School navigation

Tips for intentional living

“Are you living a life intended and getting done what you want?” asks Lee Weinstein in the introduction to his new book, Write. Open. Act. An intentional Life Planning Workbook. The book lays out a four-step process “to help you plan your best life and to use your time here on this planet the way you intended it.”

Step 1: Uncover your life’s wishes
  • Open yourself up and explore what’s working in your life, what’s not, what makes you happiest, and other big life questions.
  • Answer “trigger questions” (the book offers several pages of them) to examine every aspect of your life, from work and play to health, family, and finances.
  • Write down goals related to your answers.
Step 2: Build your timeline
  • Schedule a day to create your plan.
  • Divide a sheet of butcher paper into columns representing each year of life ahead of you.
  • Transfer your goals from Step 1 onto sticky notes, affix them to your timeline, and move them around until the timeline feels prioritized and doable.
  • Hang your timeline where you’ll see it often.
Step 3: Turn your timeline into an actionable plan
  • Prioritize this year’s goals. Make sure they are realistic, specific, and meaningful.
  • Break down each goal into the small, achievable steps.
  • Decide which steps you’ll focus on each quarter, then transfer them into your daily/weekly planner or calendar.
  • Act on a step. Repeat.
Step 4: Keep to the plan
  • Once a month, take 10 minutes to check in with your plan. Are you on track? What can you check off as done? What will you commit to next?
  • Add new ideas as they come up.
  • Once a year, take half a day to review the year behind you and to update your Intentional Life Plan for the year ahead.
  • Celebrate what you’ve accomplished!

Learn more at

Share this story on

The Chronicle Magazine

Contact Us