Living Legacy: the Lifestyle Master Plan
I recently undertook a creative exercise that will change my life and hopefully yours forever. I was considering what my legacy might be like if I was to look back on it 20 years from now. After considerable reflection, the truth was clear – we can create anything we desire if we’re willing to put in the work; the bigger question is how? What does a lifestyle master plan look like? Well, it’s a package of documents that covers all the areas of the human experience: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and creative. If we are to truly define our future and live a life of legacy, we need to answer each of the following questions:
Destiny Statement: Why are you here on earth?
Your destiny statement has two parts. First, you need to be able to capture exactly what you want to achieve in 12 words or less. This succinct phrase should contain specific language that details exactly what you desire more than anything else. Secondly, you need to type up a list of the qualities you need to develop in order to fulfill this destiny. Use as many adjectives as you can like tenacious persistence, unwavering belief and intuitive discernment. When complete, your destiny statement becomes the first page you look at when you sit down to review your Lifestyle Master Plan and it needs to inspire you with bold vision to take action on everything that follows.
Character Profile: Who do you desire to become?
Next is your character profile. To create this, open up a new document and at the top write: Every moment, of every day I: then make a list of up to 30 things that you can strive for in developing your character. A couple on my list were: find solace in silence, exist as a guardian of truth, am positive wherever I go, walk the earth with a quiet confidence. It’s been said we need to work harder on ourselves than we do on our business and it starts with your mind, because success is an inside game.
Specific Goals: What do you really want in life?
Think of this one-pager as your bucket list – the things you ultimately want to achieve while you’re here. Try to keep to under 50 items and break them down by time. For me, I have 1 main goal in next 6 months, 6 goals in the coming year, 6 more goals in 2 years, 11 in the next 5 years, etc. The bullets you jot down can include everything from the car you want to drive, to the places you want to visit, to the products you need to sell, and even the age you want to live to. To stay on track, make regular to-do lists and begin to prioritize your time so you can chip away at the goals that require the most attention.
Brand Blueprint: How will you achieve your goals?
This section forces you to put into words how you plan on getting things done. It’s obvious that not all brand blueprints would look the same, but what’s important is that you include subjects that will clearly illustrate what value you are going to deliver to the marketplace. The 4 topics I included were ambition, differentiation, benefits and commitment. For example, under differentiation, I talked about why anyone would spend $25 on purchasing my book vs all the other choices in the market place. Under the benefits section, I discussed how my work eradicates past negative programming, harnesses emotional intelligence and allows inner happiness to flourish. If you choose a similar framework, try and come up with at least 5 things that give your work a competitive advantage and name at least 10 benefits your product or service would bring to a potential customer. Think of your brand blueprint as a talent signature… a subset of skills that make you stand above the rest.
Passion Project: What innovation will you produce?
The purpose of a passion project is both to find something you love to do and can be of great benefit to others. Start by building an underlying premise… this will be the foundational principle that gives shape to the opportunity you want to pursue. Next, list the considerations you need to keep top-of-mind as you start the groundwork. For me personally, I needed to do research, listen to podcasts, attend webinars and talk to some experts in the field.
It’s also important to include a short list of stand-out qualities that define your project as innovation. People love to engage with opportunities they find new and exciting, so get creative and enhance whatever your ideas are with inventive functionality. As an added bonus on this page, you can set a financial target; we all know how much the law of attraction loves specifics!
Health Commitment: Where will your energy come from?
Legacy is built over a long time and for you to endure the journey, you need to maximize your energy. This document should address your heath from 3 perspectives: physical, mental and spiritual. Since the objective here is to optimize your health for life, try and come up with at least 9 daily components for each of the sections. This chart is not designed to be some fad diet or temporary exercise blitz, it’s your rock-solid commitment to achieve the best health of your life.
If you were to sneak a peek at my list, you would see I’m committed to being courageous in the face of fear, laughing out loud every day, letting go of control and remaining gluten free. Like any part of your Lifestyle Master Plan, you are allowed to change your mind as you gather new information. Feel free to edit your documents and print updates. I keep my 7 pages nestled snuggly together in a padded ¼ inch ring binder and I review it daily.
Workout Routine: How will you maintain your energy?
The last page in your plan is your exercise program. This format can take many forms, but be sure to include resistance, strength and flexibility training. I decided to go with a simple formula that I can easily remember: weights one day, cardio the next, abs both days and stretch 3 times a week. It’s very easy to waste a lot of time and see little progress, so target muscle groups in the most efficient way: legs and shoulders together, back and biceps together and chest and triceps together. This method ensures you’re not over taxing areas and provides the right amount of time for healing between workouts.
I can tell you without a lie it took me almost 24 hours to design my Lifestyle Master Plan, but that’s a small investment for the possible dividends it could eventually pay. Yes, living a legacy can be extremely taxing in terms of time, energy and money, but the price of admission far outweighs the costs of missing the show.