Are you the boss of your life?
Setting goals and pinning them across your horizon allows you to make decisions so that you lead your life, rather than letting the course of life lead you.
Setting a horizon and looking at your decision making milestones creates a good reality check; it prompts revisions, more learning, new approaches to quality of life options.
This was a realization, at a timely moment in my life somewhere in my mid 40s.
QueensOf Money tool – “Setting a Horizon” – draws from my life long learning at Harvard Kennedy School and at INSEAD. Through life-long learning, the awakening occurred: I needed to lead my career and quality of life rather than being led by life situations. Setting a Horizon made it all clear. It has been my lighting rod since, and combined with the forward looking cash flow, I have visibility of my life options and decisions I need to make.
The Horizon tool, which you can draw in your workbook, or in your diary, has a few components.
It sets a time horizon: you can choose the horizon, it can me months or years;
It distinguishes your different priorities: professional, personal, financial; family
It combines milestones: it identifies when certain decisions need to be made
In this way you can identify when big and smaller milestones occur, when you need to prepare yourself emotionally and financially for decision making.
For example you can see when your children graduate high school or head to university, On financials and professional milestones, it mirrors whether you are in job with or without opportunity to grow. In a decision to change course, what other components need to be considered? Looking at your life from above and on a horizon, the answers become evident.
Your horizon can guide you on when to review retirement plans and when to reinvigorate investment options; or the timeline of home borrowing to full ownership. It can help you pinpoint whether debt needs to be renegotiated or guarantees to be reviewed. If you want to spoil yourself with a grand trip or to save for a sabbatical, or go back to university to learn something new, the path to those decisions will be clearer with your horizon mapped out in front of you.
The life pie chart on the bottom right hand side of the tool is our life chart. The idea is to tell our time where to go (much like telling our money where to go) rather than chasing where it went.
If you were to see your life from above, where do you dedicate most of your time? Which slice of the pie is bigger than others? And is your life the way you want it? Or would you rather some other slices become bigger and others become smaller? My pie keeps changing slice size each year, depending where I tell my time to go. Right now is more about wellness, family and finance less about work.
Drop us a line if you want to discuss your horizon, or to get advice.
We hope you will enjoy the exercise.