To prepare your life project as a couple, your common vision of life, your plans for your life, the Waterfall Revenue method for a successful life works very well. If you use this method as a couple, results are even tenfold thanks to an intelligent planning that relies on the skills, the revenues and the strengths and weaknesses of each individual. Having a project for your couple and family is the key to happiness, hence the importance of building a joint project for two.
Why you should have a life project for your couple
If you have the impression of not going forward in your life as a couple, of not being sure to live with the right person, if you are tired of letting yourself be carried away by the flow of life without knowing where you are going: propose your partner to develop a common life project. This is a great way to engage your couple in a new phase of the relationship. But be careful: the exercise can lead to the observation that individual aspirations are incompatible. In that case, it is better to realize it quickly before engaging forward: many couples make this observation too late and drag for many years their bad being.
If you are already more engaged with your partner, it is a great way to give meaning to your life and your couple, by providing a common vision, a shared goal to achieve, a strategy and a plan of action that is build on each other's strengths.
Here is a methodology that I applied to myself and that produced very good results.
Together, realize that a common life project is needed
The subtle chemistry that has brought your couple to this day will be different to the one that will bring you to the next steps.
Indeed it is important to define together what are the ingredients that will be needed for the next steps, especially if the next one is particularly engaging (moving, marriage, children).
To define a project of life for two is to commit to implementing actions to reach a new goal, a new ideal of life.
If this statement is not shared, it is useless to go further: one of you is not (yet) ready to go further. Be careful not to force your partner to define a common life project if he or she is not really convinced of the exercise or the timing, because this project of life would not commit him/her, or he/she will be tempted to rush the exercise to abbreviate this delicate question of commitment.
Through my personal history you will understand how to make this observation:
It was 5 years ago, we were in a couple for 2 years. We knew each other well enough to know that we shared the same values, but the future seemed very uncertain in many aspects:
- Security: our situation in our host country is very comfortable but precarious: no job security, no unemployment insurance, a justice system unfriendly to foreigners, a pervasive pollution, a geopolitical context that can be tense at any moment. It's impossible for us to engage in the long term in this country.
- Geographical: of different nationalities, we had met and lived in this third country. Our future meant moving to a new country.
- Income: we lived in a tax paradise with very generous income. Our future therefore would imply a significant reduction in revenue.
We realized that despite exceptional material comfort, we were on an uncertain life course that led to nothing, and that we had to take our destiny in hand, defining a vision for our lives, and developing a plan to move forward in our life.
With your spouse, you must be convinced of the need to have a vision for your life because:
- it is together that you now advance in life
- if you do not change anything, you will not be fully satisfied with your life
- a better life is possible by putting effort
How to define your life project as a couple
Define your life project is the first concept of the Waterfall Revenue Method. I have already published on other articles methodologies to define his project of life, and the definition of a project of life in couple rests on the same bases.
As a couple, I recommend working first individually on your life vision using the same framework, then to meet and discuss the results.
In addition to being a good way to define your vision of life together, it's a great way to get to know each other better.
Work on your individual vision
Take the template of the Waterfall Revenue method and transcribe it with your spouse on two letter sheets of paper: it is important that you follow the same method, with the same format, and that you both understand the instructions.
Then do the exercise each one of your side and give appointment in a few days to confront the results. It is important to give yourself a few days of reflection to allow time for deep aspirations to surface.
It's a vision, not a plan to make it happen. This vision needs to be clear, but not necessarily precise. In fact, the more precise it is, the more possibilities you close, and the more likely it is not to happen. Moreover in a project for two, too precise elements will impact too much your partner and may lead to incompatibility.
Wrong example: your vision is to live less than 30km from your parents' home to be able to take care of them when necessary : it is very laudable, but it is too restrictive for your spouse. A better wording would be I wish to live less than 12 hours of transport of my parents.
For young couples, if potentially sensitive topics such as religion or willingness to have children have not been addressed yet, this is the time to do it.
One should not self-censor for fear of the reaction of the other, or for fear of leading to incompatibility: your deepest aspirations are as valuable as those of your spouse, they must be expressed, known and discussed.
Reminder of the Waterfall Revenue method: do not introduce too marked elements that could restrict your agility or your ability to seize opportunities: no specific geographic locations, no job title or company name.
In case of lack of inspiration, think about your future at 3 years, 10 years and 20 years imagining the ideal day, the ideal week, the ideal year. Or rethink in your life the times when you were very happy, trying to understand what made you happy.
Pool together your life projects
The moment when you put the results together will have to be a quiet and intimate moment, not disturbed by external elements. Ideally during the weekend.
Everyone will listen to the other person explain his vision of life without interrupting him/her, then at the end will ask questions to be sure to understand everything without judgment, disagreement or obstacles and constraints he has in mind.
Write a vision of life together
Then discuss together commonalities and points of difference, and on a new paper sheet, outline a common life vision.
Example inspired by my couple life project:
During our working life, live in a developed country, in the province away from big cities, in a clean environment, with good health and education facilities, leading a simple but comfortable life within an wealthy community. Have a sedentary job with very flexible schedules and the opportunity to work from home, or from anywhere in the world. When our children are grown up, live in summer in Europe and winter in a tropical country, and have financial ressources to travel often and comfortably.
We can see in this example that the geographical places are not precise, that we do not refer to things to possess. Thus the project remains very open and flexible. In any case he is brought to evolve: as you progress in life, your experiences will refine this vision.
