater Northeast Region for an overnight retreat. The purpose of our time together was to lead them through a process that I have benefited from, called “Life Planning.”
I created my first Life Plan at a Building Champions Experience back in 2012, and have grown and benefited from having, updating and reviewing my Life Plan ever since. Daniel Harkavy and Michael Hyatt, two “virtual mentors” of mine recently wrote a book on the process that I highly recommend to anyone, called Living Forward. In the book, Harkavy and Hyatt make the point that most of us spend more time researching a new car purchase than we do thinking about or planning our life. After reading the book, and attending this year’s Building Champions Experience, a friend suggested that I take the staff that I lead through the process. I already had an overnight retreat with our staff planned, so that’s exactly what we did with that time.
After having lunch together, and briefly reviewing the Life Planning Process, everyone retreated to different corners of the grounds and lodge for about 3 1/2 hours of silent reflection and work. During that time, each individual spent time getting specific about what they intend to do with the time, relationships and resources that God has given them. In a Christ-following context, Life planning can seem at first like trying to take control of our futures rather than trusting God with what is to come. That is not the goal. Rather, the goal is to invest wisely what God has given to us so that we live with purpose, rather than by accident. Living with purpose is a concept that I learned as a new believer in Jesus. Life Planning is merely a tool that helped me get specific about what is really important, and then learn to follow through. It was a lot of fun to share that tool with our staff, and I look forward to seeing what fruit it will bear in their personal and professional lives.
If you are interested in this concept, this video is a great introduction to the book, the authors and the benefits of Life Planning.