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Create a 5-Year Plan for Your Life

At 22 years old I sat down at Starbucks with a blank page. Over the course of one hour I mapped out a 1, 2, 5, and 10 year plan for my life. 16 years later it’s amazing to see many of the goals come true. How about you? Do you have a map for your life? If you don't, you can!

For this article, just think about that 5 year mark. Did you plan out the last five years of your life? Most people don’t plan ahead that far. We often don’t even plan out the next day.

Imagine how much YOU could accomplish over the next five years if you made a reasonable plan and stuck to it.

Without a plan your life is unlikely to change much. You put yourself at the mercy of the ebb and flow of life. Instead of drifting on the sea of change, take this article with you to Starbucks and map out a plan.

Consider these aspects of your life:

1. Finances. Think about where you want to be financially. Consider income, net worth, debt, savings, and investments. Are there new income streams you want to create? What are your future plans for spending? Do you want to purchase a house? A boat? An investment property?

2. Health. What are your current health challenges? How much do you want to weigh? What type of diet do you want to follow? How fit do you want to be?

3. Career. Where do you see yourself in five years? Where do you want to be working? What do you want to be doing? Do you need to go back to school? What is your dream job?

4. Relationships. Are there any relationships you’d like to create or dissolve? Do you want to have children or more children?

5. Personal Development. Do you want to learn to speak Spanish or to play the piano? Would you like to learn how to dance? What would you like to learn or to become? What skills do you need to acquire to make the most of the next five years?

6. Adventure. What would you like to do? Climb a mountain? Go skydiving? See a volcano? What adventures would you like to experience over the next five years?

Write down what you want for each of these six areas of your life. Once you've completed that, begin the process of making a plan for the future. It’s not enough to know where you’re going. You must plan your path, too.

These strategies will help you to create a plan and execute it:

1. Set goals. Create a few goals for each area of your life and set deadlines for each goal. Avoid just having long-term goals. It’s important to have shorter-term goals that lead up to your bigger goals.

It’s hard to maintain focus on goals that require more than 10 weeks to reach. Break your goals down into smaller chunks.

2. Write a plan. You know what you want to accomplish. You have goals. Create a detailed plan about what you want to accomplish over 10-week segments of time. Just start at the end and keep working back to the present day. Make beginning simple enough that you could literally start doing something today.

3. Create habits. Goals are easy to achieve if you can create the right habits. The challenge is figuring out the right habits and then implementing them. With effective habits, success is a cinch.

  • There’s a lot of material available on how to create habits. Educate yourself. It’s an incredibly valuable skill to have.

Choose a direction for your life by choosing a destination.

Most people fail to plan their lives in any meaningful way. We often keep our focus too short to ever create anything substantial in the future. A 5-year goal is a good step towards making impressive changes in your life.

If you want someone to work with as you plan your next 5 years, e-mail and let’s set up a time to work on this.

Mike Acker

President & Lead Coach at ADVANCE

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