Vision: The Purpose for My Life – Part 3
In our previous posts, we discussed the “big picture” vision, your dreams. This is a major piece to putting together your Family Plan. Why, you may ask; because until you know your destination, there is no way to chart the course. Without a destination, you’re not going anywhere.
Today let me go ahead and tell you, we’re getting into the first steps of turning your dreams into a plan that will get you going. You’re about to move from “some-day ” to a “scheduled-day”. Before we get started, let me tell you about the “some-day ” syndrome.
The “Some-day” Syndrome
You’ve heard this phrase often in life, “one-day, I’ll…”, or we’ll get that “some-day “. One-day, some-day… What no one ever told you is that one-day = never. Some-day doesn’t exist; it doesn’t equate to any true date in the future. When you hear some-day or one-day, just say oh, you mean never!
The goal of the Family Plan is to move you from some-day to today. Now!
The 10-15 Year Timeline
In this installment, we will layout the next 15 years so that we can better determine what we need to do (not some day) today. We’re about to chart a course for your life. Take out a sheet of paper and number it, instead of 1-15, 2017 – 2031. Just thinking about it like this makes me say, wow! In just 15 years, it will be 2031. We don’t have any time to wait or waste; 2031 is just around the corner. It’s no longer far out when you think of it in three 5-year periods.
The easy stuff lists first
On this sheet of paper, let’s start filling in (by each year) the items we know we need to think about. I will get you going. Easy stuff: college for your children, major family vacations, family reunions, cars for teenage children, etc. If you have young children, you’ll need to consider what they will need. Our daughter Tamia will be 11 this year, so here’s what our 15 year plan looks like with just her items:
2017 – 5th Grade [reference entry]
2022 – Tamia turns 16 and would like a car. What will sweet 16 bring?
2024 – Tamia graduates from high school. We all need to be ready for this day.
2025 – Tamia is now a freshman in college.
2029 – Tamia graduates from college.
2031 – [end of this 15-year period]
Notice it’s okay to have several blank years. You’ll fill those in with other stuff as time goes on, but the point of this is so that you and your family aren’t caught off guide. You can set a course and have a plan to reach a specific destination. It also helps to share this with your family so that your children know what’s expected. If you have more than one child, then your timeline will have more entries and less blanks. What would happen inside the mind of a child whose parents had a plan mapped out for them?
The Benefit of a Timeline
Now that you see your timeline, start to ask yourself what it’s telling you. For Pamela and I, it tells us we need to start saving our money for a car. We can get a head start with this goal. It also gives us a picture of just how much time we have before she enters the adult world. We need to plan well for these years especially the ones with no entries on the timeline.
Here are a few other ideas to add to your timeline: special birth-dates, special anniversaries and loan payoffs. That last one is a fun one. It’s all fair game. Your life needs a timeline so that you can make the best of the time you have available.
Some-day can become today!
You’ll never know, until you try it, how good it feels to have a map that you can follow for your life. You’ve done it without a plan this far and most of us have ended up in a place we didn’t intend. How can creating a timeline for your life benefit you and your family? Leave a comment.