Journey Begins with 1 StepGrowing up my sisters and I had a board game called Journey Through Europe.

The idea was simple.  You drew 5 cards, representing 5 different European cities.   You had to plot your route, and then each took turns rolling the dice to move between the various cities.

My sisters hated playing the game.

Well, they hated playing it with me.  I always won.  Every.  Single.  Time.

Annoying, I agree.

What can I say.  Finding patterns in chaos is one of my natural gifts.  Life is just a 4-D game of Tetris to me.

So as I’ve worked on constructing my 2014 vision this past week, the memory of this game keeps coming back to me.

2014 vision you ask?  Unless you live under a rock, everyone is familiar with this system.  You are constantly reminded for the better part of 3 weeks every single year that you should spend time setting your intentions and goals, reviewing calendars, creating business and marketing plans, etc. for the next year.

And because this is me we’re talking about, there is of course travel in my vision.

So before I return to the US in a few weeks, I’m determined to visit three neighboring countries: Uganda, Tanzania, and Ethiopia.  Which brings me back to why the childhood board game Journey through Europe has been on my mind.

Since I’ve been simultaneously been planning trips, business and personal targets for the year, I couldn’t help but notice how many similarities there were between the three.

And that got me thinking: what if everyone approached personal and business planning like they were planning vacation?

Instead of all of these lists and resolutions and words, etc., what if you just looked at the next few months as if you were laying out your travel plans?

Planning a vacation is fun.  You live in this heightened state of excitement, even if it’s just because you get some time off of work.  And depending on who you are, you can spend hours deciding your destination and hotel, your activities, and the outfits you want to pack.  Others just choose some dates and a destination, buy a ticket, and go.

Either way, as the date approaches, you’re excited about your break from work and daily life.  Yes, there might be extra things to take care of before you leave, but you willingly deal with the extra hassle because it’s vacation time baby!

Call me a nerd, but I find the same form of excitement in planning my business and life as well.

My challenge to you lovely Gritsters this week is to plan a fantastic, over-the-top vacation for your business and life. 

Think big.  Think opulence and luxury.  Think total bragging rights and ‘coolest storyteller at the table’ kind of plans here.

Here is a breakdown on how to plan some amazing travel for your business this year.

And when you read through this, keep in mind that as much as these tips pertains to the bigger picture, you can also apply this same process to your daily tasks.  It’s about consistent action.

Step 1:  Decide WHERE you want to take your business

Do you want to stay in the same place with your business and just deepen your exploration and understanding of where you are?  Or do you want to venture out in to new territories, perhaps through a new partnership, client or market niche, or just sharing your message with a larger audience?  Perhaps a blend of the two?

(BTW, if you are new to business and not sure where to start, then be sure to sign up for my Free 21-day Inner Spark Ignite e-Course.  We’ll be tackling some of the first steps right there.)

Step 2:  Decide WHAT you want to accomplish

Travel is almost always more about what you do when you get to your destination vs. the destination itself.  Will your year be action packed?  Do you already know you need to spend a good portion of this year hustling and learning?  Or are you at a stage where you can and need to relax poolside with a drink in hand?

Step 3: Decide WHEN you can tackle these trips

Timing isn’t everything, but it is a big part of life.  Pull out a 2014 calendar and try fitting in these big destinations.  I’m all about dreaming big, audacious dreams that are served with a generous side of ambitious reality.  A business grows over many years, so don’t stretch too far and too quickly that you end up ripping a business muscle.

      • If you are just starting out, the next 6-12 months is going to be a LOT of learning, so don’t plan any big trips during that period.
      • If your business is rocking and rolling, be more aggressive with your time.
      • If you are at a total loss, break your year and your trips/intentions in to 4 quarters and spread the ambition!

Step 4: Decide HOW you want to work

I want you to think big here Gritsters.  Don’t allow your worries to dampen your curiosity and excitement.  There is infinite possibility in the Universe, and it wants to give you what you truly want.

      • Does your destination require any specific paperwork, similar to a travel visa or invitation letter?  In business this can be certifications, training hours, masterminds, etc.
      • How are you going to get there?  Will it require a travel partner (in biz talk a joint venture/JV)?  Do you just need a guidebook (in biz talk a coach like me) to make sure you are seeing the right things and providing maps so you don’t get lost?  (Hint to all: you don’t do anything in this world alone.  Make sure to get assistance to fast track your progress.)
      • How are you going to pay for the trip?  If you are in business already, do you need to look at your current offerings to find possible money on the table?  What else can you create that would provide income and be a valuable addition to your current services?  If you are new to business, how can you make sure you structure your start-up phase correctly so you make your goals?

Step 5: Get Going

Travel is fun.  Yes, it requires a little legwork, but it’s worth the chaos once you are in the plane/train/automobile to your destination.  Your travel plan is not some 5-year strategic plan that sits on a shelf and collects dust.  You have 12 months, Gritster.   Keep your travel plan near you, in a journal or on a piece of paper in front of you.  Celebrate success, and keep your eye on the prize.

I can’t wait to hear about your plans!  Be sure to leave comments below.