Before we had these fancy iPhones or Windows phones with Apple Maps or Google Maps, we used maps made out of paper. My father would review his map at a rest stop before getting back on the road. There were specific places my father would want to visit during our family road trips. For example, on the way down to Orlando, Florida, my father would want to visit Lexington, Kentucky, Nashville, Tennessee, and Atlanta, Georgia. We would only make these stops if we had enough time to do so. Each of these stops would need to be carefully planned ahead of time. Unlike today’s map technologies, paper maps do not reroute you automatically.
When it comes to planning your future, you should build your plan similarly to the paper map method. You need to carefully plan out each step of the way because there are typically no automatic rerouting features available to us. Instead of mapping out locations you would like to visit, you would map out short-term and long-term goals you want to achieve. For example, if I want to work as a marketer for a fortune 500 company, then I would need to achieve my bachelors degree and MBA. I would also need to go through at least one internship and build my professional network. Each of these primary goals would be associated with an appropriate timeline. I may have some other goals I would like to achieve, but if this was really important to me, I would make sure these were my primary goals.
In addition to goals and timing, roadmaps need a final destination or your overarching goal. Basically, where will all of these supporting goals take you and how fast will you get there? It is up to us to understand where we want to go, how long it will take to get there, and make sure we can visit where we would like to visit along the way. We will want to make sure we have enough time to visit the stops along the way. I have been building my roadmap for quite sometime and adjusting it along the way. I aim to continuously improve along the way to make my situation better and better. New experiences and gained knowledge help me better clarify the things I want to try along the way. These things also help me better understand what I want my life to be one day. Just because we set out to reach certain goals today, does not mean we can attempt different goals tomorrow if it makes sense to change.