Well, it’s more than half way through January 2019. How are your New Year’s Resolutions doing?
Many years ago as a Management Consultant I taught clients how to set effective goals. I even wrote and self-published a book, “VisionRoadMap” (it’s no longer available.) Then you might remember the SMART goals. That popular method where you set specific objectives with realistic targets, action items and measurable results. Many swore by it, as did I.
For years New Year’s Resolutions and other goal setting worked so-so for me personally. Even though I taught others this fine art of success I wasn’t too good at it myself. Maybe that’s exactly why I enjoyed teaching it so much, at least it kept me engaged at some level.
Fast forward to the present.
Russ and I had a dramatic life change when we started (totally unexpectedly) living in an old Land Rover in Africa four and a half years ago. Nope, this was not planned at all.
It all came about after a trip to South Africa in early 2014. Russ’ father had passed a few months back and then unexpectedly our dear brother-in-law slipped into eternity, that’s when something snapped for us. Life is finite! And we were getting closer to slipping over the edge.
One morning out of the blue Russ looked up at me after crunching numbers on his computer. He said, “You know, if we stay out of debt, hold to a strict budget and spend half the year in Africa we could retire.” Whoa! Did he ever get my attention! We were not yet 62 years old!
Again, totally unplanned, three months later we were back in Africa and the proud owners of an old partially kitted Land Rover. Little did we know the adventures that lay ahead, both with regards to Nikela and the marvelous people we’d meet, but also as a couple, as individuals.
What had we planned our retirement to look like? Well, like most people we’d thought about a cottage by a lake. Somewhere with beauty all around. A place with all the normal comforts. Why would we have planned for anything different?
The moral of the story?
New Year’s Resolutions are important. Goal setting is important. Both are tied to successful “living”. You know, the life with a house, car and all the stuff we’re supposed to have. However, if they get in the way of the unexpected gifts life presents… then we miss out!
I write this sitting under the awning in the shade next to our Landy. The breeze is blowing, the sun shining and the birds singing. Russ is working on our latest Landy adventure video (where we blew out our diff on a 4×4 trail.) Sounds idyllic right?
However, across from us at the camp a fella is setting up for a party it seems. He keeps pulling more food, wood and such out of the back of his bakki (small truck.) Although we’d planned on spending another night here, if it’s going to get noisy, we may just move on. Where to? Not sure… just find another spot to park the Landy and open up her rooftop tent.