The days of reading maps and plotting courses with sextants and compasses have largely faded into the past. In the 21st century, technology has made finding our desired destination as easy as the click of a button. If you are in an unfamiliar city you can use a navigational aid to successfully arrive at your meeting or appointment. By searching for “nearest restaurants”, your smart phone will find one for you then proceed to tell you how to get there, and how long it will take depending on your mode of transport. It even does a risk assessment of sorts and produces a number of routes with information about tolls, roadworks or other obstacles along the way. Very little thought from you is required and no resources except you and your device.
A little less automatic and requiring a bunch of collective thought and resources depending on the complexity is a work or business project. Generally a Project Manager is engaged to undertake a project at work or in business using some level of project management plan, or roadmap. There is a project destination in mind (outcome or deliverable), a plan is developed from a whole bunch of inputs, a set of actions are produced , along the way progress is monitored via a set of milestones (smaller goals) and at the end there are a set of measures which determine whether you got to your destination. The course taken on the roadmap has considered resources required (time, people, cash, and infrastructure), the potential risks or roadblocks and strategies to mitigate them, and how the Project Manager will know that the project has met expectations and the project destination has been achieved. When things come up that throw the plan off track, the team can go back to the roadmap and make the appropriate decisions and tweaks required to get back on track.
Earle Nightingale, author of The Strangest Secret audio series said: “All you need is the plan, the roadmap, and the courage to press on to your destination”.
So what about your life?
So far there is no technological device in which we can access a satellite to determine where we are now with respect to our life journey. You can’t just type in the destination (the life you want to live) and then .. cool … up pops a road map.
ur life is a complex project and yet many of you will not have a road map. Much of the time navigating life can be bamboozling. Your life has an intricate set of parameters that involve you and your specific aspirations, desires and goals. Each person is unique and whilst there could be unlimited permutations and routes that could unfold, you rarely take the time to think about where you’re heading or define what your ideal life looks like now or in the future. You may have a pretty good idea especially if you have a specific goal in mind around your career or some of the things you want to knock off your bucket list, yet these things could be milestones to achieving your overall life goal
Why do you need a road map?
Being financially free and happy are two things that people often say when asked: “If you could say in one word what you want more of in life, what would that be?”
Happiness and financial freedom mean different things to different people and may change depending on what stage you are in life.
Financial freedom to one person can be totally different in terms of the dollar amount from person to person and according to the Oxford Dictionary to “be happy” with your life is to be “satisfied with the quality or standard of” your life.
What level of “quality or standard” would you be happy with?
Despite all of your aspirations about being financially free, there is a good chance that at retirement, (currently 65) you will be one of the 70% of people who live on a welfare sized income, the size of which also takes into account all of your superannuation and assets. In addition, we are living longer lives so have to make our financial resources stretch out further than before, not to mention our good health.
Most of us either have money with no time, or not enough money with lots of time.
Many people wait until retirement to do all of those things that they want to do. How many times have you heard someone say: “I will go on an overseas holiday when I retire”, “I will take up a hobby that I would love to do when I have more time”, only to find that when they do stop they haven’t looked after their health and are physically unable to do so?
Having a road map is the first step to having both along the way and to maintain the health and energy to stay in the game.
Steps to developing your road map ...
Have a destination in mind
Step back for a moment and consider the big picture. Just start with the next ten years. Imagine what will be in your life then. Children, no children, children left home (where will they be living), aging parents, needing new car, significant anniversaries or birthdays. Where would you like to be living, what about your career, what would you have wanted to have seen or visited?
If you are a couple it could be fun to remind yourselves of all the things you wanted when you started your life together. Start brainstorming and thinking into the possibilities. Write them all down.
Know where you are now
Ok so now you have some thoughts about where you want to go. The question is how do you get there? The first thing you need to know is where you are now. Remember the navigation device that works it all out for you? Even it needs to know the starting point first. No is no easy GPS location available though so you need to take a look at where you are right now and write it down.
Check in on all areas of your life to get the big picture.
Once you know where you are you might realise that there are a few things that need some tidying up first. Look at each of the areas in turn (resources, energy, security) and ask yourself the questions.
Does that add value to or take away from being where I want to be in the future?
What small thing do I need to change now that will make a difference over the long term?
By making these small changes in the first instance you will see immediate results and be encouraged that this is all doable.
Develop a plan and road map – Chunk it down
Developing the road map may take a few months to complete and even then it will evolve over time as your circumstances change and as you start seeing results. It may seem I little daunting at first so chunk it down. With your ten year goal in mind, consider what you need to do in the next twelve months, 2 years, 5 years to get there. Create some small 90 day projects in each area so can can start, finish and take the next steps forward along the road.
Having a road map, supports you along the way to ensure you create the habits and understand the principles behind taking care of all the areas of your life. The road map provides a way for you to check in regularly to monitor your progress and provides you with the peace of mind that you will get where you want to be in the future. Along the way you can be mindful of: where you spend your time, what relationships you create, maintaining the things that give you energy and zest for life, and what you need to do have the financial security later in life. You will also have the peace of mind that whilst you are enjoying life now and getting into the day to day busyness, your future is being looked after as well.
Jennylee Taylor is Life Coach and Breathwork Practitioner supporting and empowering you to be great managers of your world through reducing stress and overwhelm, and balancing life so you can enjoy loving relationships, contentment now and financial security in your future.
Jennylee coaches in the Design a Decade Life Management Program using a set of tools which support you to design and achieve your aspirations and goals for your next decade.
Jennylee also supports people to break through personal emotional and mindset barriers so you can be the best you in the world so you can achieve your goals.
Need a helping hand?: contact me for an initial chat
My passions are nature, people, and building cultures of cooperation, harmony, sharing and reverence for life. I enjoy working with people to help them understand themselves and others so they can reach their full potential in life.