I’ve talked about YOLO and Carpe Diem (here and here), and I’ve shared my decision to make my next decade the best of my life (here and here). Part of all this involves having an awareness of your own mortality. You don’t have to get morbid, and you don’t have to turn to self indulgence – eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die (Ecclesiastes, Luke, and Isaiah which I discussed here).
I’ve dusted off the book by Michael Hyatt, Creating Your Personal Life Plan (free ebook here), and returned to actually writing my plan. This was partially prompted by my return to something major I think I’d like to do with my life. This was an important idea seven years ago before I let life and circumstances bury it. Yesterday, both my wife and my mother separately and independently said I needed to set priorities for all I want to do, and then do it. I have decided that there are five levels to becoming aware of my own mortality, and reacting to that awareness.
(1) – YOLO, You Only Live Once. You recognize that you only go around once and use this slogan as an excuse to do stupid self-indulgent things to get the most pleasure from life because you only have one chance to do so.
(2) – Carpe Diem, Seize the Day. You want to live life to the fullest, stop procrastinating and do some of the things that you feel are important. For me, this level rises above the hedonistic indulgences of YOLO. But while the desire to accomplish the important is there, something is still missing.
(3) – Application. I talked about this here and have a link to a message by Andy Stanley. All the important goals in the world will do you no good if they remain dreams and fantasies relegated to “someday” or “mañana.” One of my traps is to come up with prerequisites to do first on the way to one of my goals, and getting bogged down in the preparation. Another of my traps is to get stuck in the research for the best tool or methodology to accomplish a goal. But at some point you have to make the application and just do it.
(4) – Follow Through. This is the fourth level of accomplishing what you want to accomplish in life. I am here this week. I am writing out my life plan, identifying what is really important to me and what I want to do. This involves prioritizing the importance of different areas of my life and prioritizing the specific goals from each area. Once it is in black and white, the process includes a weekly review to make sure I continue to apply my plan and take action on my desires.
(5) – Accountability. Even with a written plan, written goals, and due dates, it isn’t hard to let mediocrity slip in and find yourself a passive spectator to life. I have found that accountability partners are important to making changes and accomplishing goals. I will be sharing the entire life plan with my wife, my principal accountability partner. Then I will be sharing different areas and specific goals with other individuals I will be asking to assist me by letting me be accountable to them.
Developing a life plan and getting it down in writing is something I probably should have started back in college. But it’s never too late as long as you’re still breathing. And it’s an important part of making sure my next decade is my best ever. What about you? Would putting a plan down in black and white help you make sure you accomplish what is really important? Plan. Make application. Be accountable.