Travel, family, freedom: life by design or default?

By Angela Smith

We’ve just returned from a family holiday in Europe. Our body clocks are still out of whack. The kids are playing catch up with school assignments. Andy and I have been getting up to speed on the work front. It’s back to reality in every way. But what an adventure we had!

This article is not a brag fest, I promise! That’s not what we’re about.

My point is; we’ve been planning this trip for a really long time. The kids have been too young, until now. It’s been a life-long dream of mine to travel to Venice. Andy has always wanted to visit Croatia and Rome. We wanted to celebrate our 10-year anniversary at Lifestyle Tradie. Hence 2019 was the year to make it happen.

Lifestyle is important to us. We’ve been deliberate about making it happen. We’ve been deliberate about booking family holidays, in particular, while the kids still want to spend time with us! It’s a top priority for us to travel, have experiences and create memories.

1. We take family holidays, consistently

For us, taking family holidays is about exposing our kids to other cultures, diversity, and of course, sharing quality time together. While Europe was one of our big bucket list items, we’ve holidayed consistently each year since Andy got off the tools.

Amazingly, Andy has just had five weeks away from work. While he was available on Voxer to support our fabulous members, Andy only took two calls about DR DRiP the whole time, which means he was present. His dodgy knee was the only thing that caused distraction!

This is certainly not what it use to be like. When he was entrenched in the day-to-day operations of running our trade business, DR DRiP Plumbing, his phone was his constant companion on holidays; dealing with customers, solving problems with the team.

Seriously, our holidays revolved around work. Andy was never present. I’m sure you’ve experienced similar holiday stories. In the end, holidays created so much stress, it wasn’t worth taking breaks.

How did we turn the situation around?

We wrote a life plan. We implemented systems.

2. Life by design, not default

Some people reckon life plans are weird, even unnecessary. Some may say they have one. In their head. But what use is that unless you and your partner can see it. Feel it. Be inspired by it. Let me say this: without a life plan, you’re living from one day to the next with no direction. You’re living your life by default, not design.

Yes, it does take time to write a life plan. I know you’re time poor. You are wasting more time now – without a goal and without a purpose –than it would to bite the bullet and get it done.

At Lifestyle Tradie, our members build a life plan as part of the education process. It’s a fun way to think about your future. To think BIG. To align your dreams with your partner (it’s interesting what you learn about them, your partner!).

The final step is putting the wheels in motion – making a commitment to achieving what you want. This means focusing your efforts on one clear path, and ignoring the distractions. It’s about taking action.

We have plenty of members that tell us how thankful they are to have been encouraged to follow our really simple process to think about their future. To actually write it down with some order that makes sense. They’re doing things they never thought they would. With their friends, their family. Creating memories.

3. What do you want your memories to be?

Now we’re back into our regular routine (without a daily gelato and 3-course meal in sight!), it’s lovely to see the kids talking about their experience together. While they won’t remember every little detail of the trip, we will.

I always get a bit nostalgic when memories pop up on social media, especially images of when the kids were little. We’re really mindful we’re never going to get this time back with them. This is it.

What’s your life plan? What memories do you want to create before it’s too late?

     What’s next?

  1. Join our Kick-Ass Tradies Facebook Group, for access to trade business specific conversations, tips and resources, plus a like-minded community of tradies.
  2. Book a 15-minute Game Plan Call with Andy, owner of Dr. DRiP plumbing and co-founder of Lifestyle Tradie, to clarify your priorities and get clear action steps.