It’s said that most people spend more time planning a two-week vacation than they do their lives. If not a vacation, then their recreational activities. Or other things not specific to the life they’d like to live.

Even if not true for you, you’d still probably like to change some things about your life. Most people do. Those things may range from your career to the house or neighborhood you live in, your savings, education you’ve attained, time spent away from the family, travel you’ve not done, the volunteer work you’d like to do, or the hobbies you engage in.

Personal Gifts and Virtues

Then there’s interpersonal skills…things like active listening, collaboration, conflict management, creative thinking, empathy, humor, trust, leadership, motivation, patience, relationship management, respect, tolerance, and teamwork.

Or how about things like….

  • Charity
  • Joy
  • Peace
  • Patience
  • Kindness
  • Goodness
  • Humility
  • Gentleness
  • Faithfulness
  • Modesty
  • Self-control
  • Chastity

The above are fruits of the Holy Spirit. Tack onto those the virtues, which can be found with a quick internet search.

Strength of Your Relationships

And lastly, how about relationships. Do you have as many as you want. Are they deep and authentic or superficial? Is there transparency, true vulnerability? Do you have those in your life who you can rely on, who can rely on you? What characterizes your relationships with your friends?

What characterizes your relationship with God, our Creator, who loves you more than you’ll ever know, no matter what you’ve ever done.  

My Past Planning Hasn’t Worked

Although a real planner, especially as related to the organizations I’ve been part of, I’d be lying to you if I said that over the years I’ve done a lot of comprehensive planning for my “life” outside of work. Then over the last decade, I’ve had some occurrences that have caused me to pause and really want to make change in my life. The question is how. For me, there are two pieces:

  1. My spiritual journey
  2. Real life action plan

Let’s discuss #2 first. The reason I had never done such planning wasn’t for lack of effort or intent. More than several times throughout my life, I would start the process, typically at the beginning of the year, in New Year’s fashion. I never researched a tool, always trying to do it on my own, never succeeding.

A Plan that Works

I’ve recently found a book and tool set, called “Living Forward – A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want”, written by Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy. As an aside but related, I’ve been following Michael Hyatt for a while and love his stuff.

The book does a great job of coaching you through a process, following a particular sequence, which includes:

  • Designing your legacy (how you want remembered)
  • Determining your priorities (within different categories of your life)
  • Charting your course (SMART Goals)
  • Implementing your plan (mechanics for making it happen)
  • Keeping it alive (regular review and revision)

Like so many things, simple but not easy, I’ve found the methodology to be very effective. It has really helped me gain clarity, not only on where I want to go, but on how to get there. It’s a great tool that I’d highly recommend.  

We are Made for Greatness

Related to the spiritual, given some real tragedy in my life, I experienced conversion, followed by healing, and formation, where I now understand the unconditional love of God and the fact that he made me uniquely with special gifts to do great things, just like you. Through a discernment process, I now understand those gifts and what I’m to do with them (topic for a future blog).

You can change your life. It’s never too late to be the person you want to be. God made you and me for GREATNESS!!! Pray about it and take action. Contact me for help if you’d like. The result of all of this is finding real peace, joy, and fulfillment in your life.

Please share your thoughts with me at

May God Bless you on your journey!!!

Mark Joseph