Friday, February 7, 2014

Life Planning

I have been very fortunate to be able to write up curriculum of several Lifestyle Management type courses for a local business, such as: Healthy Living, Financial Fitness, Decision Making, and more. As I was creating these, I found that there was a common strand. You need to know what your goals and dreams are in able to really make decisions in these areas. If you don’t know where you are going, and what you want to achieve in your life, then you can conquer some battles in some of these areas for a little while, but it’s really hard to win the overall war.

This lead me back to Zig Ziglar’s wheel of life. It’s a wheel and it’s kind of a bank too. You can add or take away success “coins” in each of the 7 main areas of life: Finance, Family, Spiritual, Career, Physical, Mental, and Personal (not necessarily in that order). Because this is a wheel, if you are off balance with Career having most of your success, then the other areas are suffering, and the wheel can’t turn. If you are balanced, but we only have ones or twos in each category, then you are depleted, and need to find a way to add more energy into your life, your wheel is certainly not moving quickly; it needs more steam. You can’t be perfect, but you want to get your numbers as high as you can, and try to keep balance in all areas.

What does this have to do with life goals? Everything. Let’s say that you and your spouse sit down and discuss what your financial values are, and you decide you don’t care about all the goals that have been imposed upon you by everyone around you, and instead it is your life goal to travel to exotic places to hike famous trails. There are a lot of decisions you need to make based on this.

Let’s look at it with the Wheel:
• Finances: You may decide that you are going to value living on less. You either rent a smaller space, or perhaps you are able to purchase a smaller home. You choose to live a frugal lifestyle with everything you do: food, clothing, furniture, d├ęcor, utilities, cars, etc.
• Family: This is what you guys talk about. You dream, and plan. If you have children, you talk with them about this. They are brought up on “travel” doctrine, so to speak.
• Spiritual: Everything you do, you are told to do it as a form of worship, so this is how you look at your value of hiking, or perhaps you could attach this goal to a mission type trip, perhaps you have a skill that could be used in another country, and the trip could do double duty.
• Career: You may pick work based on this goal, or you may decide to only use your vacation time for these traveling events.
• Physical: You can’t just go for a huge hike. You have to train and go on smaller hikes first. • Mental: Again, you can’t just go on a huge hike. The smaller hikes will prepare your mind for the larger ones, plus the discussions you have would be based around this topic with your spouse, friends, family and even your children.
• Personal: The likelihood is that you will want to meet like-minded people. It’s much easier to have a goal like this if you have people around you, who support you and perhaps go with you.

Ok, so this may seem like an extravagant dream, but hey, why not?

My point is this, more than anything, is that you and your spouse need to make the decision together of WHO you want to be. HAPPEN to your life, don’t let if just HAPPEN to you. Even if it’s just being the “Cool” parents to your kids’ friends; this doesn’t start when your kids are teenagers. This goal is something you work on from the way you plan your house set-up to when your children start school-inviting their friends over to hang out and planning fun events for them. OR having money when you retire; you have to actually plan for this-with Social Security being insecure, and Medicare on the brink of destruction, how can you think you will have money, if you don’t do something about it yourself?
So, take a few minutes, I will attach the Life Wheel activity in Zig Ziglar's Born to Win here, sit down with your spouse, and see where you are with your life. Are there things you need to improve on? That’s ok. You’ll be in the same boat as most of us; however, if you look at this every 6 months or so, and see that you have an area to work on, but you’re growing in another area, you will be much better off than if you never look at it, and just “go with the flow.”

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