A roadmap is a strategic plan that defines a goal or desired outcome and includes the major steps or milestones needed to reach it.
It also serves as a communication tool, a high-level document that helps articulate strategic thinking—the why—behind both the goal and the plan for getting there.
FROM A TO B
A good place to start every performance goal is to distinguish where you are currently (lets call this your current ability 'A'), and where you want to be (your goal... 'B').
Why are these your goals?
The classic case of, is it about the result or the journey? Or are they a product of one another?
In my experience, if you can enjoy the journey whilst doing the necessary work, the result will take care of itself. The chances are, if you enjoy what you are doing, there is a higher chance you'll want to carry on doing it, and therefore the 'steps' or 'milestones' won't be seen as such a big deal, but more just a part of the process.
During my studies within architecture (as can be seen throughout education/ higher education), there was an underlying want and need to achieve a high grade seen throughout the cohort and surrounding year groups... despite my now colleagues' (former design tutors) attempts to alter our overachieving natures, it was ingrained for a long time.
Is this a product of our upbringing?
Within our society, especially in Britain, the culture indicates success by judging you on your achievements, whether this be in education, sport, how much money you earn, or otherwise... But these are all end results, and the focus on this has detracted from the journey of getting there. Essentially, it has been ingrained within us to have an outcome focus.
During a child's upbringing, more often than not they have been encouraged to do well and judged on that by their 'result'. They will do what they have to to get that result. But does this mean they are neglecting to appreciate how they got there? I think this was the case with me for a long time within education.
Sport to the rescue.
Can the outcome focus become a process focus?
The skill of breaking down a task into manageable chunks was not taught. It was a product of my swimming career and constant trial and errors of attempting to reach goals within each discipline. It was constant problem solving. This unconsciously transferred across to education and I only realised my ability to have the self awareness of distinguishing my current ability and how to get to an end result through producing constant 'roadmaps' in higher education.
Architecture is a tough subject to study as it was often a case of the more time you put in the better you got... as with most things, purposeful practice is key.
That being said, I didn't necessarily have the time that everyone else had. I was trying to study whilst sustaining competitive swimming... And whilst I used it productively as a form of escapism, it detracted from the learning process. So calling upon some of those roadmapping skills, I was able to be efficient in what I was doing and ensuring that I made the most of the efforts I was putting in.
Or to use the roadmap analogy... Roadsigns?
Who is giving you advice? This is a big one. Whether it be a coach, colleague, friend or otherwise, ensure that you choose the right people to listen to. You have to have faith in and choose wisely as to who you trust to give you the best advice, as this could be something that excels your progression or holds you back. Learn quick who these people are and what advice to listen to, and this allows you to act faster with less hesitation and this also cuts out a lot of wasted time. After all, the less wasted time, the faster you will get to where you want to be.
Stop being outcome focused!
Be outcome focused... if thats what excites you, or that's what you need to get the job done within the process.
Again, if you are able to be honest with your current ability, there is no reason you can't get to where you want to be... Use the roadmapping skills you'll have inevitably picked up throughout your life. Acknowledge the skills, use the roadsigns (advice) to your advantage along the way, and you'll get to each destination quicker than you think.
After all, if you enjoy it, you'll do more of it, travel further each day in a physical or metaphorical sense.
There are many ways of enjoying the process, and this can be aided by your coaches, colleagues and friends. So surround yourself with the right people, commit to the process... and the rest will take care of itself.
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