Looking back, I realize that my mom was sharing something with me that was very foreign to her. This is not the way my mom thinks.
But, in the course of events during home school, my mom shared a planning tool with my brother and me.
“Think about what you would like your life to be like in 20 years…”
I was 14. Thirty-four years old was well past the edge of the known universe.
What could I say I wanted in that time?
I knew I wanted a family and I wanted certain accomplishments. And I wanted to be beautiful. Beauty seemed very important at 14.
Then Mom broke it down further. What would I have to accomplish in the next ten years to get to that outcome?
And then in 5 years?
two and a half years?
What would I need to do THIS YEAR to further the goals of what I wanted my life to be like when I was 34?
Which broke down into the next 6 months, then 3 months and this month, this week and today.
I LOVED this exercise. I took it extremely seriously. I really really wanted those dreams to come true. And breaking it down into things I could do TODAY made me very happy. It felt like those far away dreams were within reach.
My mom, who introduced me to this framework, does not think this way.
It turns out, from my now-lengthy life experience, very few people really find that sort of framework comfortable.
But from the age of 14 on, I have filled pages and pages of notebooks with year plans.
I will write out the 12 months, or if I am in a hurry, 3 months, and plot out what needs to happen to achieve some scheme or other.
It’s not that I always achieve it, or even the times when I do achieve it, I achieve it on the plotted schedule.
But just like when I was 14, it makes me feel like I can almost touch that desired goal. That I will make it.
Some people can daydream into it. For me, I need to feel like there are steps. And even if I get lost or stumble along the way, those steps guide me.
Like little glowing reflectors in the dark. I will find my way.