Living Forward Summary

1-Sentence-Summary: Living Forward shows you how to finally get direction, purpose, and fulfillment by identifying why you need a Life Plan, how to write one, and the amazing life you can have if you implement it.

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Take a moment to pause and think about how you feel about your situation right now. Are you where you want to be? Do you feel happy and fulfilled in your relationships? How is your career going? Are you as healthy as you’d like to be?

If your life isn’t what you want, you’re not alone. Things like getting fit, becoming financially free, and spending quality time with your loved ones get sidelined for unimportant yet urgent things. But what if there was a way to overcome all of this and get some direction and purpose?

Michael Hyatt has some ideas. In Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want, he offers a solid life plan that’ll fill you with excitement each day.

Here are the 3 biggest lessons I’ve learned from this book:

  1. Like a GPS guides you to where you want to go, creating a Life Plan is necessary to live the life you want.
  2. Set aside an entire day to write your Life Plan by reflecting on a few key questions and thought experiments.
  3. Act on your goals by implementing daily, weekly, and quarterly action steps and review sessions.

Are you excited to finally start to live forward? Let’s get right to it!

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Lesson 1: You must have a Life Plan if you want to have the kind of life that you’re happy with.

Although next to nobody uses GPS navigators anymore, we all have them on our phones. They direct us to places we want to go but never have been before. What’s even better, they’ll reroute us without judgment if we get off course. 

Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could have something similar when navigating through life?

While your maps app on your phone gets you from point A to B, this isn’t exactly how life works. New roads pop up all the time and some even get closed off unexpectedly. It takes a lot of careful attention to know how to reroute ourselves in these situations.

This is exactly why you need a Life Plan to guide you. 

It’s easy to make a fitness or career plan, outlining where you want to go and how you’ll get there. But too often we miss out on the opportunity and necessity of creating a design that encompasses all aspects of life. This means we miss out on recognizing the interconnectedness of everything from finances to spirituality and more.

So what is a Life Plan? In simple terms, it’s a multi-page document that details what your best life looks like. It encompasses your vision, priorities, and even action plans for everything you want to accomplish. 

Now we’ll into how to make one in our next lesson!

Lesson 2: The right questions will help you create your Life Plan, which you must set aside an entire day to write.

There are three key questions to reflect on and write about to make your Life Plan:

  • What do I want my legacy to be?
  • Which things do I value most in life?
  • What steps do I need to take to get from where I am now to the life I’ve envisioned?

Let’s explore each of these a little further. 

When considering your legacy, focus on how you want to be remembered when you die. This might not seem like a fun thing to think about, but thinking about death can actually make your life better. Imagine what people would say about you at your funeral. Write your own eulogy even.

As you ponder what’s most important to you, set aside what others think you should focus on. Consider just five to twelve components of life, such as relationships or spirituality, to identify as your core values.

When it comes to action steps, think first about what each aspect of your life would look like if it were thriving. Then, ask yourself what you need to do to make each of those things happen.

Writing your Life Plan is so important that it’s worth taking the time to do it right. Set aside an entire day sometime in the next couple of weeks to complete it. Go somewhere new, a place that isn’t work or home, and disconnect from everyone else until you’re finished.

Lesson 3: Review your long-term goals often and reflect frequently on how your daily, weekly, and quarterly actions are helping you get there.

Hyatt once worked for a quickly-growing company that was in need of a formal plan. A three-day retreat with a consultant did the trick and a detailed plan was born. But it didn’t make any difference. 

That’s because once everybody got back to the office they just put the plan on the shelf and forgot about it. Nobody implemented any part of what they’d worked so hard to prepare. 

You can have a similar experience with your Life Plan unless you see it as a living document. Just like a tree needs daily nourishment and care to grow, so does your vision for yourself. 

First, you want to cement your plan into your mind. Read it out loud every day for 90 days straight. Then, to make sure it continues to thrive and stay relevant, have frequent reviews. 

Each week spend 15 minutes looking it over again and ask yourself how you’re doing with your goals. You can refocus your priorities if you determine that’s necessary.

At the end of every quarter make a full review of your Life Plan. Read it then write new goals for the coming quarter. Don’t be afraid to make adjustments to your plan as your life changes.

When the year is over, set aside an entire day to do an in-depth checkup on your long-term vision. Reflect on the previous year and make plans for the one ahead.

Living Forward Review

I’ve done a lot of these things myself before but getting the clarity from Living Forward on how to do it right was awesome. Michael Hyatt always writes good stuff and this book is just further proof of that. I’m confident in these tips not only because I’ve done them, but because they come from such an accomplished author.

Who would I recommend the Living Forward summary to?

The 46-year-old that is having a difficult time beating procrastination, the 21-year-old who’s tired of not having a purpose and wants to find it, and anyone that wants to live life to the fullest.

Last Updated on July 23, 2023

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Luke Rowley

With over 450 summaries that he contributed to Four Minute Books, first as a part-time writer, then as our full-time Managing Editor until late 2021, Luke is our second-most prolific writer. He's also a professional, licensed engineer, working in the solar industry. Next to his day job, he also runs Goal Engineering, a website dedicated to achieving your goals with a unique, 4-4-4 system. Luke is also a husband, father, 75 Hard finisher, and lover of the outdoors. He lives in Utah with his wife and 3 kids.