As the end of another calendar year looms, the old chestnut of setting a New Year’s resolution comes to mind. For some it may be giving up a bad habit or learning a good habit, and then there’s the work/life balancing thoughts along with losing weight, getting fit and keeping in contact more with the people we love. I can’t help but think of our young people who may have completed their secondary education and are considering their career options—after ‘schoolies’ or other end-of-year celebrations, that is!
One of the considerations both my children have encountered is whether to take a gap year to recover from the gruelling Year 12 studies in Australia, to prepare themselves both financially and emotionally for the potential move away from home for further study. In hindsight, they each should have taken that ‘time out’ initially, as both found the need to do just that within the 12 months that followed.
Following on from their thoughts of the future, we parents also need to take time out to reflect on what our children’s growing up and moving on means for us. Views from the Verandah card set can be a very useful resource for all of us in considering our future plans.
Stepping towards the horizon
When first conceived, Views from the Verandah was intended to be a planning tool that farming families could use to temporarily step away from the multitude of everyday decisions they have to make, and give some attention to longer-term matters such as succession planning. It was designed with the perception that it is easy to get caught up in day-to-day tasks and neglect the need for ‘big picture’ goals and plans.
Views from the Verandah was to be an antidote to short-term, myopic ‘doing’. By naming areas of significance in our lives the cards can expose the underlying values that create purpose and meaning, but which, at times, are hard to pinpoint, let alone talk about.
So as well as identifying first steps, Views from the Verandah has a role in exploring the bigger existential questions of what we want to achieve from life, the legacy we want to leave behind and how we would like to be remembered. This makes it a tool that is relevant to any young person or adult.
- What do you see when you look towards the horizon? Where do you want to be in two years’ time?
- Where do you want to be living?
- What will you want to be doing?
- When are you planning to make any changes?
So this holiday season, maybe take the time to think about the changes you would like to make, but don’t put pressure on yourself to achieve these within too tight a timeline. Be realistic and take some small steps towards your big goals. That New Year’s resolution might be simply to set some goals and make a plan.