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How to Create a 5-Year Plan for Your Life

In this article we discuss how and why to create a 5-year plan for your life

Create a 5-Year Plan: John Smith and Family

Did you plan out the last five years of your life? Most people don’t plan ahead that far. In fact, we often don’t even plan out the next day!

Imagine how much you could achieve 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 luck. 

Create a 5-Year Plan: Wheel Of Life

Create a 5-Year Plan: Consider these areas 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 buy 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 and/or Business

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. Romance and Relationships

Do you want a spouse or partner? Are there any relationships you’d like to create or dissolve? Do you want to have children or more children?

5. Personal Growth and Development

Do you want to learn to speak Spanish or 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 and Fun

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

7. Your Physical Environment

Are you meeting you basic needs for comfort? Is there enough natural light, is there a good temperature? Are your ergonomic requirements being met? Do you have enough free space? Do you prefer a natural environment or an urban one?

More on the 'Wheel Of Life' here.

Write down what you want for each of these 7 areas of your life. Once you've completed that, begin the process of making a plan for the future. However, it’s not enough to know where you’re going. You must plan your path, too.

Create a 5-Year Plan: Planning

Create a 5-Year Plan: Here are 4 strategies that will help you to create a plan and execute it

1. Set Goals

Whilst it's not necessary to plan it in ultra detail, it helps to 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. You can use such systems as the S.M.A.R.T. goal setting system to help you set these goals. 

It can be hard to maintain focus on goals that require more than 10 weeks to reach. To overcome this problem, break your goals down into smaller chunks. You can use a technique called 'What Three Plays' to do this task.

2. Write a Plan

You know what you want to accomplish. You have goals. Create a detailed plan about what you want to accomplish, breaking it up into 10-week segments at a time. As Stephen Covey once said, 'begin with the end in mind' and keep working back to the present day. Make getting started simple enough to begin 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 - for instance Stephen Covey's '7 Habits of Highly Successful People'. Educate yourself. It’s an incredibly valuable skill to have.

4. Be Flexible.

Even though you are working on a 5 year plan, a lot can happen in that time and your goals may change - but that's OK!

Create a 5-Year Plan: Summary

Create a 5-Year Plan: In Summary

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. 

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