First, I’m going to swimming lessons. Then I’m going to gymnastics. Then my friends are coming over to make cookies. Should we invite more friends? I need to pack a lot of things in my bag. I need my swimsuit and I need a—where are my goggles? My brother wears goggles when he swims. Is it time to go? Hop hop hop. Did you think I was going to sleep late and miss it? HOP. Where’s my leotard? And will my friends be here right when I get back? I love to hop hop hop. Maybe I will have time to eat a snack before my friends come over? Maybe I should take a snack in my bag. I need to eat a quick bowl of cereal and then I’m ready to go.And on the planning goes, out loud and in the moment. It’s 6:22…swim starts at 9:00.
Even from a young age, we plan.
The book I’m reading this week, My Life Map: A Journal to Help You Shape Your Future by Kate and David Marshall, offers planning tools that lay out a deliberate way of looking at where you have been so far in your life and where you are going from here. I spend a lot of time talking with students about their post-college plans, so I thought My Life Map might give me some tips.
For typical 20-somethings college students, the life map looks open and lays out the fact that life is ahead in a clear visual way.
The book is reflective in that it asks readers to look back over life and see what that looks like before moving forward to the planning pages. The book then asks readers to look forward to plan the next ten years of life. The result might yield a long to do list that wasn’t around yesterday. But it does help think about things that might take planning.
For example, every person has life-changing events ahead that come with a lot of unknowns, and we tend to carry these unknowns around with us. They are heavy and feel like lugging boulders. The ten-year cycle of planning in this book offers a place to set down the heaviest of items. And once lifted from shoulders and placed on the page, real planning can begin.
My Life Map retails for $16 in the U.S., and is workbook style.