“You can’t ask for what you want unless you know what it is.”
(Barbara De Angelis Ph.D)
Before I go any further, I must clarify that I am not a Spice Girls fan… honest! It’s just the perfect song title for this blog post.
So, what do you really want? Have you taken the time to really sit down and think about this? I never did. Thoughts floated around my head, as they do, but I never actually sat down and consciously thought about what I wanted and certainly didn’t write it down. If this sounds like you (don’t worry if it is because there are many of us out there) then I would suggest you set aside some time to really think about it. Whatever your dreams and goals are, whether it is to go travelling or not, it is definitely worth spending some time thinking about what you want. Like me, you might find it a challenge at the start but don’t let that put you off.
Before launching into all the things you want, it’s useful to go back a stage. I didn’t know about this when I was thinking about my goals. I wish I had because it would have been really helpful. Stephen Covey, in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, talks about beginning with ‘the end in mind’. The end is not your list of goals, it goes deeper than that. The end is finding out what is most important to you, what you truly want, and how you want to live your life. He does that by guiding you through a visualisation. I found it a challenging but powerful exercise. You might be wondering what this has to do with going travelling and achieving your dreams. Well, I believe, everything! It helps you to get past all the materialistic stuff to focus on what really matters to you, which you can incorporate into your travels. There is also an online exercise you can complete on the Franklin-Covey website, which is free. You will need to set aside about 10 minutes for it. I found it extremely helpful and would urge you and anyone else who is thinking of travelling or at a stage of transition in their life to go through one or both of these exercises. This is because each exercise will help you get a clearer ‘big picture’ idea of how you want your life to be and make sure that your goals focus on what you truly want. If you want to travel, it will help you to plan a trip that is more purposeful, meaningful, and useful for you. This might be the only time to do a trip like this so you will want to get the most out of it. I wish I had known about this before I planned my trip. If I had, it would have been a very different journey.
Once you have done that, you could transfer the information from your mission/vision/purpose statement (or whatever you choose to call it) into something quite creative like a life manifestoor an infographic. Check these out to get some ideas on how you can create your own. This will engage your creative side as well as deeply embed into your unconscious mind what is important to you and how you want to live your life. Now it’s time for the next stage, which involves getting your goals out of your head and on paper.