In the first post in this series on how to make a life plan, I asked you the rather expansive question, “What do you want your future to look like?”
I gave you 9 areas of your life to focus on for planning your future which, when you have a plan for each one, can lead to a more full and fulfilling life.
The first two categories on the list to focus on for your life plan are Your Spiritual Walk, and Yourself.
At first glance, these two categories might seem at odds with each other. One focuses on God, the other on self. But they actually go hand in glove with one another. They work together intimately to make sure you're on the right path to take care of all the other areas that I'll cover in later articles in the How to Make Your Own Life Plan series.
So let's talk about your spiritual walk first.
Secure Your Spiritual Future
Where do you want to be in your spiritual walk next year? How about 5-10 years down the road? 20 years? If you're a person of faith, you know that your relationship with God should come before anything else. It's the cornerstone upon which everything else rests, and if life ain't right with Him, then your life ain't right with nuthin'.
So if you want to have excellence in your relationship with God that will continue to grow as you move into the future, the best place to start in this area is with your daily walk.
What are My Daily Spiritual Habits?
Do you study the Bible every day?
Do you pray and connect with God on a daily basis, staying in constant contact?
What you're doing every day to connect with God is where your spiritual future really starts.
When you have an ongoing daily conversation and connection with Him, you will have a much better sense of where you're headed and where He wants to take you in life.
Your Spiritual Life Plan
When it comes to your spiritual future, what do you want to achieve? Do you want to be able to retire and devote your time to charitable work? Want to start some sort of ministry? You might perceive that those things are many years away, and they may be. But if you don't start the process of planning now, how in the world can you ever expect to get there?
When you dedicate a little time to seriously think about it and write down your life plan for your spiritual walk, it becomes more real and concrete to you. You will see the goals, and the steps it will take to achieve them, laid out before you. This will help motivate you to move forward spiritually in a way that you may not have experienced in the past.
If you read the first post in the How to Make a Life Plan series, you should have downloaded the “9 Areas for Planning Your Future” worksheet, and filled it out to establish where you stand as of today in each category. If not, you can do it now.
Your Spiritual Vision For The Future
Your next step to putting together your spiritual life plan is to establish where you want to be in your spiritual walk in 1, 5, 10, and 20 years, along with a vision of what you'll need to do to get there.
You should lay out as clear a path as you can possibly see. If you don't know every step you need to take to achieve your goals, or even if you're unclear on what your goals for your spiritual life plan are, that's ok. Write down the goals and the steps that you do know.
You can download your planning sheet for your spiritual future here to establish where you want your future to be compared to where your spiritual walk is now.
Then come back and review them periodically. Modify and update this part of your life plan as God and time reveal them to you. The steps and the overall plan will become more evident as time goes on.
It might take you some time and serious thought to get your life plan down on paper, but don't skimp or cut corners.
It's your life, take it seriously.
YOU are Important
The next item in securing your future is “Yourself”.
Why am I including “Yourself” as an item on the list? Don't all the other categories on the list apply to you already?
Sure they do, but this one's a little different.
This is because if you don't take care of yourself and your own well being first, you can't possibly take care of all the other people and things in your life successfully.
That could seriously impact all your other future endeavors (not to mention the present).
You have to make sure to feed yourself first and keep your mind, body, and spirit in good working order before you can feed others through relationships, leadership, work, and family time.
When you make your well being a priority, you don't get used up, burned out tired, and worst of all, resentful. When you get to that point, you are no use to anyone. You simply won't have the time energy, and the state of mind to take care of the other 8 life areas on the list.
How to Effectively Take Care of Yourself
So what do you need to do in order to effectively take care of yourself?
Check it out:
- Get Plenty of Rest– Working too hard, not getting enough sleep, being under constant stress will age you more quickly and eventually make you ineffective. Get the right amount of sleep that your body needs, have a day of rest, and don't overcommit yourself.
- Keep Your Body in Good Shape– Eat well and exercise regularly (at least 3-4 times a week).
- Fill Your Mind With Good Things– Read good books (I'm not talking about novels here). Read the Bible, self improvement books, biographies, etc. Get information that will elevate you and help make you a better person.
- Feed Your Spirit– Go to church, pray, communicate with God in a constant conversation. You can even pursue spiritual counseling with your pastor or a trusted spiritual advisor.
Function at an Optimal Level
When you are committed to taking care of yourself and your needs, then you can have the mental, physical, and spiritual energy to pursue all other areas of life to the fullest. Then you can catapult yourself into your future life in a sane and healthy way.
You can use this link to download and print your planning form for “Yourself” so you can assess where you are now and what you need to do in order to get yourself in line to function at an optimum level and pursue your life plan for the future like never before!
Question: Have you started your Life Plan yet?
What are you doing so far?
Talk to me about it in the comments.