Every journey needs a destination and a road map, and life is a journey they say. While most of us are not so fortunate enough to know the exact destination of our entire life, we can have shorter destinations for a short duration of time, like a year.
If you are in doubt about whether or not this will work, let me tell you I have been on both sides. On the side where I took life as it came, had no particular goal, just lived and had a good time. And a side where I plan, review, and deliberate on what I want to do, and who I want to be. Honestly, when I look back at my younger self, I feel so sad. I wish my younger self had the knowledge I have today.
I wish I had the resources or access to people that I have today. But like they say, you have to go through what you have to go through. I feel fortunate to be able to live the way I do today and be able to share it with you like I wished someone shared with me when I was 25 or even 30.
So yes, I am living proof that having a vision board, and a roadmap for the year helps. A girl born in a middle-class family with zero privilege in a small town went from cutting magazine clippings of her favorite homes as a teen, to being published in several magazines and newspapers for her work. It works. And if it worked for me, it will work for you, my friend.
So I propose you do it for yourself too if you haven’t done so far. Give it an hour or two and just jot things down in a book. Having exactly a month to go for the new year, is the best time to do this exercise. The 30 days to come can cement the goals in your mind and you can take baby steps towards them.
So let’s get into it.
You can call it Vision Board, Yearly Planner, or goal tracker, it’s all the same. I don’t know how others do it, I don’t know if it’s the “right” way to do it. But this is how I do it and the intention behind sharing it with you is so you can take it and build on it and create your own. (Also, throughout the post, I am going to sprinkle in my Diwali decor from this year, so you have some eye candy)
Creating a 2024 Road Map
Here are the six broad categories I work on
- Health and Wellness
2. Family and Relationship
3. Career and Calling
5. Hobbies and Travel
Let’s discuss in detail about them, but before that look at the sequence of it. This is my priority list too. In my opinion, my health comes first. If I am healthy, I can take care of all of the things under that. Family comes next, If I am healthy and have healthy relationships, I can chase a career, and money, travel, and do community service. And when I do 1, 2, and 3 right, 4 is just a byproduct that will enable me to do 5 and 6.
And if one has health, a good family, a good career, and makes enough money, in my opinion, that person is wealthy. Wealth no longer is only about money.
What do you think?
With each of these categories, there are 2 things to be done
- Review the year 2023. Wondering how you can remember all that happened in 2023? Use your phone’s photo backup. We are a smartphone generation that takes photos at the drop of a hat. My memory is completely refreshed when I scroll my Google Photos archive. Do that.
- Set a goal for the year 2024.
Lets get into the details of each.
Health and Wellness
This is pretty self-explanatory. Here is an extract from my notes.
Review of 2023: I am grateful that my body has supported me well through the journey of the year. My vitals are normal, no health issues to report other than the usual seasonal cold. cough, period pains, and migraines when I did not eat on time. According to the “standards” (eye roll), I was 15kg overweight at the beginning of the year. My chubbyness has not come in the way of my health, and I have managed to drop about 5kgs from there. I am also grateful to have had the opportunity to donate blood. (Giving myself a pat on the back and saying “Good Girl”)
The goal for 2024: Sustainance and stricter enforcement. I made some new habits in 2023 to help me get healthier, measuring my water intake, finishing dinner by 7.30 pm, no caffeine or sugar after 6.30 pm, etc. There were a few slip-ups, some dinners stretched to 9 because we were out, or there was a dinner party, etc. So for 2024, I want to get stricter with that and say “NO means NO”.
I prepared myself in 2023, now I am ready to enforce it strictly in 2024. Do You see how this is going?
Family and Relationship
For me, the relationship starts with me. The circle starts with me, I need to have a good relationship with myself. Next comes my Husband and my mom. and then the circle extends to close family and friends and so on. I prefer keeping a small circle. You don’t have much choice with family, but all of my friends.I choose to keep the kind who I want for life. I don’t have any “formality” relationships, I am not even good at keeping them. All of the people who have me, know that they have me 100%. And the people who don’t have me, know they don’t have me 100% 😀 No confusion there.
So yes, the Family and relationship category is to evaluate all important relationships and have goals for next year. One of my goals for 2024 is to have a fixed once-a-month meet-up with my girlfriends. Make your own goals.
