Living Forward by Michael Hyatt
  • Title: Living Forward
  • Subtitle: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want
  • Author(s): Michael Hyatt, Daniel Harkavy
  • Publisher: Baker Books
  • Year: 2016-03-01
  • ISBN-10: 1493403257
  • ISBN-13: 9781493403257


Living Forward” by Michael Hyatt is a powerful and practical guide that empowers readers to take control of their lives and create a clear and compelling life plan. With the assistance of renowned leadership coach Daniel Harkavy, Hyatt presents a step-by-step process for developing a personal life plan that aligns with one’s values, passions, and goals. The book emphasizes the importance of being intentional and proactive in steering one’s life, rather than being driven by circumstances or other people’s expectations. It provides valuable insights and tools for defining one’s desired future and designing a roadmap to achieve it, equipping readers with the necessary clarity, focus, and accountability to live a purposeful and fulfilling life.

Hyatt and Harkavy’s approach in “Living Forward” is highly accessible and action-oriented, making it suitable for readers from all walks of life. The authors employ a combination of personal anecdotes, real-life case studies, and practical exercises to guide readers through the process of crafting their life plan. Each chapter builds upon the previous one, enabling readers to progressively refine their vision, set meaningful goals, and develop strategies to overcome obstacles. The book not only addresses professional aspirations but also delves into the importance of prioritizing and nurturing personal relationships and self-care. With its comprehensive framework, “Living Forward” is an essential resource for anyone seeking to lead a purpose-driven life and achieve long-term success and fulfillment.

Book Review

“Living Forward” is an insightful and practical self-help book that provides readers with a step-by-step process for creating a meaningful and fulfilling life plan. Michael Hyatt, a widely recognized leadership expert, teams up with Daniel Harkavy, a highly experienced executive coach, to offer a comprehensive and actionable guide to align one’s values, passions, and goals with a well-crafted life plan.

One of the strengths of this book is the authors’ ability to bring the concept of life planning to life through relatable examples and personal stories. Hyatt shares his own journey of getting caught up in the demands of work and neglecting his health, relationships, and personal growth. He recounts a wake-up call moment when he collapsed on the treadmill due to stress-related health issues. This personal anecdote serves as a powerful reminder of the perils of living without a deliberate life plan.

The book is divided into three parts, each addressing a specific aspect of life planning. In Part One, titled “The Importance of Life Planning,” Hyatt and Harkavy emphasize the necessity of being intentional about one’s life and taking responsibility for its direction. They stress that a life plan is not a rigid roadmap but a flexible guide that can be adjusted as circumstances change.

Part Two, “The Life Planning Process,” dives into the practical steps of creating a life plan. Through clear and concise instructions, the authors walk readers through the process of envisioning their desired future, setting priorities, and defining specific goals for different areas of their lives. They introduce valuable tools such as the “Life Accounts” concept, which helps readers assess the current state of their life’s key areas (such as health, relationships, and career) and identify areas that require attention.

The authors further emphasize the importance of developing an action-oriented mindset and setting clear, measurable goals. They stress that setting goals without a defined action plan only leads to frustration and failure. The book provides a helpful framework called the “Life Account Matrix,” which helps readers break down each goal into concrete actions.

Part Three, titled “Living Forward Every Day,” focuses on maintaining momentum and living according to one’s life plan. The authors stress the value of daily rituals, consistent habits, and accountability partnerships to ensure progress towards one’s goals. They illustrate the significance of commitment and discipline through stories of individuals who have successfully implemented their life plans and reaped the rewards.

One of the standout features of “Living Forward” is the inclusion of practical exercises, questionnaires, and reflection prompts throughout the book. These tools encourage active engagement and help readers apply the concepts to their own lives. For example, Hyatt and Harkavy provide a “Legacy Letter” exercise, prompting readers to reflect on the legacy they want to leave behind and the impact they want to have on others. This exercise fosters deep introspection and motivates readers to live intentionally.

In conclusion, “Living Forward” is an indispensable guide for anyone seeking a framework to design a purposeful and fulfilling life. Hyatt and Harkavy’s approach is accessible and engaging, providing readers with a clear roadmap and actionable steps towards living with intentionality. By combining personal anecdotes, relatable examples, and practical exercises, the authors ensure that readers not only understand the importance of life planning but also have the tools to implement it effectively. “Living Forward” stands as a reminder that our lives are worthy of deliberate and mindful planning.

