Although this year seems to be moving along at a rapid pace, we’re not quite at the end yet. There’s still one more quarter to plan, before we put 2020 to bed for good. But as you plan out the last quarter’s business objectives, have you thought about turning that around and making a personal roadmap?

This year started with high hopes of travelling to new places and picking up new skills, or progressing in our careers. Unfortunately, for many the global pandemic had other plans. But fear not — we still have another quarter to make up for it.

So whether you’re planning your last quarter of 2020 or skipping it entirely and starting with 2021, you can use a personal roadmap to get back on track.

Wait, what is a roadmap anyways?

A roadmap is a strategy tool used at technology companies to show goals and the milestones needed to achieve it. It might sound a little dry, but it doesn’t have to be! When used properly, roadmaps provide a clear visual of a company’s vision and direction.

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Ok, so what is a personal roadmap?

Much like a company roadmap, a personal roadmap is an action plan for achieving your own personal goals. You can determine your own milestones to motivate you to keep going.

Just like at work, we all have goals we want to achieve. Sometimes they seem so big and lofty that we don’t know where to start. The key is to break them down into smaller steps.

If by the end of the quarter you want to be a master baker, what do you need to do in the next month to get there? If you want to be able to do 20 push ups by the end of the month, it would be good to start with one today.

Like Steve Jobs said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward.”

How do I put together a personal roadmap?

There are many tools with roadmap templates that you can use. My favourite recent tool is Miro because it has a wide selection of templates for collaborating and taking notes. (Bonus: It’s free to use) But you don’t really need a specific tool to put a roadmap together — you can use a program like PowerPoint if you want.

If you do end up using Miro, I recommend the “Product Roadmap” template. Up at the top, show the months. On the left side, you want to highlight your big goals. In the center, you want to match milestones from each goal to the month. You can see a template below.

A finished roadmap might look something like this…

Goals help motivate us in the long-term, but without an action plan, we may feel discouraged in the short-term. With a roadmap, we have a visual to help us achieve those goals one month at a time, and we can track our progress as we go!

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