Next Generation VIA Plan: An Educator’s use of VIA Plan Both in and out of the Classroom

Updated: Jan 28, 2019

You know those friends you automatically love and feel like a better person just being around them? Well, Katy (Pinkham) Lynch is one of those people! Katy has such a contagious energy and hilarious personality; I am so grateful to call her one of my best friends. Ever since I shared the first VIA Plan prototype with Katy, she has taken off running and implementing it into every aspect of her life. She just gets it, and has been crushing goals using her VIA Plan! I feel like Mr. Miyagi... so proud of my little Grasshopper. It is one thing to feel the greatness that VIA Plan holds, and it's a whole other level of happiness to see it positively change someone else's life too. Katy is a Speech Language Pathologist, loving wife, and goal getter, and I am so excited for you to hear how she uses VIA Plan!

Guest Blog Writer: Katy Lynch

When Kaylee asked me to write a guest blog post for VIA Plan, the first thing I did was cross off my goal of being a blogger for VIA Plan off my VIA Plan. Ok, ok I didn’t write it on my VIA Plan but, I have been known to, on occasion, accomplish something and then write it on my VIA Plan after the fact so I can cross it off. My husband has jokingly coined the phrase “Cross it off your VIA Plan” and I don’t even get salty because I’m so dang happy to be accomplishing goals that I have earnestly worked to achieve.

Someday, Kaylee and VIA Plan will end up on the Ellen Show and Ellen herself will say, “Cross it off your VIA Plan.” The audience will look under their chair and jump for joy that Ellen has provided them all with free VIA Plans. When that day comes, I will look at Brendan and say, “Hey, I bet you wish you had a VIA Plan so you could cross off your goal of Ellen quoting you!” I have spent way too much time coming up with a comeback for his light teasing but, that one will be worth the years of marinating! While my husband has jokes, I should mention he is actually the most supportive dude I know (in case he happens to ever google VIA Plan and ends up reading this). I should also mention that my vicarious goal for Kaylee to end up on the Ellen show is, indeed, real and attainable.

I digress. Kaylee asked me to write a blog on how I make VIA Plan work for me in my day to day life. This is what I love about VIA Plan: it takes the, “somedays” and “maybes” out of the equation and transforms them into,“TODAY” and “YES.” I could go on and on and on and on about how much I love to use Visionaries in Action to create my best life. I started using VIA Plan a little less than a year ago and here is my story (cue in music from Law and Order)…I will focus on a few ways that I make VIA Plan work for me:

#1 Students are Visionaries in Action As an adult, I may not remember everything about my years in school but, I remember the teachers who inspired me, who challenged me and who made me feel important. I’m sure if you were asked to think of your top five teachers and the reasons why you loved them, you would hardly mention the curriculum they used. Good teachers plan and teach lessons and excellent teachers inspire children to become lifelong learners.

As an educator, it is my goal to inspire children to be passionate about learning and growing throughout their lifetime. Children can learn to set goals and envision their best life at a young age. I am so thankful to Kaylee for her creative skills and relational abilities. I know I am blessed to be consistently utilizing VIA Plan to make practical changes in my life at such a young age. Can you imagine the compound interest that could occur if students learned healthy goal setting habits from a young age? Not only would each individual child have a richer and deeper quality of life but, they would also have the potential to impact so many people around them with the goals that they set.

I am unapologetic in my belief that each and every one of us is created with a unique purpose. That purpose can be fostered in childhood and cultivated through the use of visualizing and setting small attainable goals for each year. While I love using VIA Plan for person gain, my favorite way to use VIA plan is to encourage students to run hard after their dreams.

If you are an educator, consider using VIA Plan with your students. This is not limited to teachers, though. Parents, you are your child’s best advocate. Dream with them and set goals together as a family. We already know that children are visionaries. Now, let’s teach them how to put their goals into action!

**VIA Plan will send a FREE digital download to any teacher wanting to implement this into their classroom! Please email from an educator email address to get your free copy.**


Pre-Via Plan Katy had no problem getting things done. Some people are procrastinators and some people finish research papers three months before the due date just for the professor to turn around and decided to cancel the assignment. True story from undergrad. The point is that, while others may be envious of the ability to get shiz done, the way I was operating was, and if I’m being totally honest, sometimes still is- unsustainable and unhealthy for myself and those around me. I say for those around me because, if I have worn myself too thin, then how can I be there fully for others when they need me? With life lessons learned from the aforementioned story and Via-Plan in my tool belt, I learned to prioritize the important stuff.

While I was proud that I could get so many things done in a short amount of time, I knew it wasn’t bringing me much joy to operate that way.