P.S. Please feel free to have goals like “I need to start distancing myself from XYZ, coz I don’t need that shit in my life”, if some relationship is only bringing you stress and no joy.
Career and Calling
Now the reason why it says Career and Calling is coz they can be two different things in some cases and the same in others. Some people are corporate employees by the day, and lead guitarists in a band on weekends. Surgeon by the day and a comedian in the evenings. You have a career that you are good at and make a good living, which helps you pursue your calling without having to worry about making ends meet.
Anyway, the process is the same—review where you stand in 2023. Decide where you want to go in 2024. Simple!
Doesn’t need an introduction. There are so many ways to ethically make money today, it’s not even funny. And if it can be aligned with what you love to do, making money is a joy.
I feel every woman should have money goals, should know what mutual funds are, and should manage her own money, however little or a lot it is. If you are someone who does not have a source of income and wants to start earning, set an intention to earn money. Set a small goal to begin with. I want to mean 10k rupees a month, explore options. Take tiny steps towards it.
If you are someone who makes money but is not able to save or invest, plan for that. Setting the intention is important. If you are making money and want to 2x your earnings, set your intention for that. Calculate exactly how much it is, and put a number to it. If you are currently earning 64500/- per month and you want to double it, Know that you have to earn 129000/- per month as a goal. Have exact figures, don’t be vague about it. Because it is powerful when you do so.
Let me give you an example.
We know 2020 was a hard pill to swallow for anyone who was non-essential and running a business. After the lockdown in March ended, I was able to effectively get back to work and start work on site was September. Six months of no income from my main job. But I was doing other things, running workshops, doing paid promotions, etc. At the end of the year, when I reviewed the numbers, I was surprised that I was almost close to hitting the money goal that I had set when the world did not know there was such a thing as a pandemic. It’s that powerful!
For me, I want to clear the little debt I have and raise money for a personal project. If you love my content, Please do consider sharing my digital courses with people who may love it. You can see them all HERE!
Write down your money goal, to the last rupee. Don’t be vague about it!
Hobbies and Travel
This is a much lighter category than others. Like I said before a trip down the Google Photos memory lane can review the events of the year. I have traveled more in the last two years than I have in the rest of my life. And that happened by setting intentions and planning for it. Where do you want to travel? What do you want to see? What do you want to experience?
I have already made my list for 2024, it’s probably the first thing I did to get myself started. My list does not go beyond the borders of India. In fact, my master wishlist does not go beyond Asia. There is so much to see in this country, one lifetime is not enough.
Everyone should have a hobby, it’s wonderful for your well-being. Learning new things, going after something specific, starting a collection, traveling, whatever it is, there needs to be a creative outlet. For someone like me who is in the creative business, I need a hobby outside of my business to keep sane. It’s like how you need two days off after returning from a vacation.
This is probably where most people are confused. And this is the one thing that brings the most amount of fulfillment. It’s serving the community around us.
Do you have a “giving back to the community” plan? It need not be giving money, it could be giving your time, sharing your expertise, or even lending someone a hand.
For me, for 2024 I am going to dedicate specific time to mentoring related small businesses. Take on a limited number of people each month and help them grow. It will be a paid service of course because not many people take free mentoring seriously and one tends to put in more effort when it’s paid. We also plan to restart the free marketing class we conducted every week, which we have done for 120 odd weeks since 2021.
When do you not need a giving-back plan? When you are the one who needs the most amount of work. Dedicate all your energy to working on yourself, ask for help when you need and believe help will show up. And when you have your feet firmly planted on the ground, get yourself a giving-back plan. Keep the circle of help going!
Rules of this game
- Be absolutely, completely, and brutally honest with yourself. You owe it to you.
- This exercise is solely for your eyes only. You don’t need to share it with anyone if you don’t want to.
- Be realistic. Don’t have wild goals that your mind has difficulty comprehending. Remember it’s a ladder, you can leap a few steps, it’s doable. But you cannot leap to the top of the ladder from the bottom. It’s unrealistic. even if it happens by fluke, it’s not sustainable.
- Commit to doing one little thing that moves you towards one of your goals.
- Have a slow start and learn to go steady then start with a bang and drop it altogether due to overwhelm.
Do you think it’s doable? Do you think it’s sensible? I would love to have you write me some comments here on what you think of this post. And please share it with anyone who you think can benefit from it.