I got into the financial planning business because I wanted to help people blueprint a real Life Plan, a financial roadmap for what they want to achieve.
I wanted to be not only in the financial advisor business but also in the Life Planning business.
And while a life plan includes finances, life planning is NOT exclusively about money, just as the title of this blog says. There’s so much more to life beyond the money.
This pandemic is waking most of us up to what’s truly important: people, relationships, passion projects, and chasing our dreams… while we can.
You see, Life Planning is about chasing dreams.
Over the years I’ve enjoyed regularly stepping back from my day-to-day life to examine where I am in my Life Plan, and if I want to make changes. I usually do make changes. It’s always a process, and a work in progress.
Lately, COVID-19 has made me more mindful of my Life Plan, my dreams, and ensuring my Ideal Life is on track. I can’t stop thinking about what everyone around the world is going through during this time of tremendous transition, during this incredible pandemic with its challenges and changes to our day-to-day lives.
I mourn the nearly one million unfortunate deaths (as of this writing) around the world and truly wonder if they made the most of their moments.
I went on a recent 12-day personal retreat to reflect, assess, and evaluate my Life Plan checklist. This time away proved invaluable. This in-depth introspection allowed me to recalibrate, rethink, rejuvenate, and refresh my Life Plan. I highly recommend taking a personal retreat!
Let’s face it, living for Saturdays won’t get us the life we desire. Besides, there are only 52 Saturdays in a year, and some of us have less than 1,000 Saturdays left! Which is another reason I’ve been so self-reflective lately. I turned 55 this year and want to make the most of the moments I have left on this planet.
I want to live my life by my own design, not by default, and I want YOU to live your life by your own design, too.
It’s so easy for us to drift in life and in our careers. If we don’t stay focused on our priorities, and what matters to us, life’s obligations seep in and start dictating how we spend our time. Then, before we know it, we’ve drifted through months, and quarters, and years. Years and years of Saturdays just gone.
I recall being 27, loading up my Jeep with my worldly possessions, and driving out of Phoenix to take a job in North Carolina. That was nearly 30 years ago, which seems unreal, and you better believe I did a little drifting through some of those years to find my true passion: serving my clients and being their trusted wealth coach.
Drifting can become debilitating when we’re overwhelmed by life and form a rut to conserve our energy.
Life then happens to us… if we let it.
But we don’t have to feel this way about our life.
Throughout the pandemic, I’ve talked to several people (and clients) who are moving states and moving out of cities as a way to take control of their life during this worldwide transition, so they’ll be where they want to be. I ask myself: do I want to be on the beach, in the mountains, taking ten weeks off each year to pursue activities I love with the people I love?
I ask myself what I want to do so I can structure my life to do those things and avoid having any later regrets. For instance, I’ve always wanted to write a book. That became much clearer to me during the recent retreat, and so now I will figure out a way to write that book. And maybe other books!
What does YOUR Post-COVID Survival Guide look like around work, money, and chasing your dreams? Are you living your Ideal Life today? And living it with purpose?
Reading Bruce Feiler’s book, Life is in the Transitions: Mastering Change at Any Age, has added clarity to my Life Plan. I think you’ll find Feiler’s book useful, too, if you’re looking to master life’s transitions and blueprint your Ideal Life.
Or, because we are all ready for better times and better lives, you can plan to attend my Zoom seminar (scheduled for early next year) titled, “Blueprinting Your Ideal Life.” You’ll receive an invitation as the event nears and the first 25 folks who register and attend will receive a complimentary copy of Feiler’s book about mastering life’s transitions.
In the meantime, here are a few helpful tips to get you started in blueprinting your Ideal Life.
Step 1: Begin with the end in mind by imagining you’re being interviewed at the end of your life, sitting across from your great-grandchild, and sharing your story. What would you share about your life? Here are some example questions to ask yourself as part of this exercise:
- What one thing did you do although you never thought you would/could?
- Where did you have your greatest experiences?
- When did you do the hard work to make this life possible?
- Why do you work so hard to be who you are?
Step 2: Determine your priorities, what matters most to you, and answer authentically.
Step 3: Create a living document, your Blueprint, for your Ideal Life. Writing stuff down really does make it happen!
Step 4 – Take action today! Don’t wait for Saturdays. Every day counts!
Most of us work so hard building our businesses or focusing on our jobs that we forget to do our Life Planning.
This is what we love to do at BW – help our clients blueprint their Life Plans.
At BW, I encourage my team to create their personal mission and vision statements, their own core values, focus, purpose, cause, passion, and short- and long-term goals. If it works for companies in setting priorities and strategies, this process can certainly work for individuals in creating their Ideal Life!
Guiding others to blueprint their Ideal Life resonates with me because I’m passionate about planning and helping other people achieve what matters most.
I consider myself a life coach, a clarity coach, not just a wealth advisor, and every day I talk to people about real-world events that impact their lives.
I love it when a client calls to discuss something they really want to do, like buying a sailboat and cruising the Caribbean with their family. I get to support them in pursuing their favorite passion before they begin to go after the next item on their bucket list.
So, let’s focus on chasing our dreams while we can. Let’s make our lives about the things we love: our passions, our talents, making memories, and spending time with the people who matter most to us. Let’s get a Life Plan going now and make our lives happen, not let life happen to us.
It all starts with blueprinting a plan. A Life Plan.
I’d love to be part of your journey!
As founder and owner of Bradley Wealth, a high-touch boutique financial planning firm, Michael Bradley’s greatest passion in life is to help others experience their personal True Wealth. With his friendly, proactive, and caring approach, Michael pledges to provide the finest wealth management service experience anyone has ever had. And if you aren’t a client, no problem; Michael pledges to be a warm and caring friend who reminds you to live your life by your own design, not by default.