#38 My Journey of Preparing with Purpose

Let me ask you a question...are you prepared for the future...for the what ifs of life?  I am excited to share with you a system I have created to help you. It began after the sudden loss of my 48 year old husband and watching my world turn upside down and trying to put the many pieces of my life back together. At times, I felt like I was on a scavenger hunt trying to find documents, paperwork, figure out what all the keys were for and on and on. At that time I thought, “What if there were a system that could help others be prepared for the unexpected events of life that offered easy access with high security?  What if I could save the heartache and agony of having to make decisions for a loved one who was no longer able to help in those decisions? What if most of the details of their lives could be organized in one system?”

Well, I have that system for you and have spent the summer doing my own preparation. We will begin releasing the Modules next week, but I wanted to give you a little info now. You may ask, “What is Preparing With Purpose?”  It is a comprehensive system that brings together the important medical, financial,and personal information needed to make decisions easier in case of a life crisis or when “life happens”. It is a digital download or a flash drive that I have put all of the information onto that takes basic, simple but important steps about your life before it’s too late. I give you the tools to leave a great gift of organized details, stories and memories for your loved ones. There are six modules that have been thoughtfully and carefully prepared to take all the guesswork out of where to begin in this process. I have divided the important areas of your life into specific areas. I have chosen the best topics for you that I believe will be the most helpful when “life happens” to you. I have kept you in mind, understanding that this “could” feel like an overwhelming task.

Want to know how much I have spent preparing this? The original book was called the Love Legacy Ledger. It was a 100 page document that you had to write all of your information into and make copies of all of your documents and store them. I created this over 10 years ago. Things have changed and I knew that I wanted a digital version for you so I began to review the entire document. In reviewing it, I realized I had missed a “detail.” There is a page in the Module for Deceased Dependents and on that page, which looked very professionally prepared, we asked for the date of birth, and NOT the date of death for their dependent. On top of that, we asked for their phone number, like someone would be calling them?????  Are you kidding me?

That is why I have given you manageable, specific, actionable steps with simple tasks for each module to help you prepare your very own Preparing With Purpose. Most chapters are between 10 and 20 pages. I have made it manageable for you. Take a deep breath, grab a cup of coffee, and refer to the basic “What to Gather Checklist” for your beginning steps.

The best place to begin is knowing where you are going. So first, it’s important to admit where our weak areas are so we can strengthen them. But how? You know you want to “prepare with purpose” but how do you get there? I provide you baby steps to get to the finished project. Small successes make for one big success! Remember how you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. I want you to feel accomplished each time you complete a section. From the six modules, you have the option to decide which modules you want to complete or you can invest into the whole system at one time.

When I began gathering my very own personal details for my Preparing With Purpose I found this to be an exciting journey. I was amazed at some things I could find easily and then how difficult it was to find other things.  As the process progressed it felt really good to begin to know all these important documents were no longer scattered all over the house and in crazy places. I was beginning to feel order in my life. That is a very good feeling! Then as I completed the project and needed to call upon specific documents and could go right to my book and locate the document, I realized I was not only saving time but I was saving money by not needing to request duplicate copies of certain documents. PLUS, the stress and strain it took off myself was immense. After I realized how incredibly useful this system was I went to my dad and asked if we could get his affairs in order. My dad was excited to have me help him and he even mentioned that he had been thinking he needed to do something with all “his stuff” but didn’t know where to begin. What a gift this has been for our family as we have been able to benefit from the easy access of personal information within minutes, rather than hours of searching. Consider the importance of having a system in place if you live miles apart? For a time, my dad lived out of state and I was his POA. This gave me immediate access and information at many crucial moments.

If you have had to deal with sticky, messy family issues at a time of crisis, you understand better than most how important taking care of the details in your life is. It might mean the difference of saving family relationships. How many know a relative or friend that will not speak to someone because of the way “details’ were handled at the time of death, loss or incapacity? Completing your own Preparing With Purpose will take time, thought, and effort, but it will also bring you and your loved ones peace of mind as you prepare what may be your most important gift of love. By preparing with purpose, you will enable your loved ones the opportunity to plan ahead to reduce the confusion and stress which almost always accompanies the death or disability of a loved one.  Plus, it will help create ways to offer “conflict resolution” before the conflict begins and give you many other needed ideas.

This system helps families communicate, connect and centralize their lives digitally. This system helps bring about peace of mind, preserve family unity and avoid conflict by giving clear direction about your wishes.

By completing your own Preparing With Purpose, you are empowering individuals and family members to make informed, confident decisions that will allow them to put a plan into place.

Remember how you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. The same principle applies to life when you need to take a step back to figure out how to move forward.  You don’t realize the long-term effects of most decisions you make. But shouldn’t the fact that there will be long-term positive results from deciding to move forward cause you to think carefully as you begin this journey? The great part about this journey is the accomplishment you will feel once you begin. I take the guesswork out of “what’s next”. I give you a detailed plan with instructions. So... get on your mark….get set…..BEGIN!  If you don’t begin you’ll only have one regret….that you didn’t start Preparing With Purpose sooner!