After I wrote the blog “Where will you end up in 5 years?“, I started to think a lot about the life paths that I’m on right now, and if I want to keep going down those paths. Do they lead me to experiencing a fulfilling life? If they do not, I’ll need to change something. I need to create a new path. But how do I do that? Writing these blogs will also be a journey for myself, seeing where my current paths will lead me, and also creating new paths. I could look for some kind of blueprint for goal-setting, but to be honest, I want to create that blueprint myself. The thing I need, is a blueprint which I can use for creating new paths, which may be completely different from each other. But I also hope, that when you also want to go down this path, that my experiences will help you.
What kind of life paths are there?
If you ask yourself the question where you’ll end up in 5 years, of course you will think about your life path as something really big. I want to make progress in those 5 years, even though I’m not really sure yet in what way. What do I want to achieve within 5 years? My opinion is that your big path of life could consist out of as many paths as you need. At the time of writing this blog, I came to the realization that I need to create a lot of new paths for myself. It is not that I am completely unhappy with my life right now, but when I think of where I want to end up in 5 years, I really want to make some changes.
I feel like I’m in a rut right now, and really want to get out of that. My big Path Of Life is to live a happy, fulfilling life, which is a ongoing process. The different paths I create for myself, need to be almost perfectly aligned to help the ongoing process of my Path Of Life. Nothing will ever be completely perfect, but the better the different paths are aligned, I think the more happy you’ll be with the paths that you’re going down. For me, that also means that the more paths I want to create, the more difficult it will get to get them aligned. It’s a bit of a quality over quantity thing.
When I think about creating a new life path, I try to categorize them as general as possible. If you make the path too narrow, it’ll get really hard to keep on moving, and reach your checkpoints. So I came up with some of the following paths:
- Path Of Money & Work
- Path Of Health
- Path Of Love, Family, and Friendship
- Path Of Knowledge
These paths are very general minded, and I kinda like it like that. This way I could make some quick changes, when I’m not happy with the path that I’m going down. For instance, when I would think of the Path Of Health, a big part for me of that path, is getting in better shape again. I could achieve that in a lot of different ways. One part of it is working out, while the other part is eating healthy food. You could call these branches of the path, or maybe even completely new paths. That’s up to you. But the thing is, that when I don’t like a certain workout routine, I could just create a new checkpoint, which is progressing through another routine. That way I don’t have to create a completely new path again. This is of course the way I think about it, so maybe it works better for you to narrow down the paths.
Creating a new path and checkpoints
I see creating new paths as creating new habits. They are all about updating you as a person. Creating a new habit is a lot of work, and I think a lot of people underestimate that. How often do you hear people making New Year’s resolutions, to already quit on them after one month? There are a lot. The problem is, is that they only think about developing a new habit. There is no plan behind it. So it is only obvious that a lot of people quit on their resolutions really fast. They get demotivated, and don’t feel like putting in the work and energy anymore. Would that be different when they would have a solid plan? Not for all of them, but I think the percentage hanging in there would increase by a lot.
So let’s say that I am thinking about my Path Of Health, and creating the habit of working out more. How would I make a plan for that? Well, the first thing I am going to do, is thinking about what kind of workout I would like to do. I already decided that I will go running again. This means that I need to create a plan for that. What will my checkpoints be? How long will I give myself to reach those checkpoints? So for now, let’s say my first checkpoint would be to run 5KM at the end of the month (probably not going to happen). What are my steps to reach that checkpoint?
- Week 1: Run 2 kilometers; take a resting day in between.
- Week 2: Run 3 kilometers; take a resting day in between.
- Week 3: Run 4 kilometers; take a resting day in between.
- Week 4: Run 4 kilometers; every day, rest before reaching checkpoint goal.
- End of the month: Run 5 kilometers
I don’t know if this would be a solid plan to reach running 5 kilometers, but this is just to give an idea. After reaching the checkpoint goal, I would create a new checkpoint, like running 10K, or maybe even starting to train to run a half marathon. Even though running 5 kilometers seems like a end goal, the Path Of Health isn’t. To keep on going down that path, I need to build habits, create new checkpoints. Only then will that path keep fulfilling me.
Be happy about where you’re going?
Like I said, there isn’t one way to create new paths and checkpoints. I am even not sure yet if the idea of having multiple paths work. But it is an ongoing journey. The most important part will always be the following question: When you are looking at the path that you’re going down, will you be happy with where it will have taken you after 5 years? Don’t think about the expectations of other people or society. It is important that you’re happy with what you’re doing. Most often, the people who are mostly criticizing your ambitious ideas, are the most jealous of the choices you’re not afraid to make.