Do You Have a Life Plan?

Living Forward

 out-of-control focus? A Life Plan Can help: Part II (CLICK FOR PART I)

Have you ever had a focus problem? Mine started when I became a parent (parenting is HARD work and seems to require all of our focus!), and intensified during my caregiving journey. About three years after Pedro’s miraculous healing, I realized that I needed to re-find my health. Our girls needed a mom who could keep up with them as they entered their pre-teen years, and I had a hard time doing much of anything. Suddenly, I had a new focus.

It took nine months of hard work, eating better and exercising more, but I eventually lost my caregiver weight (I may have over-focused on weight-loss and healthly eating, though, because our youngest daughter ended up struggling with aneorexia her sophomore year in high school).

When I took a photography class six years after Pedro’s recovery, I started to realize my my focusing problem. Hyper-focusing on something has its advantages—a photographer can create ‘bokeh’ where the subject matter jumps from the print and everything outside the plane of focus takes on a soft blur. On the other hand, spending the time to stitch together a panorama that shows a larger-than-life view of the subject can produce a startling effect, too.

I’ve learned to ask myself which kind of focus I need in a situation. Do I need to focus intently on something small and detailed? If so, for how long should I spend time on that one thing? Would stepping back and looking at the bigger picture help me more?

Learn to distinguish what kind of focus you need for each of life's problems. Click To Tweet

I actually find looking at the bigger picture a difficult task. Out of the 80,000 or so (but who’s counting, right?) photos that I’ve taken in the past five years, only a fifth of them are landscapes.

Life reflects art. I do ok focusing on the small things and the details, and I can even do some mid-range planning (for a few months or years) but I hesitate to step back and look at the really big picture—my life and where I’d like to be in five, ten, fifteen or even twenty years. That’s why a letter in my inbox got me pretty excited this week. I’m on the launch team for Michael Hyattt and Daniel Harkavy’s upcoming release, Living Forward.

Living Forward is a book about creating a life plan. Other than a vague sense of ‘I’d like to get married, have some children, have a fun job and enjoy life’ I’ve never had a life plan. I’ve had a great life drifting, but it’s time to step back and focus on the really big picture. I want to stop drifting and start living intentionally. You can find more information about the book by checking out this post. 

After reading the first chapter, I can’t wait to read the rest of the book and start charting a life plan (aka, focusing on the really big picture).  What about you?  Do you have a life plan or are you like me, just drifting along?

Inspire Me Monday Instructions

What’s your inspirational story? Link up below, and don’t forget the 1-2-3s of building community:

1. Link up your most inspirational post from the previous week (just ONE, please).

2. Vist TWO other contributors (especially the person who linked up right before you) and leave an encouraging comment.

3. Spread the cheer THREE ways! Tweet something from a post you read, share a post on your Facebook page, stumble upon it, pin it or whatever social media outlet you prefer—just do it!

Please link back to this week’s post or add the button to your post so that we can spread the inspirational cheer :).

I'm joining my friends @blestbutstrest and @caregivermom for some inspration for my Monday! Click To Tweet

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Anita currently teaches English to 7th-12th graders. She describes herself as a ‘recovering cancer caregiver’ who gives thanks daily that her husband has been cancer-free for ten years.

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  • I’m afraid that I have had to wean myself away from the obsessed notion that I CAN plan my life meticulously. With four boys at various stages of living (not to mention a husband and an elderly mother), and now a daughter-in-law and grandson thrown into the mix, I concentrate on opening my hands and letting my plan be wrecked if necessary.
    Michele Morin recently posted…An Unexpected LoveMy Profile

    • ;). I understand! I don’t think the point is to meticulously plan one’s life, but to actually step back and set some meaningful goals. I’ve always shied away from this (other than the vague feeling that I should be doing something), so I look forward to reading the book! I’ll keep you posted on whether or not my hunch was right.
      Anita Ojeda recently posted…How to be a Mentor and Not a MeddlerMy Profile

  • Anita,

    I think it is so cool when God surprises us with these little opportunities to be involved in something bigger than us and yet are so personal in teaching us that next step we need to take. It always amazes me, it shouldn’t, but it does.

    I do tend to get lost in the big picture when it comes to my life, but I love to use it when explaining deep things. It is a balance isn’t it?

    Dawn recently posted…Soaring on the Wings of Grace { A Post for Purposeful and Meaningful}My Profile

  • A life plan…uh, no. I guess I did, once, but circumstances tore that into very, very small pieces.
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser recently posted…Your Dying Spouse 116 – Evangelizing The DyingMy Profile

    • 🙁 I understand, Andrew–although I would say you still have a life plan–to minister to others through your experience until you can no longer do so! You are a blessing.
      Anita Ojeda recently posted…How to be a Mentor and Not a MeddlerMy Profile

  • This sounds maybe similar to Storyline (it’s a conference and a workbook by Donald Miller!) So good!

  • As one who’s done a fair amount of coaching mixed in with counseling, it’ll be fun to hear how this works out for you, Anita! Sure sounds like you’re ready to roll …


    Linda Stoll recently posted…In Which We Talk About Drama QueensMy Profile

  • Congratulations on being on the launch team for Michael and Daniel’s book. I’ve read about it through Michael and Donald Millar’s blogs. I did Donald Millar’s online Storyline LIfe-Plan last year, and reviewed it for 2016, tweaking it for this years goals. Michael’s looks great too!

  • A life plan sounds like a good idea! I’ll be interested to hear how your experience goes. 🙂 Great post.

  • Anita,
    Thank you for the reminder to keep the big picture…I remind myself that this life is not all there is and the Biggest Story is to be part of God’s Story…blessings to you 🙂
    Dolly@Soulstops recently posted…Is the joy of the Lord your strength? – 5My Profile

    • Amen! My life plan will definintely include doing what God wants me to do to be part of his story!
      Anita Ojeda recently posted…Snow Angel BlessingsMy Profile

  • I’m not sure if I have a life plan, Anita! I do set goals each year, and I set goals for each of my roles in life. My husband and I do think about 5 years in advance on our family/ministry goals.

    I’m sure this course will be great! I remember an ebook on Life Plan by Michael Hyatt years ago. I went through it and it helped me so much.
    Betsy de Cruz recently posted…How to Cultivate a Happy Heart? 3 HabitsMy Profile