5 Reasons You Need a Life Plan
- Misty Honnold Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
- 2016 6 Sep
Creating a life plan takes time, effort, and work. If we don’t understand the benefit of a life plan or the reason behind it, making one would be another task on our long list of things to do. God values our ability to look to the future, plan with Him, and walk things out, and He is able to take us by the hand and lead us.
Years ago, when trauma and loss hit our family, many well-meaning friends would ask what my plans for the future were. I felt I only wanted to make it through the day and I could not think about the future. However, as time moved forward, I realized I had created a “life plan.” This plan was not written in a strategic way, it was written on the pages of my journal and on my heart. This plan got me out of bed every day, I filtered decisions through this plan and 20 years later, as I evaluate the success of that plan I hear, “Well done.” My plan was simply to raise my four children to know the voice of the Father and to know that they were loved and delighted in. My plan was to give my children something that I had lacked and to launch them well.
As I have pondered the benefit of having a plan, and the joy of seeing that plan fulfilled, I am now in a position to encourage others to develop a plan (no matter how simple or complex).
There are many reasons why a life plan is so valuable and why we need one.
A life plan is biblical.
The Word addresses our need for a life plan and the result of not having one:
“Without a vision the people perish.” (Proverbs 29:18)
Vision means: dream, revelation, or oracle from God.
Perish means: to expose, dismiss; figuratively, absolve, naked.
So basically, without a revelation from God for the future we become exposed, we throw of restrain, go our own way, and do our own thing.
We need to hear from the God who knows the end from the beginning. He is the God who says:
Had I not had a plan for the well-being of my children, and directed my parenting from that plan of a hope-filled future… who knows where they would have ended up.
A life plan keeps you moving forward.
Loss and trauma have a way of causing us to get stuck. My life plan kept me going; it gave me direction because I would funnel most of my decisions that lens for the future. My plan for the future well-being of my children kept me moving forward.
A life plan causes you to evaluate the areas of lack.
When I realized I wanted something different for my children, I had to stop and consider the present reality, which was not good. Although I didn’t have a formula or a way out of what was our current reality, I learned to pray strategically, I began to learn new things about parenting.
I suddenly found myself raising two boys without a father. I became overwhelmed at the thought of the negative statistics. A single mother had raised me, I had one sister I had no paradigm for raising godly men. I began to gather and read books like “Bringing up Boys” and “Wild at Heart,” and talk to the men in my life about what they were like as boys.
Having a vision for the future empowered me to look at the present, evaluate the areas of lack, and find the resources to help me move forward.
A life plan gives us the power to say no.
“No” is a powerful word and without it we can easily be pulled in 100 directions. Knowing what is important gives us the ability to say no to the things that don’t matter. Knowing what I wanted for my children empowered me to say no to things that would not cultivate love in our home and their hearts. There were many good things that I wanted to say yes to. However, saying no gave me the time, emotional energy, and capacity to stay engaged with my children.
A life plan brings balance to our lives.
Michael Hyatt says that a life plan will help keep our lives in balance.
I recently spent a weekend working on a more formal life plan. I used Michael Hyatt’s book “Living Forward” as a tool during a weekend retreat. As I evaluated the different areas of my life and what he calls the “current reality,” I was grieved because my life seemed to be way off balance, as I had focused the last 20 years of my life on raising my children well. However, when I paused to evaluate the fruit of those 20 years, I realized that the joy of having of four thriving adult children who love one another, love and respect me, and know the voice of their heavenly Father, I think the balance was great.
Now that I have time and space in my life, I am bringing all the other areas of life into view and making a new plan. I am at the beginning of the journey and have a great hope for the future.
Misty Honnold is the Founder and Director of the non-profit organization The Single MOM KC. Misty equips, trains and empowers women to discover the source of their strength in Christ. She publishes a weekly blog on the website The Single MOM KC as well as freelances for other publications. She is working on her first book to be published in 2016; an autobiographical teaching of the Song of Solomon.
Publication date: September 6, 2016