Road map for Life
Where’s your road map?
Whether you’re a SATNAV fan, or you prefer an A-Z, access to a road map is essential for exploring new territory – and reaching your desired destination. Most of us need one or the other to guide us when driving to a new place, since our intuitive faculties are rarely that honed they can get us from A to B through sheer guesswork.
So why do we so often eschew the idea of a road map for our lives? It’s very easy to drift from job to job, location to location, relationship to relationship, without a clear plan of action. Back in my twenties, I did just that. My life fell very much into the… “Well, I’ll see what comes up’ category. I had no grand plan of action, no specific goals (other than to earn enough cash to pay my mortgage, buy clothes, eat out, travel and have fun). It was fun, but somewhat precarious. And often I felt like I was going nowhere – fast!
Set your course
The million-dollar question: how can you reach your destination, if you don’t know where you’re going? Having direction doesn’t mean you can’t change your destination whenever you want. Or revise your goals. Allow yourself to be flexible. A great starting place is to make a list of your short term (1 week to 6 months), medium term (6 months to a year) and long term (1 to 5 years) goals for each of the following areas of your life: Career, Family, Environment, Spiritual Life, Relationships, Creativity, Friendships. Then look at each area again and mark each one from 1 (least satisfied) to 10 (most satisfied). This will instantly tell you the areas that require your immediate attention.
Realistic plan of action
Once you’ve established the area(s) you’d most like to change, then set yourself weekly, realistic and achievable goals to take yourself to your final destination. It’s important that you keep these ‘journey’ goals achievable. Baby steps. This will keep you motivated. For some, their goal may to become fit. Even joining a gym can be a major deal for many, so don’t run before you can walk! Take your time to build up to that half-marathon. But do nudge yourself out of your comfort zone. Regularly.
Resources and options
What resources do you already have that can help you achieve your goals? Do you have friends who can help you? Are there colleagues at work who can supportively nudge you in the direction you’re headed? What have you done in previous jobs that you can take with you as a skill set into your next position? Take a look at all your options for success. Brainstorm. Then pick an action point that’s the easiest for you to achieve that week. Then another one… and so on.. Challenge yourself. And reward yourself with each success.
Values and beliefs
Goals are great. But you won’t achieve them unless your values are in alignment with your beliefs. Values are the things that we get out of bed for. The things that motivate us. This could be family, money, recognition… Make a list of your top 10 values. Things you will do anything to achieve. Then put them in order of hierarchy. Then make a list of 10 things you’d do anything to avoid: this could be loneliness, embarrassment, recognition. If you see a clash between your goals and your values, then redefine your goals. For example, if one ‘going to’ value is recognition, but you’d do anything to avoid rejection, then you are unlikely to put yourself into career or job position where you will be held up and judged on your performance. No matter how hard you try, it simply won’t work. Another example: an employee who is given a promotion involving regular international travel will have a values collision if his main priority is his family, whom he will rarely see as a result. There will be tension and a lack of happiness.
The key to succeeding in reaching your goals is to firstly identify them – what do you love? What would you love to do? Where would you love to live? What kind of relationship would you love to be in? Then take regular, committed action towards achieving them. Daily, weekly, monthly… Small, achievable steps taken regularly will give you the confidence and motivation to change every area of your life – successfully. You will begin to trust in your own innate ability to make the right choices in life. As a result, your dreams most certainly will become reality. Focus with laser-like intensity and commitment on your desired results, and your subconscious will do all it can to bring that goal to you. It really is as simple as that. Whatever you focus on, you will attract to you.
This is a universal law.