How and When to Revise a Life Plan

When I ran cross country in high school, my team’s coach changed the workout schedule every week. Why did he do that? Because after following his workout plan for one week, we were in better shape and needed new challenges.

As the season progressed we went from two miles to three miles, from sixty second splits to fifty-eight second splits, from six repetitions to eight repetitions, from one set to two sets. As the season progressed our workouts became steadily harder, longer, and tougher – and our times got faster and more competitive.

In the same way, if you diligently implement a Life Plan into your daily routines, finding regular encouragement from the gospel, empowerment from the Holy Spirit, support from friends, and joy from becoming the person God made you to be, then it is inevitable that you will need to update your Life Plan from time to time.

In this post we will consider some common scenarios for when to update your Life Plan. In each case, you can follow the same process for when you first developed a Life Plan.

Every Week

I rarely update my Life Plan every week. However, I think it is good to remember that your Life Plan can be updated whenever you find that to be helpful. Sometimes, after a major revision I realize that something is simply impractical. No big deal – it is easy to change this ‘on the go’ and make a slight modification.

Every Six Months

About twice a year it is good to give your Life Plan a serious, honest look, and see if there are more significant changes worth making. Hopefully you’ve seen some places of significant growth. Celebrate!

Perhaps there have been some areas of continued struggle. Deepen your commitment to making progress. Pray through the issue. Discuss it with friends and mentors.

Depending on your stage of life, it is quite likely there have been significant changes in your circumstances. Adjust your Life Plan to match the new situation.

When You Move

I live in Boston. Therefore, it is a rare September when I am not packing up boxes, reserving a moving truck, and preparing to settle into another apartment. That’s just how this city seems to operate!

Whenever we move, we inevitably find ourselves giving away some things, throwing away others, replacing some items, and generally seeking to simplify our lives. In the midst of the busyness, it can be hard to set aside some time to review my Life Plan. But even thirty minutes can make a big difference to see if I’m on track for my responsibilities in the new location.

Most moves are bigger than going across a city. The bigger the move, the more significant it is to review and update your Life Plan. However, you might want to wait a month or two to settle into a new place before you make significant revisions.

When Your Family Changes

Some of the most consequential changes are when we go through the major family transitions – from when first start to date someone to when we tie the knot and have kids. And all the transitions that our children go through – from daycare to college to their first jobs. I recognize that not everyone’s life follows the same sequence. The important thing is to notice that, when these life transitions happen, we make a mental and emotional adjustment to them.

When You Change Jobs

Most people will spend a great deal of their waking hours at work. Work is a huge part of our lives, shaping us and our world in many ways. Whenever you change jobs, you need to think about how to engage the responsibilities of your new job with wisdom. The change in your work will likely have ripple effects on your family, hobbies, and so on. A Life Plan is a tool to manage these transitions and stay focused on your strongest priorities.

Discussion Questions:

1. What major changes are you anticipating? When will you set aside some time to update your Life Plan?

2. How can you create margin in your life to accommodate these upcoming changes?