Mapping Your Future
“If time travel is possible, where are the tourists from the future?”
― Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time
Recently, I took a midweek weekend with my wife, Susan. We invested two days at the resort where we had our wedding reception. We took the bridal suite (midweek rates are excellent!) and over two days, we discussed our past year, looked at what worked, what didn’t and looked at mapping our future. Susan wrote about the first part of it in her blog on Owls and Orchids under the name of “Through the Looking Glass – Part 1” and is currently working on “Through the Looking Glass – Part 2”, of what happened at our review session.
This is all part of the Life Change 90 program, and yes, we actually live this program and everything in it; all the activities recommended in the program to make our lives better, we spend the few minutes a day required to practise them. The annual “year in review” session and #mapping your future is one of the recommendations and it was just wonderful!
As an aside, we held our wedding reception at this resort and when we returned, they treated us like royalty! It was fantastic, the bridal suite and all the trimmings and at midweek rates better than a cheap motel on the strip! But back to the blog…
Our review had us looking over last year and what worked, or didn’t work for us, and asked what we will do differently to change that. It asked what did work, and how we can do more of that to maintain the achievements. It also asked us to look forward; that is what this blog is about, mapping your future.
Time Travel is nothing special, really. There are movies made about it with fantastic scenes created as visions of what is to come. However, we travelled a year into the future and created visions of our own futures – probably better than a movie. Watching a time travel movie is OK, as long as you pay your $15 at the door but two hours later, it’s over. With what we did, the future we visited is real, and we are heading there now!
The three parts to time travel, and mapping your future.
Part 1 – the destination.
The destination in any journey is the goal. When mapping your future, it is actually a series of goals, sometimes linked, sometimes not. We set a number of goals and whilst some are definitely connected and some are serial, or stepping-stones to each other, others are totally separate and stand-alone.
Our business and career goals include milestones for business achievements. A certain level of results within 3 months, but a greater level within 6 months and an annual target to work towards.
On a personal level, we have personal health and wellbeing goals which are separate to the business goals. However, there is a connection: Unless we remain healthy, we can’t run the business properly. In that respect, everything affects everything else but at first glance, those personal goals are not connected to the business goals.
We also set goals about our home. We’d like to be living elsewhere and we have clearly set that out on our Vision Boards – in the greatest of detail. Our vision boards have all our goals on them – a visual feast and travel guide to our future!
Part 2 – the journey.
Any journey requires planning and foresight. Even a stroll to the corner shop for a bottle of milk requires planning – you need your wallet or purse with some money, you need shoes for the footpath, or if it’s too far to walk, fuel in the car. When you plan a journey into next year, that requires a little more planning and forethought.
For each of the goals we set in Part 1 – the destination, we set out the action steps we needed to take to ensure we make progress to the goals. We put timetables to these action steps and mapped out the strategies on the timetable to make sure they happen. We know what we want; we know what we have to do; now we have to turn up on the day to do them, to achieve the result we specified. We also know what we need to have with us on our journey to take these action steps, and what we need to be and do – this is the travel plan.
Planning a car journey requires fuel, lunch for the driver and passengers, rest stops, accommodation, money for fuel and meals and so on. Our journey of mapping your future is very similar – a journey into the future is still just a journey!
The action steps towards the goal, the timelines and deadlines, milestones and benchmarks are all part of your journey of mapping your future. Each time you think about a certain goal, a destination, you also think about the next steps you need to take to get there. Just as you can’t see the road conditions over the hill, you can only clearly see a small part of the way forward. However, you plan specifically for the close-by milestones, and more generally for the further out ones, and refine them when you get closer. Little, successful steps forward. There is your journey planned.
Part 3 – travelling companions.
Some journeys we take alone, some we travel in company. It has been said that we journey through life alone and only share certain parts of it with others, for a short time. Even within relationships there are journeys we still take alone. However, travelling companions are an important consideration when mapping your future – which parts will you travel alone and which will you travel in company?
I am blessed to have a wonderful life partner and travelling companion, after travelling most of my life alone. Our midweek review session at Mount Tamborine confirmed it again; we really are in synch on the important parts of our individual journeys forward, and therefore we can share those journeys together as travelling companions. However, if you are travelling alone, the planning process is the same.
It’s important to understand the distinction between sharing goals and travelling together. Susan and I have individual goals and I support her totally in achieving her goals, with love and autonomy in whatever she wants to do. Compare that to a couple where one has a goal and the other is forced to work towards it also. No, that’s not sharing – that’s press ganging! We travel together and share some joint goals, but always provide support and encouragement for each other’s personal, individual goals.
Celebrations when mapping your future.
Absolutely vital! Starting tomorrow – New Years Day. The New Year timetable kicks in and the first of the targets and milestones appear on the new calendar. We celebrate each as they appear, reviewing our achievements (or otherwise) to consolidate success and resolve other issues to ensure success next time.
How about you? Did you read my “New Years Resolutions” blog a few weeks back? Have you made your New Years Resolutions and so begun mapping your future? What will keep you on track with all the promises and commitments you made to yourself, and your family? What system do you have in place to ensure your progress and success?
Now is the time to nail your goals for the New Year, mapping your future is the start. Systemizing your activities towards it is your guarantee of success so that when 2015 looms in the windscreen, you can look back and say “2014 was a great trip – what a ride!”
We all have a future, the difference is that if you have been mapping your future, it’s more likely to be the one you want, rather than someone else’s idea of what your future should be.
We’ll see you there!
If you found value in this blog and feel it could be of benefit to others, please share and reblog it, so that everyone has a chance at mapping their future too.
Til next time, fair winds and full sails,