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Key Ideas

Living Forward” by Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy is a book that offers a practical guide to creating and implementing a life plan. The key ideas in the book include:

  1. Intentional Living The book emphasizes the importance of living life with intention rather than drifting through it. It encourages readers to take charge of their lives and make deliberate choices about their future.

  2. Life Planning Hyatt and Harkavy introduce the concept of a life plan, which is a detailed, written document that outlines a person’s vision, values, and goals for various areas of life, such as career, family, health, and personal development.

  3. Clarity of Vision The authors stress the need for a clear and compelling vision for the future. They argue that without a clear vision, individuals are more likely to be reactive rather than proactive in shaping their lives.

  4. Core Values “Living Forward” emphasizes the importance of identifying and aligning one’s life with their core values. Understanding what truly matters to you helps in making decisions that are in harmony with your beliefs and priorities.

  5. Prioritization The book provides a framework for prioritizing various life domains, such as health, relationships, career, and personal growth. It encourages readers to allocate time and resources based on their priorities.

  6. Goal Setting Setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals is a central aspect of the life planning process. The book guides readers in setting meaningful goals that align with their life plan.

  7. Action Plans “Living Forward” emphasizes the importance of breaking down goals into actionable steps. It encourages readers to create action plans that outline the specific tasks and milestones needed to achieve their goals.

  8. Accountability The authors stress the value of accountability in the life planning process. They recommend sharing your life plan with a trusted friend or coach who can help keep you on track and provide support.

  9. Review and Adjustment Life plans are not static; they should be reviewed and adjusted regularly to reflect changing circumstances, goals, and priorities. The book provides guidance on how to conduct regular life plan check-ins.

  10. Work-Life Balance “Living Forward” acknowledges the importance of achieving balance in different life areas. It encourages readers to consider how their life plan supports their overall well-being and happiness.

  11. Legacy The book prompts readers to think about the legacy they want to leave behind. What impact do you want to have on your family, community, and the world? This question helps provide a sense of purpose and direction.

  12. Living in the Present While planning for the future is essential, the book reminds readers of the importance of living in the present moment and enjoying the journey.

Overall, “Living Forward” offers a structured approach to life planning that empowers individuals to take control of their destinies. It emphasizes the significance of clarity, values, goal setting, and regular review in creating a fulfilling and purpose-driven life.

Target Audience

The book “Living Forward” by Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy is targeted at individuals who desire to live a purposeful and fulfilling life. The authors understand that many people find themselves overwhelmed, lacking direction, and feeling like they are simply going through the motions. This book offers a practical roadmap, making it recommended reading for the following audiences:

  • Individuals Seeking Clarity and Direction “Living Forward” is ideal for those who feel a sense of purposelessness and are searching for ways to align their actions with their aspirations. The book provides a structured approach to help readers gain clarity on their values, passions, and goals and guides them in creating a life plan that reflects those elements.

  • Professionals Striving for Work-Life Balance In today’s fast-paced world, many struggle with maintaining a healthy balance between their personal and professional lives. “Living Forward” emphasizes the importance of taking a holistic approach to life planning, including nurturing relationships, self-care, and personal growth. It offers practical strategies to help individuals prioritize their time and energy effectively.

  • Goal-setters and Achievement-oriented Individuals This book is suitable for those who are driven to achieve their goals but may lack a clear roadmap. Hyatt and Harkavy provide practical tools and techniques for setting meaningful goals and staying accountable, enabling readers to make progress and fulfill their aspirations.

  • Anyone Interested in Personal Development “Living Forward” is for individuals who are committed to personal growth and continuous improvement. The book encourages readers to reflect on their lives, analyze their current situation, and take proactive steps towards personal transformation.

The book is recommended reading because it offers an actionable framework for living a purposeful life. By combining personal stories, practical exercises, and a clear step-by-step process, Hyatt and Harkavy break down the overwhelming task of life planning into manageable steps. The reader is guided through the process, gaining clarity, focus, and a sense of empowerment to make intentional choices that align with their values and goals. Ultimately, “Living Forward” stands as a valuable resource for individuals seeking to create a meaningful and fulfilling life.