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Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Brian & Deya met in Vancouver Canada. After a few years together we were married and made choices. One was not to have children the other was not to take life for granted. The rest is yet to come.

April 18, 2010

Getting to this point

To me it seemed difficult if not impossible to get organized enough to actually take a big trip, I almost did it may years ago when I had nothing but a few bucks and a bike. I just lacked the courage at the time. This time though, I may still lack the courage but with the help of my beautiful wife, we’ve got the organizational capacity necessary for anything.

It all started when I met Deyanira, she is an incredibly organized individual and she taught me about planning. Planning is something we all do to some degree and if you’re like me you can plan your business or the world, just not yourself. Together we made a simple plan. What happened afterwards moved us towards following our dreams.

I’ll lay out the steps next. This process will work but you just need to remember one important thing, if I may quote the Rolling Stones, “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you just might find, you get what you need”. It’s important, and when you understand this you might be, like us, very surprised at the results. I’ll give you an example, on step one when we made a collage we had placed a picture from a book of a guy on a motorbike, it was a BMW motorbike and the guys name was Ray Helms. We didn’t know this at the time but a few years later when we traveled to South Carolina for an off road course with the BMW Performance Training Center the instructors name was Ray Helms, the same guy hanging on our wall for the last couple of years.

Step One: Determine your goals and what you hope to achieve.
• This means the things you want (remember the quote) and the kind of person you hope to be.
• This could include material things like a salary range or a home or both.
• It would include skills or education and maybe character traits and health or fitness level.
Make a collage with the goals and dreams and find pictures to represent the ideas or items and hang it somewhere that you will notice it every day. It’s better if you read it everyday, we didn’t so it took longer but you might ;-)

Step Two: Make bubbles, I don’t mean in the bathtub, on paper and start by writing “10 Year Plan” in the middle. From that you’ll have categories that are appropriate to you but the basics might be 1) Finances 2) Education 3) Health and Fitness 4) Travel or some things like that. From each of these the key components will be attached until you have a page full of connecting bubbles. These are all things to complete within the time frame of ten years. The goals should be broad and capture just the idea, no details or exact figures. Finish it by signing and dating it at the bottom, all parties must agree that it’s a worthy adventure.
Step Three: Now make the five year plan and add more details, you’ll have to think about this more and recognize the things that can't get done in the time frame. Use the ten year plan as a guide. Be adventurous but realistic, if you have a Ph.D in your ten year plan, you’re not going to finish it in your five year plan unless you’ve already got the degree. You get the idea.
Step Four: The one year plan, this doesn’t have bubble and gets way more involved. You’ll need to make a monthly list, in each month you’ll put the items that you need to do in order to achieve your five year goals. Spread it out over the year, look at the cost and the time involved. This will take some discussion and thought and is not likely to be easy.
Step Five: Create a budget, Income and Expenses. Lay it out on paper or a spreadsheet, keep it simple and have the goals in there. You’ll be able to have the estimate on the budget portion. The hardest part for many people will be the discipline of recording your monthly expenses under the actual column and reviewing how you performed to budget. Once you get this you’ll be to make decisions based on your performance and determine if you’re going to meet your goals or if you’re heading in the wrong direction.

If you get this far, it may take days or weeks, then you can start to see the possibilities and/or what’s unreasonable for you to believe you can accomplish. For example, if you need 100 dollars per month for the year to accomplish one of your goals but you’re unwilling to give up the 5 dollar a day Starbucks coffee then recognize that the goal is not really important to you. That’s a good thing! Now you’re starting to find out what really matters and you’re one more step ahead.

For us, we’re continuing to learn and find new opportunities and the route ahead, it’s planned out yet still a mystery. We have confidence in knowing where we are going and being successful in getting there but the adventure is still in the journey. Like any rider knows its not the destination but the ride there that matters.

Good luck with your planning, we’re close to being on the road now, just a few more weeks. Once the loose ends are tied up we’ll report our progress and adventures as they happen.

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