My resolution for 2018 is to live a better life.
Bam. Nailed it.
But also, how do I do that?
Well for one, try adding bourbon to your normal routines. (I’m doing that now!)
That is the question (how to live a better life, not how to drink bourbon) I have spent the last month exploring, and the one that I would like to explore with you here.
Where to Start
In November I wrote a post highlighting my weaknesses. I noted that I have had a tendency throughout my life to follow the path of least resistance. That I did not take the time to create plans for my life. That I did not do things that scared me. I said that I wanted to address that in 2018.
So I set about figuring out how to do that.
My conclusion was that I needed to take a more intentional approach to my life. I needed to analyze all aspects of my life and map out a way forward in each. I needed to look at the big picture rather than approaching each day or week as a separate challenge.
I needed to plan my life.
Diving Head First Into Life Planning
Turns out, there’s an entire life planning industry. A whole niche of people that want to teach exactly what I wanted to learn.
I read an absurd amount on life planning and prioritization. I read all sorts of life coaching exercises. I took a course on living life with intention. I went way overboard. (It’s kind of my style.)
I learned a lot.
The first thing I learned is that there is a whole bunch of unhelpful information out there. There are a whole bunch of people saying things that sound deep but are not really useful.
I also found that there are really two different types of life planning approaches and most people fail to distinguish between them.
The Two Types of Life Planning
The two types of life planning address two fundamentally different questions.
The first question is: What type of person do you want to be?
This includes similar questions such as:
- What are your values?
- What do you want people to remember about you?
The second question is: What do you want to achieve in your life?
This includes questions like:
- What do you hope to accomplish?
- Where do you want to go in life?
Basically, “What do you want to be?” versus “What do you want to do?”
These are obviously related. The things that you want to accomplish are informed by your values. The type of person that you become is shaped by the things that you achieve.
However, I don’t think you can truly make a plan to move your life forward without recognizing and differentiating between the two separate ideas.
A Road Map for January
With that in mind, I’d like to outline where I plan to go with January (life planning month!) and the rest of 2018 in general.
First, we’ll address the question of what type of person you want to be. We’ll explore some exercises that I have found useful and dive into the topic a bit more. We’ll learn how to figure out what our values are, what virtues we want to strengthen and grow, and how to actually become the person we want to be.
Then, we’ll move onto the question of what type of things we want to achieve. We’ll learn how to break down the various areas of our lives. We’ll figure out how to map out a route from where we are to where we want to be. We’ll explore how to prioritize all the different things we want to do.
For the rest of January we’ll figure out the best ways to plan our lives and to prioritize our different goals. After that, we’ll spend each month looking at different issues in more detail.
Planning and Growing Throughout the Year
Many of the life planning tools that I researched suggested taking a single day, analyzing every aspect of your life, and creating a comprehensive plan to address everything.
We’re not going to do that here. Mostly because I don’t think it’s the most effective approach, but also because it would not provide me with very much content to write about. 🙂
Instead, each month we will dive deep on a specific topic. We’ll address time management, money, happiness, health, and productivity in phases throughout the year. With each topic we’ll analyze where we are, where we want to go, and how we get there.
Throughout the course of this experiment I will provide you with useful information where I have it, talk you through my struggles where I have them, and ask for your help where appropriate.
Join the Conversation!
So that’s the plan going forward. If you have anything that you’d like to see covered, let us know in the comments. Any area of your life that you’d like to improve? Anything you’re struggling with right now? Just excited that 2017 is finally over? Join us in the comments section!
If you want to get the super-secret exclusive content, join the new email list! I also plan on asking for help from the list, so if you’d like to join my circle of advisors, please sign up here:
Either way, I’ll see you on Thursday when we will figure out what type of people we want to be.