Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want” by Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy provides a “best of” approach to synthesizing some of the main concepts from multiple other life planning books all into one digestible volume. While it doesn’t present much that is new in the goal setting and life planning genre, it serves as a solid resource for taking actionable steps toward what you may want in life. For real estate investors, it serves as a reminder of how what you do today can fit into a long range business plan that gets you to what you want to achieve in terms of property portfolio, income, and business development.

Hyatt and Harkavy sprinkle in stories from their personal lives and the lives of others, showing how most people drift through life and yet how they can actually gain or regain control of their life ship’s rudder with more purposeful intent. Determining and answering your big why will help define and direct your mission. Then you can visualize the benefits of your new life’s direction and outcomes before they even happen, to provide you with both purpose and enthusiasm on your new quest.

The book’s best message is around the death bed or eulogy approach, where you think ahead and look back from the future at your death. It’s not just about how people will remember you, but more importantly how you want them to remember you and for what. The authors’ approach separates out your life into different sections (family, spiritual, financial, etc.) and how you want specific individuals to remember you if they were to provide your eulogy. It is a great clarifying exercise, and helps to weed out the little daily things that really don’t mean much in the end. It also moves goal planning beyond just tasks and into the realm of emotion and legacy. Quite a powerful approach to hone your life to what matters most.

The authors recommend taking a full day to create a life plan, using a template that they provide. The plan includes longer multi-year views and breaks it down into quarterly, monthly, and weekly goals that are more directly tangible and actionable than just high level long range goals. The book wraps up with methods to keep the process ongoing for the long term, ways to connect with others, and life plan examples from others.

For real estate investors, the power of the book lies in the long range view. There is an essential need to take long range goals and break them down into actionable quarterly, monthly, and weekly goals so you make real progress. Then the long range goals don’t just remain vague ideas with little progress toward them. There is quite a lot involved in building a successful real estate investing business. But putting one foot in front of the other every day can get your there.