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  • Writer's pictureMartin Sanders

Developing a Life Plan (part 1)

We are about to end not only a year, but the decade. Perhaps in your time of reflection in this season, you have realized that it is time to update your life and dreams. 2020 may be the year of change for you. But how do you get started?

I want to share with you a tool that may help you to begin the process. It is adapted from my book, The Power of Mentoring: Shaping People Who will Shape the World. Over the next few blogs, I'll post questions that can help you reflect and move forward into the dream God has for you in the next season of life.

Developing a Life Plan

IT’S BEEN CALLED “MIDLIFE crisis,” “midlife reevaluation,” “half-time,” “moving from success to significance,” “midcourse adjustment,” “crunch-time” and many other things. When you reach a place in your life where it becomes clear either to you or to the people around you that it’s time for you to do an assessment, where do you start?

This tool is designed for self-evaluation and reflection. You may want to have others assist you in the process. Realize that not every section will be the most pertinent for you, but seek to go through each of them in a thoughtful and reflective manner. This process may take you a few hours or, for some, a few days. It may cause you to reflect, find hope or maybe even shed tears. It is designed to assist you in more effectively evaluating the best of who you are and how to reach your dream in life.

Whether it’s time for a change in lifestyle or career or simply a time for you to reevaluate how to do what you do more effectively and more efficiently, this life plan is designed to help you move from your original dream through the developmental stages of assessment to finally arrive at a future dream.

Original Dream

Describing your original dream takes you to a place of ultimate impact and fulfillment. It’s a place where your life has maximum meaning. Almost everyone has a dream, but the fear of failure and concern about finances are often limitations. The purpose of this exercise is to help you figure out what it is that really captures your imagination, how you can be used the most and then how you can take steps to fulfill that original dream.

1. Go back to a time in your life—high school, college or some other time—when you were dreaming your original dream. Begin to define or describe that dream.

2. What really excites you about your original dream?

3. Do you possess the necessary resources—education, experience, discipline, courage, confidence, finances, etc.—to fulfill your dream? If not, can you secure them?

4. Do you think in terms of success in life or personal significance and influence? Do you think in terms of financial success or personal or spiritual impact?

5. How clear is your sense of a dream? Is it very undefined? Is there a general sense to it? Are there general steps for it to be accomplished?

6. What are two or three steps you could take to get you started on defining, discovering and fulfilling your original dream?

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