It must be understood that the important thing is that if there is a compromise, it must not be at the expense of deep values or aspirations. We must not make the choice to rank on the vision of the other for fear of losing spouse, because this resignation will sooner or later reappear and put in trouble the couple.
If you have a strong personality, make the effort to give your spouse the opportunity to deeply express aspirations and feelings about the plan.
In our personal case, we did our life plan while our relationship was very complex. Yours is probably a lot less complex so if we did it, you can make it too, knowing that your situation may be easier than ours.
If you can not clearly define a common project, you must not draw the hasty conclusion that there is an inconsistency. Maybe you're expressing your individual visions too restrictively, maybe it's still too early, maybe it's not the right time to talk about it. Maybe you do not have yet the keys to your future happiness. Keep your notes in a drawer and discuss them again in a few months: during your next vacation, or during a romantic weekend away from home. The important thing is to be relaxed in a new environment to resume the project with greater clarity. You will certainly realize that your visions of life are not divergent but very complementary!
To be inspired, check out the Waterfall Revenue YouTube channel especially the video I explained how we defined our plan for life on a beach in Seychelles (subsribe to the YouTube Channel).
Now that you have written on a sheet of paper outlining your vision of common life, you can move on to the next step.
Estimate resources required
Now finished dreaming. To concretize and live fully this project of life you need:
Skills and know-how-to-be (soft skills)
For financial means, we speak on the scale of a life, so we must distinguish:
- Assets that bring you money every month or year, either in a certain or uncertain way. You can build assets by buying them (rented apartment, financial products) or by creating them by work (time + skills)
- Durable goods that you can enjoy all your life (real estate, land, boat) after buying them, and the associated budget to their possession (energy, insurance, maintenance, taxes, etc.)
- Consumer goods that are regularly renewed (subscriptions, services, car, home appliances, furniture)
- aily budget and leisure (food, gas, holidays, etc.)
The financial estimate of your needs will therefore include two components:
- Your capital: this is the amount of money you have to raise to buy your assets and durable goods
- Cash flow: this is the monthly budget you need to live, that is to say to pay all your expenses, and to fund future expenses (car renewal, work in the house, replacement electronic products, etc.)
At this point you may also have already identified that you lack the skills to achieve your goals: mark them on paper.
Inject a dose of realism
If it is always good to leave the dream pretty, we must also know how to keep your feet on the ground.
Financing is the nerve of war. The higher the need, the more time you need to reach your goal.
The choice can become philosophical. Is it better to:
- Spend 30 years completing a high-cost life project, and enjoy it for 15 years
- Or spend 15 years to achieve a life project focused on the essentials, and enjoy for 30 years?
So have a look again on your assessment and challenge each element: is it really necessary? Do we really need all this to be happy?
For example if you want to own a second home in the mountains or a yacht, is not it better to consider renting a few weeks in a year?
For example, if you plan to travel 6 months a year, are you sure you'll keep up this pace all your life?
Plan your life project as a couple
Now that you know where you want to go, you need a strategy and a plan.
Your vision may change over time, but it should not change dramatically.
Your plan will change constantly. Because life is about uncertainties, opportunities, obstacles.
So do you plan another brainstorming when you are both relaxed and have time to define your life strategy and plan.
During this brainstorming, write down on a sheet of paper every conceivable way to reach your goal, and do not stop until you have at least 10.
The best idea of the moment
Then take this list and remove any assumptions that do not have the right frame of mind (win the lotto, rob a bank, wait for an inheritance, etc.).
Among the remaining possibilities, evaluate the probability of success, the efforts to be made, the skills to be acquired, the total time it will take to reach the goal.
Subscribe to theYouTube Channel Warerfall Revenue: I regulary publish vidéos of life winning strategies.
Then select the best idea or ideas of the moment, and plan them in more detail, with several steps.
The important thing is to have a plan. It may not be great, but it's the best you have. It's the one that will guide your couple... until you have a better one.
Do not wait for very good ideas to start. Often, when we do not have many ideas, or when we do not see enough opportunities, it is because we are motionless. Start moving on something, and your world will become filled with opportunities, open doors and bridges to a better life.
Play on complementarity
As a couple, it is also necessary to rely on the strengths and weaknesses of both of you. For example, when one of you takes professional risks (job change, business creation), the other can provide financial security for the couple.
To live with someone you have to be in phase with values, and you must have compatible life projects.
I said compatible: the two projects can be very different, but there must be no temporal, geographical incompatibility. Example: if your artner wants to live in a specific place (where family lives, in the city) and you in the mountains in Alaska.
At some point you have to be able to compromise, or to rule on an incompatibility.
Possibility for example to live in a big city during the next 5 years to go out and make a career, then raise his children in a middle size city, and to retire in Florida.
This is an excellent exercise for young couples, and I advise you to do it before you commit to a marriage, a child, etc.
But if you are already more committed and have not written your life plan yet, it's never too late. It can even tighten the links with a new common challenge.
Being two is an asset because it allows you to take risks by relying on the stability of the other.
To have a project of common life is to know what you want, and thus to facilitate decision-making when an opportunity arises. In particular a professional opportunity. You can quickly evaluate it by asking yourself: does this opportunity, decision, action bring me closer to or away from our ideal of life?
To go further
To go further and have a successful life (as a couple!), follow on the project Waterfall Revenue by subscribing to The Circle and to the Waterfall Revenue YouTube channel.