It’s the start of a new year and it’s very likely that you’re busy setting goals – career goals, relationship goals and the obligatory plans to get fit and healthy this year.
But before you start making any decisions about your career – it’s important that you are very clear about the future lifestyle you want to create – and then ensure your career goals are aligned to the lifestyle.
Your lifestyle goals are far more important than your career goals. Your career, job and business (if you’re self employed) provide the fuel for you to live the lifestyle you want. So take a few moments this week to think through the questions below:
If you could wave a realistic magic wand, what’s the ideal lifestyle you would want in 3 years time?
- In January 2017, where do you want to be living?
- Where do you want to be working?
- How much time do you want to spend commuting each day/week?
- How much time do you want to spend working from home?
- How much time do you want to spend with your kids/partner/parents?
- How much time off do you want to take a year in 2017?
- How much do you want to travel (for work and leisure)?
- What type of work do you want to do be doing?
- How and where do you want your kids to be educated?
- How do you want to support your parents over the next few years?
- What proportion of your income do you want to come from a freelance ‘side business’ or investments (….in 3 years time, a large proportion of us will be living off more than one income stream, so get planning now)
- What’s the monthly / annual income you would need from a “job” or your main income source to help you live this lifestyle?
- What are the skills, experience and network contacts you would need in order to live this lifestyle?
Yes, some big questions and not necessarily ones you’ll be able to answer straight away. And an exercise you should ideally undertake with your wife, husband or partner – so you’ll need to book some time together this weekend to complete these.
But once you’ve taken some time to get relatively clear about the lifestyle you want to build in 3 years time – you can then set career goals that will put you on the right track to maximise the chances of getting there. And having done this, you’ll often find that the career goals you do set for this year are quite different to what you thought they’d be as you’re taking a much more strategic view based on mid-term lifestyle needs rather than short term needs.