When we decide to take a road trip to somewhere we’ve not been before, we map out the easiest route to our destination.
We look for places to fill up the gas tank, eat meals, and stay the night. If there are places of historical significance or beautiful sites to see along the way, we plan to see them as well. This kind of planning is smart, efficient and fun.
I remember my Dad looking at a map of Colorado map when he and Mom were planning our vacations. He knew the distances between gas stations and motels, and planned accordingly. Over the years I came to love looking at paper maps. They are a thing of the past now with the computerize maps on our phones and other devices.
Maps gave us a sense of the enormity of the world. Our planning gave us a sense of control. With electronic maps providing the best route illustrating time and distance, we don’t have much to do except load up the car with luggage and gas. Some how I liked making the calculations on my own, it was more enjoyable.
Planning your life is the same exercise. Without a life plan or philosophy, we are allowing the currents of society, culture, or friends to dictate our path.
A life plan lays out the ideal time frame in which you want accomplish certain goals like picking a major for school, graduating from college by a certain year, picking a your employment, getting married and having children, etc. This enables you to see the goals and understand what it will take to accomplish them. I once had a client who came to me for financial planning. He and his wife wanted to retire at 50. They wanted me to help them set aside enough money in stocks, bonds, and municipal bonds to accomplish this task. They were very disciplined and frugal and I had no doubt they would achieve the goal with my help.
A life philosophy helps you lay out how you will live. You will choose how to live with good morals like: being honest, trustworthy, loyal, responsible, and disciplined. A philosophy of life also helps you pick a mate who lives by the same rules. A life philosophy establishes the virtues you wish to live by versus the cultural value system. This is where you also decide to live with happiness, faith, and generosity. As our culture changes with political currents, we have to be diligent with our planning and stick to our philosophy in spite of the politically correctness of the moment.
Planning is never a waste of time. It will always serve you well and reap desired rewards. Write it down and review it several times a year so you can stay on track. Now, at the first of the year is the classical time to do this type of planning, but you can do it anytime, just make sure you finish it and work to follow it.
Good luck and Happy New Year!
“Everything you desire is just outside your comfort zone.”