For me, VIA Plan changed my daily “to do list” into a “get to do” list. Let’s face it, responsibilities are inevitable. When I make time for Gratitude, Acts of Kindness, and Mindfulness, my battery is charged and I can give more of myself to those everyday tasks that can’t be avoided. Everything else that I feel I “need” to do either gets done, gets put on my list for tomorrow, or my newly learned favorite- DOESN’T NEED TO GET DONE. I speculate that I’m not alone in this, ladies. Via Plan helped me to visualize, carve out and, attain times of REST which are so crucial for my and my family’s well-being. While I’m on my soap box about rest, read “Present Over Perfect,” By Shauna Niequist. It will Change your life F-O-R-E-V-E-R (Sandlot reference).

I have learned so much about myself and who I want to be by using VIA Plan. I did this by defining what matters to me in my 20-year plan and then re-writing it in my yearly and monthly plans. Oh, how therapeutic it is to boldly write out the dreams of my heart that whisper to me as I sleep, as I work, as I go about my day. The adrenaline runs through my veins as I rebel against a world that is full of nay-sayers. Each month, dreams that used to be a still small voice increase in volume until I hear them loudly and want to dance around and shout them out from the roof tops. Our dreams are not meant to be still small voices. We are to give them the volume they deserve. WRITE IT OUT EACH MONTH, GIRL, and when you feel bold enough, SHOUT IT OUT SO THE WORLD CAN HEAR IT….and then dance in your kitchen because it just feels so good to do so.

My dude Bob Goff said it best when he said, “I used to be afraid of failing at something that really mattered to me but, now I am more afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter.” This is my quote and my anthem song of my VIA Plan using life.

Our differences are beautiful and, just like us, no two VIA Plans will look the same. Here are some goals that matter to me. I list them each month to remind myself of who I am and who I want to be, especially on days when the world tosses me lies. I cling to the volume of the dreams in my head:

1. Be a great wife and (someday) mother

2. Serve my community

3. Publish a book

4. Run a Marathon

5. Laugh often/surround myself with people that help me grow

6. Real estate investments

7. Teach a Financial Peace Course

8. Travel (I have a whole page devoted to the places I’d like to go)

9. Read 20 books a year

10. Earn 45 additional credits/ Administration degree

I will also say that I write down my date ideas for the month and decide which week we are going to do them as the month progresses. This is a great way to make sure you are prioritizing your relationship and also making time for fun new activities!

If you haven’t done so already, download the app, “Pic stitch” and create a vision board for your phone to help you vision your 2019 goals. Read this VIA Plan blog for more info on virtual vision boards!

#3 Baby Steps In order to achieve these goals I knew I had to take baby steps toward my future. Here are two tangible ways that I made my goals for the far-off future become something I am achieving in the here and now.

Financial Peace- My husband and I took Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University just a little over a year ago. The class changed the way we view and interact with money. In just four months, we paid off our car loan, which was just around $12,000. In two more months, we paid off our credit cards which had some expenses from moving that had added up. Our total debt that we had paid off in six months was around $18,000 with no change in income.

Now, we are attacking our student loans and plan to be DEBT FREE in the next 36 months. It is so empowering to know those loans won’t be looming over our heads for next 15-20 years. If you have student loans, let this be an encouragement that you CAN make tangible steps toward paying them off. Once your snowball gets rolling, you will be so excited, and you will be able to taste the freedom that being debt free can bring you.

Some people don’t have student loans. That is amazing! Take this class now so you can learn how to manage your money in a way that will make it work for you! Learning how to manage money is 20% head knowledge and 80% behaviors. By taking the course, we learned the steps that we needed to take in order to steward our resources. These intentional behaviors will be fruitful for our future family and to give generously to those around us.

Being intentional with money was, and is, one of the biggest game changers for me. Do yourself a favor and register for a financial peace university course near you. Dave Ramsey also has many great books and a podcast that I definitely recommend in order to keep motivated. We also use EveryDollar app which helps us make a plan for each month. I am super passionate about this topic and am happy to chat with you about any of the mentioned resources to help you get on your way to financial freedom too!

Writing- From the time that I was a little girl, I have always said that I want to write a book. I literally saw myself as a retired lady sitting down at my computer finally having the time to write my story. VIA Plan and an app called Penzu changed all of that for me. Penzu is a free journaling app but, I pay the extra $20.00 a year so that I can produce as many journals as I’d like and I am able to customize the journal cover. I put a picture on each of my journal covers that will inspire me and motivate me to write. I have a journal for just about everything. The great thing about Penzu, is that I have access to it right on my phone. Instead of scrolling aimlessly through social media feeds, I can spend my extra free time writing down a funny story that happened at school or developing a character for a future novel.

The idea that we will someday have all the time in the world is a falsity. I have decided that the time to start writing, even if it is a few short paragraphs or even a few sentences, is TODAY.

For the past two years, my friends and I have been making each day count. We’ve been loving more often and more deeply, we’ve prioritized what matters most and have been checking off bucket list items like it is our job. When you carry a loved one so special and so full of life in your heart, you just want to make them proud of what you are doing with the life you have been given and the person you are becoming.

VIA Plan has helped me in all the ways that count. I can’t wait to hear how it has helped you too!


Katy <3


Kaylee Sherwin

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