Book review: Living Forward

How many people drift through their lives without a clear picture of where they want to go and what they want to achieve? Most of us spend more time planning a vacation than we spend planning our actual lives, and then look around one day when we’re in our 40s or 50s or older and realize we haven’t accomplished what we thought we would.

I’ve read a lot of books in the self-help and personal growth arenas, but this is the first I’ve seen that provides a step-by-step guide for writing a detailed life plan. I found it to be extremely inspiring. The book itself is a quick read, with short chapters and lots of relatable anecdotes. But this isn’t a book you can just read and then set aside. You have to be prepared to do the work.

The authors recommend setting aside a full day to write your life plan. A fully day in necessary in order to really focus on your plan and do it right. The full life plan consists of five steps:

  • Writing your own eulogy so that you can identify the legacy you wish to leave behind
  • Establishing your life accounts, which are your areas of personal priorities. These may include your spouse, kids, health, career, and anything else you want to focus on in your life.
  • Evaluating the current state of your life accounts so you can identify where you need to make improvements.
  • Prioritizing your life accounts so that you know where to focus most of your time and energy.
  • Creating an action plan for each life account. Here’s where you really get into the details and set goals. You’ll state your purpose in each area, write out your vision for the future, and identify specific commitments you can make to grow each life account.

If this all sounds a bit daunting, don’t worry — the book contains step-by-step instructions, as well as several examples of life plans, so if you don’t know how to start, you can use an existing life plan as a guide. There are also more resources available at to help you with each step.

I would recommend reading the book all the way through and then going back to complete your life plan. And no, I haven’t written mine yet, but I still intend to (which is exactly why you should schedule time for it while you’re feeling inspired, or else you may never get around to it!)

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


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