We are in the thick of winter, so the mornings here are dark. For my morning run last week, I had to dig out my headlamp because the storms in CA have left a ton of debris on my path, and the street light is not enough to avoid the branches.
The headlamp was dead because I hadn't used it in so long. I looked at the charging port and it looked different. Later that weekend I took about 20 minutes to go through a box of charging cables and finally turned to hubby when I continued to come up empty-handed. It took him less than 30 seconds to get it plugged in and charging.
Two completely different approaches. His way more effective but isn’t this how life goes? There’s more than one approach to everything.
This got me to thinking, I’ve talked a lot about my roadmap for life but there’s more than one approach. Let's get into some different ways to look at this.
The first approach to life is to let it happen and go with the flow. This works well for those who enjoy living in the moment and being mindful. Many creatives find this approach helpful for tapping into their creativity. The benefit of this approach is that it leads to less stress and anxiety and higher levels of well-being. Studies have shown that acceptance is a key factor in psychological well-being. Rather than avoiding or resisting difficult experiences, acceptance and emotional regulation lead to greater psychological well-being and fewer symptoms of psychological disorders. However, even if you have a more relaxed approach to life, it's still important to create a roadmap and regularly check in with your goals. I recommend finding ways to get into a flow state while still identifying where you want to go in life. I will provide some links below on how to achieve this balance.
Another approach to creating a life plan is to use a mind map. A mind map is a visual way to brainstorm and organize ideas. It works well for people who prefer to take in information visually. Mind mapping allows you to organize your ideas and easily identify themes and connections between them. A great way to use mind mapping for your life plan is to make important aspects of your life, such as your business, relationships with your family, and relationships with your partner, the central idea in the center of the map and have the other ideas branch out from there. Some tools for creating mind maps include Canva and Coggle.
The final approach I suggest for creating a life plan is to use the "wouldn't it be cool if" brainstorming technique. Start by asking yourself what you would want out of life and when you come up with a cool idea, use the process of reverse engineering to work backward to action steps for that goal. For example, if your goal is to take a year off to travel the world, you would need to save enough money, research your trip, and plan for how to quit your current job or responsibilities. Use the SMART criteria to make your goal specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Create a plan of action for how to save money, research and plan your trip, and prepare for leaving your current obligations. Remember to review and adjust your plan as necessary and celebrate your progress along the way.
In summary, there are alternatives to approach the process of creating a roadmap for life. We have discussed letting life happen naturally, using mind mapping, and brainstorming with the "wouldn't it be cool if" technique. If you want to further explore these ideas, you can check out my previous video on "How to Design Your Life."
You don't have to chose between your personal and professional life. Here's my secret weapon for getting the family chaos to calm.