When was the last time you sat down and really looked at the big picture?
The big picture for your business (if you have one) and the big picture for your life.
If you’re anything like me when this sort of question comes up my brain/body goes into resistance and I start thinking up lots of reasons why it’s really difficult for me to look 10, 20 or 30 years into the future and what I want my life to look like then. This is probably due to my life so far and when I look back, my goodness me, I would never have anticipated or imagined my life to be as it is now.
Let’s do a bit of time travel….
Meet Sophie of the year 2000. I am 19 years old and had my daughter in March of this year. I moved back to my mums on the 9th December after a rather dramatic blow-up with Adelaide’s dad and I was a shell of a person. No confidence, no a levels, no real work experience, no friends…. Life was pretty bleak and I genuinely believed that I was destined to be a big phat no one. I had my daughter though and she was my focus. I also had the support of my family, which was the life saver I needed to get me on the right path and moving forwards.
Meet Sophie of 2010. I am 29 and Adelaide is now 9 and at high school. Crazy how fast they grow! I’m 7 years into self employment with my graphic design business, an avid networker and just launching a second business in partnership with a colleague I met at a BNI meeting. I am feeling like I can take on the world. I’ve got lots of friends, my confidence is much better (though I think likely to always be a work in progress), I have a business I really enjoy working in, I get to meet and work with people from so many different places. I’m in a steady relationship and we’ve bought a house together. Life is unrecognisable from 10 years ago.
Fast forward to now and life is very different again. We’ve moved house and now live in an amazing place just outside of Norwich. We’ve got 2 dogs. My daughter is just about to turn 18 (how the heck did that happen!?). I’ve got a few qualifications in holistic world; NLP, reiki, EFT and more. I’ve won a few business awards. I’ve launched and sold or passed on 2 businesses (the one from 2009 and another) and, after the growing popularity of a planner I designed just for myself, in April of 2017 launched Ladies That Plan Ltd, which means another path shift and a future of exciting and infinite possibilities. Some people are sadly no longer with us, my dad and some other family and friends. I have some really wonderful friends. My clients and customers are awesome. Life is exciting.
What has stayed the same?
- I still work from home.
- I still feel like I’m at the beginning of a great adventure.
- I still have no clue what the future holds.
- I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.
- I still want to learn more, do more, be a better version of myself.
- I still want to help more people and grow my business.
I guess some things never change : )
So, what the heck has this got to do with the big picture planning? Well, it’s me doing what I do best and trying to wriggle my way out of having a BIG vision of what I want my life to look like in 10 or 20 years time. I look back at the things that have happened, the person I’ve changed from and become and it blows my mind what the potential future could look like and how radically different my life might be to where I am now, in ways I could never even imagine.
Business wise I now work with a 3 year plan and I have found it to be incredibly useful in keeping me focused. It gives me something to track and measure and I’m excited to see the plan take shape in reality.
But with life I find it much more difficult, but I have to start somewhere, so I am choosing not to set goals of things or actions but instead how I want to feel in 10 or 20 years time; the person I want to become.
I heard a speech once by Matthew McConaughey and I’m sharing it here because it really struck a chord with me and I feel it’s a perfect fit here:
From 1:45mins in onwards and particularly from 3.30 mins onwards.
I love the idea of chasing my own personal hero <3
We’re in this crazy thing called life and we don’t know when it’s going to end so we’ve gotta squeeze all the juice out of it that we can.
Stop for a short while and consider the big picture for you.
- Do you have something BIG you want to achieve in your life?
- Is there something specific you want to be known for?
- What is the legacy you want to create.
- What relationships do you want to nurture?
- How can you create amazing memories to last a lifetime?
Maybe start small, 3 or 5 years ahead, and then expand out from there.
What is important to you?
What makes you feel fulfilled?
What do you want more of in your life?
Let’s imagine it… and then get to work making it a reality.