The first step towards success in any area of your life is
Creating A Plan, this is because those that make plans take action why is this? Because people seem to accomplish their goals far more systematically and with greater assurance than those who do not have a proven method of goal-setting.
Making a 5-year plan is helpful because it sets you up to reach for long term goals, it’s a way to envision and commit to a detailed plan for your life in the next few years when you don’t have a general idea of what your year will look like. Planning your next steps may seem daunting, splitting your life plan into five-year increments. However this allows for more detail and accuracy it’s hard to imagine what your life may look like in years, but does not seem that far off. Five years is a significant stretch of time but it’s not too long it’s the perfect balance between being long enough to set goals but too short to procrastinate on achieving them. The way I craft my five-year plan is by answering a set of six questions. I write an answer for each year using realistic timelines and practical deadlines, so you can narrow down which goals are achievable or unreasonable. If you cannot write answers down clearly and specifically on a piece of paper then it means that you are not really clear about it yourself. Writing your answers down is also a great way to track your progress. I prefer to set personal goals in four main areas personal, financial, career, and relationships. So ask yourself these questions when setting goals for where you’ll be in five years.
- What do I want to change this year? This question can be answered broadly or specifically, I usually take this question to me what would make my life easier or better this year the answer can be as broad as happy more in your savings or as specific as a number that you want to reach in your bank account or maybe the answer has nothing to do with finances it could be about making more time for yourself or working fewer hours whatever the answer may be write one down for each year of the plan.
- Where am I living? Do you see yourself living in the same home at this time next year or do you plan to upgrade your living space? If you do see yourself moving within the next five years write it down make sure to plan out, setting your current space looking for a new one and making the move this way you can spend and save your money accordingly based on the timeline that you have set.
- How do I want to better myself this year? This is a major part of personal goal setting in order to be successful in all areas of your plan it’s important to take care of yourself. Maybe you plan on developing an exercise routine getting more sleep or creating a diet plan whatever it is make sure that it is for example you would not want a plan to lose pounds in the next year instead plant the weight loss and smaller achievable increments start by changing your lifestyle habits like starting a new diet and the weight loss will follow.
- What steps do I need to make for financial security? This could be an outline of the steps forward that you want to make in your career. Are you working toward a promotion are you expecting a salary increases at some point? Write down the moves you plan to make in order to get you there. You can also outline your savings how much do you want to put away for retirement? Even though you may not be retiring in the next five years it’s better to start thinking about it now.
- What are some fun things I want to do this year? This is my favorite part of crafting a five-year plan. Do you want to go on a tropical vacation a hiking trip or a cruise? It can be hard to be realistic sometimes. It’s difficult to separate fantasy vacations from realistic ones it’s important to set aside time for yourself to have fun and fill out some steam. So treating yourself should be a priority so make as much time for it as you do for the other things on your calendar. Having something fun to look forward to, makes the other stuff worthwhile.
The final question to ask yourself is what goals do I have for my family, if you’re single and want to start a family start planning now. Do you see yourself having children? How many? If you have children start to plan out saving for their education. Are you planning on sending your kids to college how will you afford that? For me this section of my plan motivates me the most, there’s something about making promises to others like my family that internally drives me toward my goals.
Even more when writing down your answers be honest with yourself, what is it that you want exactly? You are more likely to achieve goals that you truly want and that are more important to you. The hardest part about moving forward is always getting started. Once you have an answer for each year take action, launch toward your goals, and keep moving in that direction. Before you know it five years will be up and you can look back on all of the progress you’ve made. if you enjoyed this and feel it was worthwhile in teaching you how to craft your own five-year plan share it with your friends or anyone else who might benefit from this information.