Many of us hear this question on interviews, but it is important for us to also ask this question when we are considering our life plan. So, let me ask you: Where do you want to be in your life five years from now?
A few years ago, I contemplated this exact thing. I was at a job that wasn’t necessarily my dream job but it was a career I chose right out of college. After a few years, I realized I was going in circles with my career, relationship, finances, and health. It was at that moment I realized I had already been out of undergrad for five years and didn’t want the next five years to be the same as the first. So, I decided to envision where I wanted to be, set some clear goals, and focus on getting serious about my life plan.
Here are a few tips I want to share with you about determining where you want to be as you move forward through the next five years of your life:
- Envision It
When you are deciding on your life plan, try to envision where you want to be in five years. Sometimes, we think about things too far in the future instead of focusing on where we can be small segments at a time. So, where do you want to be five years from today? Close your eyes and envision your lifestyle, your family status, your finances, fun, relationships, and freedom. How does it look to you? How does it make you feel? All of these emotions should be keeps you going and motivated to make your vision a reality.
- Make a List
Now that you’ve envisioned your plan, it’s time to make a list of all the areas you can begin implementing change. For example, you may want to have a new position on your job in five years. So, although you cannot give yourself the position, you can definitely begin changing your behaviors at work to align with the qualities necessary to reach your desired position. If you’re looking for a new, stable relationship you can’t predict the partner you will have. Yet, you can determine whether you’re currently mentally ready for the relationship or if there are other things you need to confront first before you can enter into that relationship. Whatever you need to change, start making a list of those areas and how your thoughts, feelings, and actions need to align with the vision you have for the future.
- Plan It Out
You’ve envisioned it. You’ve made your list. Now it’s time to plan it out. On a sheet of paper, write down your goals for each year. This may be difficult, especially if you have a large amount of areas you want to work on. Therefore, I would suggest focusing on one or two areas at a time. Begin with year five. For example, in five years let’s say you want to own a home and travel more. Both of these goals require money. So, you might want to focus on establishing a five-year financial plan to improve your savings and manage your spending habits. How much do you want to save in year one? Year two? Year three? Remember, it’s about turning the larger goals into smaller, more manageable ones. These will help you determine if you’re really doing the work to accomplish your goals.
- Activate the Plan
Many of us fail to get to this step. We plan and plan and plan, yet when it comes to the implementation process, we are not consistent with it and lack discipline. The key to remember is you must be accountable to yourself. What do you need to do? Take action in doing it daily. Find an accountability partner. This may be a trusted friend, a spouse, a co-worker, or even a mentor. Tell them your plans and that you want their help in ensuring you stay on top of your goals. However, I must restate that you must ultimately be the person who holds accountability, regardless if someone supports your goals or not. Stay focused on your why and it will guide you to accomplishing your goals.
- Maintain It
You’ve envisioned it, written it, planned it, and implemented it! Good for you! Now it’s time to maintain it! Check in on your goals at the beginning or end of each month. What have you accomplished? What do you still need to work on? I like using social media posts to act as my accountability. The pictures, videos, and content tend to stay up for years (unless you delete them). Therefore, you can use it to log your own progress. Keep envisioning your goal. Take pictures and put them on a collage of where you want to be. As you complete each goal, put a sticker or write a check mark next to it on your list. You’re making things happen in your life! With such progress, you’ll definitely be in a better place in five years.
I wish you much success on your journey. Until next time, happy planning!
Koryne C. Nnoli is an author, blogger, speaker, and life coach. She works with women to help build their confidence so they can take their happiness to the next level. For more information about her and The Shy Diva Society, visit her website at www.theshydiva.com.