Guys, I am 26 years old which means that in woman years I am touching 30. I’ll be 27 this year which makes me three years from 30 and I do not have a plan for myself. I mean I know what I want out of life, I am aware of the direction I am heading in, but there aren’t too many specifics at this point as I am now in the second quarter of life, considering I’ll live until I’m 100. I’m not ashamed of it, but someone did suggest I map out a 5-year plan and since I am pretty much one year behind the ball I figure why not hop to it today?!
As an extreme Googler (is that a thing?), I took to the search engine to find as much information as I could about about designing a five year plan. Trust me, this took a while especially since I am someone who lives by the daily planner. If it’s not happening that day, or as far as that week, it’s not really programmed in my mind yet. There are leaps and gaps in how I plan. It’s either extremely close in date or extremely far, so I wondered how in the world am I going to plan out a FIVE year plan?!
But, take note people, there are FIVE essential things that need to be headlining when designing your five year plan:
- Career: Whether you’ve just made tenure, whether you’re a temp, whether you’re unemployed or working several odds jobs there’s always something bigger and better out there. You have to ask yourself how far you wish to go. You might have wished to be a corporate CEO, but have found yourself working the mail room for the past two years. Now’s the perfect time to create a plan and strategy to begin your upward mobility. It might lead you to office manager, then associate and so forth until you reach your goal. Five years seems like a long time, but time surely flies when you’re touching 30.
- Life: Life is such a broad thing. As a lifestyle writer I often wonder what exactly is my platform, but then there’s a freedom that I have when it comes to deciding on topics, but in this case, life means mapping out your literal life. In five years, do you see yourself living the quiet life in the suburbs or lost in the hustle and bustle of city life? Do you see yourself experience all four-seasons on the East Coast or enjoying beachy vibes on the West Coast? What type of life will your career allow you to have?
- Love: Love is known as the driving force of life so it’s no wonder it’s on the list of components that should be in your five year plan. What kind of partner do you want? If you already have someone, are you two in alignment on life plans and goals? If you are in a serious relationship, now may be a great time to sit down and work on your five-year plan together. Start by having you and your partner create a list of goals and dreams separately, and then take a look and see how they compare. Locate the similarities and differences and discuss how you can help one another achieve the goals you have for yourselves, and your relationship. If both you and your SO are on the same page, you will have a much greater chance of accomplishing your goals and having a happy, healthy future.
- Travel: You’re young, wild, and free so let the travel bug bite! Whether you’re single or in a long-term relationship there’s nothing to spice up life than experiencing other cultures and bulking up that passport. Who knows, you may find your niche volunteering with children in developing countries or trekking across Europe and you may never come back (in a good way, not in a Hostel, killer way).
- Personal development: Mapping out all of these things above allows you to access areas in your life that need improvement. Maybe you need to spruce up your networking skills or take a cover letter class in order to start that corporate climb. You might need to evaluate your dating patterns in order to find someone who’s a right fit for you. Maybe you need to write down your strengths and weakness in each area and build on them.
Important Things to Remember
WRITE your plan. It is important to document your five year plan in either paper, or you can get decorative with a vision board because they are both tangible.
Make sure that your goals are definable and spend the year exploring them with intent. You might discover that you don’t actually want something you thought you did. It’s not often our career goals can take us down several different paths. It’s not unusual for love to show up in an unexpected place so, EXPLORE, EXPLORE, EXPLORE!
For someone as free flowing as I am, planning can be a total nightmare. I belong to so many group chats and work groups and I get so frustrated trying to make plans. So my response is usually “y’all figure it out and just give me a date.” Problem solved. So when it comes to making a five year plan, I guess I never really go around to it because my life is constantly changing and my path is full of so many twists and turns, so I thought, what’s the point?
But you should always follow the assess, adjust and repeat method when working towards goals because as time goes on they can become a little more specific or even broader. It’s important you always revisit your plan to help you think about not only thing things that are extremely close to date or extremely far, but all of the in-between as well.
So HOP TO IT!