The New Year is a time for new starts and re-evaluating our goals. It’s a time for reflection on how well our lifestyle and life decisions are matching up with what we want out of life. We only have one lifespan given to us. We can easily fall into the idea that we have plenty of time to make the necessary changes, but there are no guarantees. With that thought in mind, take this opportunity to reflect and refocus.
The Roadmap Exercise is a writing activity to identify and clarify your values and goals. These concepts are the desired destination for your life and how you want to live. Ultimately, it helps you answer the questions “What do I want to do with my life?”, “How am I going to be?” It is very helpful to devote some thought to these questions because, in the words of Henry David Thoreau; “We only hit what we aim at.”
- Identify three people that you admire and respect. Write a few sentences about the traits admired in these people. These can be people you know personally as well as people known to you through history, fame, or even fictional characters (i.e., George Washington, Michael Jordan, Rosa Parks, Taylor Swift, Harry Potter, etc.)
- Think about the values you see these people live out in their everyday life that you admire and want for yourself.
- Think about what makes this person someone you look up to and admire.
- What important lessons about life have you learned personally, or “the hard way?”
- Circle the words, or groups of words that represent the core of what emerged from steps 1 and 2.
- Take these words and phrases and create an action statement for your life. This may start with a statement like “My life will be….”
- Include in it your ideal way of thinking, feeling, and acting. What values will guide your decisions?
- What do you want to end up with in your life, and what do you want to end up without?
Once completed, what you will have essentially is the desired destination on your roadmap of life. This is where you want to end up. How and when you get there is up to you!
For a family activity, have each person in the family do this and share your results. Encourage each other along your path to personal growth!