Marcy and I just returned from vacation. Every year we return to the same place at the beach right around the same time of year. We PLAN. We look forward to that two weeks. We make lists to pack, etc.
How often though do we lay out our Life-priorities? Do you have a plan for the direction and purpose of your life?
When I was a doctoral student, one of the most helpful and instructive requirements of one of our courses was to create and present our “Life Mission Statement.” In a recent post “5 Reasons Why You Should Commit Your Goals to Writing,” from Michael Hyatt, he offers a PDF eBook, Creating Your Personal Life Plan, for all those who respond to his post by subscribing for email notification. It’s a great and helpful book with introductory video by Mike. He is the ideal coach because of his success at carrying out so effectively his own Life Plan. After all, he was the CEO of Thomas Nelson and now is their Chairman of the Board.–not to mention a high end blogger and successful Christian writer in his own right.
If you need reasons for creating such a Life Plan or Life Mission Statement, read Mikes post. I’d probably add a couple more here:
6. You will be able to spell out just what you’re life circles around. And you can hand out copies to close friends and family asking them to pray for you in these areas.
7. Living out your Life Mission Statement is an example for others. They see your progress. God wants us to so live that people can see our progress and thank God for the answered prayers they send up on our behalf.
8. There’s tremendous freedom in having a plan. Sometimes there’s freedom in something that appears constraining. A good example of this is a train. Trains don’t do well just going wherever. They don’t run best on sand or in mud. They can’t go where they want, but they have tremendous freedom when on their tracks. They can get where they’re headed much faster on those tracks than off. You have the added benefit of being able to adjust which directions and to which destinations your track (priorities and goals) will go.
Expect adjustments. Eleven years ago, I wrote out my first Life Mission Statement. Sometimes you have to adjust. Under my personal goals, one was to lose 45 pounds by a certain date. The date came and went and I had only lost 10. Rather than become discouraged and give up, I got out my LMS and readjusted the date to reflect a more realistic loss of 1 pound per week. After some time, I realized my goal.
Expect blessings. Involve the Lord as you write out your plan. Scripture says that if you “Delight yourself in the Lord , he will give you the desires of your heart.” I believe that as you worship and enjoy Him, he plants desires. Desires to grow, desires to plan and accomplish wonderful things. Watch the blessings flow as you honor God by being a good steward of your time and life.
As for the benefits in my own life, I have been able, with several adjustments, to:
- Go deeper in the Lord
- Reach weight and health goals
- Become debt-free
- Write several books and publish one
- See my family growing and active together
- Enjoy a marriage of 32 years and we’re still like newlyweds.
- Accomplish several ministry goals
Perhaps these things might have “just happened” on their own. I guess we’ll never know. But knowing myself as well as I do, none of them would. I do not have the organizational skills or the self-discipline (though I’ve grown in both) to accomplish these without a plan. Nor could I have planned and succeeded without the ministry of the Holy Spirit, who led me to write out a plan.
QUESTIONS: Do you have a written plan or life mission statement? Yes or no, as Dr. Phil says “How’s that working for you?”
©2011, David C Alves
the following is a guest post by Marcy Devers Alves (my wife)
That’s the Thing
Marcy Devers Alves
To never try,
To never know
Could that plane fly?
Could this arm throw?
And could this dream inside me grow?
Now that’s the thing.
I paused tonight in troubled thought,
As in a backward view I caught
A glimpse of dreams and schemes gone past,
And wondered if somehow, at last
I’ll reach the age of later years
And looking back through sighs and tears
Say to myself in shame of pride,
Of course I failed; I never tried”.
While others round me reached and turned,
In hot pursuits, their fires burned
As mine remained a smoldering ash
With no great flame, no blinding flash.
And I, consumed, sat in the coals
With undreamed dreams and unset goals,
Waiting for the “ideal” day
Of better jobs or better pay
Or “moments suited to the task”
While one by one life’s moments passed.
To never try
To never fail
To one day pass
Beyond the veil
And hear the words I’ll have to say
“I waited for a better day”.
A better day that never came,
While life passed by, things stayed the same;
I waited for the proper time,
The day of muse, or thought or rhyme,
Instead of holding fast each minute
To suck the hallowed essence in it.
O, God a pledge I make this hour
That by your might, your strength, your power
I’ll do the things I plan today
So at life’s end I will not say
“I waited for a better day”
Now that’s the thing.
© 2011, Marcy Devers Alves