16 Oct Create A Roadmap To Your Ideal Lifestyle
Do you wish you had more time for the people and activities in your life that make you happy?
This article can help you get that time, by creating a roadmap to your ideal lifestyle.
Change is often thrust upon us, both good and bad, but we can also choose to bring about positive change through our own, deliberate actions.
Most people arrange their personal lives around their working hours. After all, we spend a lot of time at work and there’s usually not much flexibility in our work hours.
The problem with this arrangement is that it puts work first, lifestyle second.
It should be flipped around.
Start by determining the lifestyle you want; then work out the best way to facilitate that lifestyle.
There are many options for earning money, but one of the best is running your own home business, because it gives you the flexibility to arrange your work around your lifestyle.
Time is precious
We all have limited time on this earth, which arguably makes time our most precious possession.
Ask someone on their deathbed if they would like more time or more money, and invariably they would choose time.
We can use our time to earn money, but we can’t use our money to earn more time. Money can only influence how we’re able to spend our time.
Sometimes, it feels like we have limited control over what we do with our time.
In the short term, that can certainly be true. Your boss wants that report before Monday, so you focus your efforts on getting it done. Maybe you work late on Friday to meet the deadline.
However, over the long term, our choices can shape how our time will be spent in the future. For example, you may have a choice between travelling after you finish your schooling or accepting a job offer. Each of these choices will have different ramifications on how you spend your time over the coming months and years.
One choice can have ripple effects across the rest of your life, but it’s never too late to change course.
By charting a roadmap to the lifestyle that you want, you can identify choices and actions that will help get you there.
It’s time to take back control of your time.
Now let’s create a roadmap to your ideal lifestyle.
This roadmap will help you determine the changes that you need to make now, in order to have the lifestyle you want in the future.
The starting point for your roadmap is your current circumstances. The destination is your ideal lifestyle.
There will be roadblocks to identify and navigate around. These are the factors that are preventing you from attaining your ideal lifestyle. A common example is work commitments taking up most of your time. This could include time spent at work, and also time spent travelling to and from work.
It’s highly likely that you’ll need a source of income to facilitate the lifestyle that you want – so let’s just accept that as a given requirement.
There are often many paths to your destination. Some paths may not be immediately obvious. Be creative. Don’t dismiss any options as being too crazy, jot them all down.
All journeys take time, so you need to allocate a period of time for yours. Be realistic, but be ambitious.
Bringing this all together, we have:
- The starting point is here and now, the destination is your ideal lifestyle.
- There will be roadblocks to navigate around.
- You’ll need a source of income to facilitate your ideal lifestyle.
- There could be multiple paths to your destination.
- All journeys take time.
Here’s an example roadmap.
Example roadmap to an ideal lifestyle: Emma’s journey
Starting point – summarising now
- Emma works full time for a large company. She earns a good salary, but the work is uninspiring and repetitive.
- She spends two hours each work day commuting, for a total of 10 hours per week. Emma finds the regular traffic jams to be particularly frustrating.
- Emma would love to lead a healthier lifestyle. She would like to have more time for exercise and playing team sports. She also really wants to eat healthier food, but finds that most days she’s dashing out for takeaway and then eating ‘al-desko’ while working.
- Emma has limited time to spend with her family and friends.
Destination – visualising the ideal lifestyle
- Emma’s earning an income from work that she finds fulfilling.
- She’s commuting a lot less (or perhaps not at all!).
- Emma’s leading an active, healthy lifestyle. She exercises daily and regularly plays team sports on the weekend. She eats home-cooked meals most of the time, but eats out for social and special occasions.
- Emma has an active social life, regularly spending time with family and friends.
Emma realises that her main hurdle is time. Her working hours and commuting leaves very little time for the activities and people that make her happy.
She also finds her work boring and unfulfilling.
Paths to an ideal lifestyle
To get around the road block, she needs to find a new path.
She still needs to earn an income, so simply quitting her job is not an option.
Emma could make changes in her existing employment, such as changing to part-time work hours, or arranging to work from home instead of commuting to the office every day.
If that’s not possible with her current role, she could seek new employment that offers more flexible working conditions, and perhaps a more exciting role.
Emma knows that her employer offers part-time work arrangements, so she decides to schedule a meeting with her manager on Monday to discuss going part-time.
Emma also decides that she needs to change her vocation over the longer term. She wants to work on something that she’s passionate about!
Emma is an accomplished graphic designer and has done occasional work for friends and family in the past. She realises that her talents in graphic design could be leveraged to create a home business.
If she transitions to part-time work, Emma thinks it would take 12 months to grow her graphic design business to the point where it’s earning enough income to sustain her lifestyle.
Emma’s chosen path
Emma goes part-time and is now working three days per week. Her standard work day is 7.5 hours, so along with reduced commuting time (2 hours per day), she has recouped at least 19 hours of her time per week.
She has less income of course, but she also finds that her work-related costs have come down. She’s not paying for parking, petrol, takeaway lunches and coffees on two working days of every week.
Emma feels happier and healthier. Her home business is looking promising and she’s excited about the future!