. 20-Year Mapping

Today I would like to share some ideas about 20-year mapping.  One of the ways we can holistically organize for our future is to understand where our family is going to go over the next few years.  There is now a free, downloadable form, the 20-Year Map.  You are welcome to use it for your own needs or you can make your own 20-year map by drawing 1-2” columns and rows on a clean sheet of paper.

1)  Label the columns across the top row with the years from now until twenty years from now, for example 2007 to 2027.

2)  In the rows on the first column down, list the names of individual family members:  Father, Mother, Tom, David, Brian, Jenn, and Tyler.

3)  Indicate in each appropriate box across the row the age each person will be during the year listed at the top of the sheet.  So a child born in 2006 will be 1 in 2007, 2 in 2008, and etc.

4)  Also note in each appropriate box potential significant events in each of the person’s life:  when your children enter elementary school, turn eight years old, enter junior high, turn 12, 14, and 16, enter high school, be eligible to drive, turn 19, graduate from high school and possibly enter college or vocational school.  When will they likely graduate from advanced educational institutions, consider marriage for the first time, and so forth?

5)  It will also be important to note the significant years in your own life.  When will you be turning 30, 35, 40, 45, and 50?  When will you have no one home during the day if you are a stay-at-home mom, when will your spouse retire, and when will you also be of retirement age?

6)  As a note, sometimes people even make up their maps for 30 or 40 years to show a broader spectrum of their life’s potential situations.

Such mapping will show you the possible scenarios and challenges, financial needs, and emotional strains as you and they mature together.  It give you a sampling of what you can expect as the years pass and help you understand the pressures that will likely come in.

Most importantly, it will show you how few years there are between now and when the children that are home will be leaving for one reason or other.  This gives impetus to focus and clarifies the home training needed for your children.

I encourage you to make up a 20-year map either by downloading it or by preparing your own.  What will you and your family be doing over the next 20 years?

This organizational time map will be very valuable to help you see what you can expect during the next twenty years and help you organize so you can be ready for your future, having taught them well, and focused on what really mattered.

Find more helpful ideas in my House of Order Handbook.

Photo from sxc.hu. Used with permission.


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