Life Planning Outline

  • Big Decisions & How to Make them

Michael and I were just on Showit LIVE on Wednesday and we were talking about our journey to becoming a husband/wife team. It was a long one and it wasn’t easy. This decision was something that we prayed about, sought counsel about and really thought about for a LONG time. I think we all can relate to big decisions like this. Whether it’s deciding what college to go to or whether it’s deciding to except a job offer, big decisions are hard to make. We’re extremely thankful for people in our life that were there to help us walk through this discernment process. Michael and I were a part of an amazing group of young married couples in ministry last year.

We met with them and our mentors several times throughout the year and we couldn’t imagine going through last year without them.  God knew what He was doing!! As the year went on and Michael and I really started to think about this next step for our lives, we were introduced to this awesome “Decision Making/Life Planning” process.  Katherine McElveen is the President of inVision Ventures and she shared this process with us during one of our retreats.  Basically, this series of questions really helped us work through what was next for us! Now, this is coming from a Christian perspective but it could work for anyone! Seriously! Ok so here’s the outline that we went through as we were trying to decide if this was the right move for us:


1. Vision Statement: We literally created a “Vision Statement” for our LIFE! Most businesses and organizations have them and so why shouldn’t we have one for our marriage and our life together? We created our vision statement based on what our life would be about if we decided to move forward as a husband/wife team.

2.   Assets/Gifts/Capacities: This question was asking us “What do you already have in your life that could make this goal/dream/decision happen?” We broke this step up individually and then together. So we wrote out my gifts & capacities and then we wrote out Michael’s gifts & capacities. Then, we wrote out our assets and gifts that we have as a couple.  Here are some examples of our assets/gifts/capacities that could make our next step happen:

Katelyn: Artistic, dreamer, doer, relational, tries new things, teacher, big picture person

Michael: Passion for serving, relational, administrative, supporter, planner

Together: High relational capacity, debt free, passion for couples, KJP is already established, connections with leaders in the industry, supportive families.

3. How will we develop our capacities into strengths? We decided to divide up the business duties based on our gifts and capacities. We also committed to invest deeper into our connections in the industry.

4. What is at stake? What are our fears? Basically, what is keeping us from making this decision. What is holding us back? For us, there were different things that we were fearful of individually and together. Some overall fears were about financial issues, breaking stereotypes, and health insurance.

5. What are the risks of NOT living into this vision?  This was our favorite question because it really validated why we needed to do this. We had to write out what we would lose if we DIDN’T make the decision to partner together. If we didn’t become a husband a wife team, we would run the risk of having a stagnant business, Michael and I never seeing each other, and  increased stress and strain on me while I ran the business solo.

6. What gives us hope about this goal/decision/vision? I lied, maybe this was our favorite question! We loved listing out what we hoped would happen because of this decision! Some of our hopes were: More time together, a stronger marriage because we’re working towards the same goal, more freedom to volunteer with our youth group kids, less pressure on Katelyn, more to offer clients, traveling together, dreaming bigger dreams.

7. Timeline: The last step is a timeline. We made a 3 month timeline to start with. We needed several months to pray about this decision and talk to the wisest people in our life…. and that’s exactly what we did.  We met with my parents, Michael’s parents, Jasmine & JD, Zach & Jody, our mentors John and Mary, our great friends Buddy & Jill, our pastor and several others. It never hurts to hear the opinions of others that you love and respect. We gave ourselves 3 months to have these conversations and then we started praying about making the big step.

To some, this may seem like a ridiculous outline for one decision… but it was a TREMENDOUS help!! We’re so thankful for this process and we’ll definitely use it again in the future when other big decisions arise.

So if you’re in a place where you’re making a big decision or you’re thinking of making a big goal happen, I hope this can be a GREAT tool for you! If you want to make it a little more exciting, write out your plan on a MASSIVE sheet of paper! It just makes everything feel more epic! Imagine us sitting down with our families and pulling out a life size piece of paper titled “M&K’s Life Plan”.  haha They were impressed.

Have a GREAT weekend everyone!!!!



xoxo, Katelyn
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