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Did you know, you can become anyone you want to be in the next 5 years? The key is simply deciding, planning and then growing and taking action towards it. Today I’ll share how to create a five year plan for your life that you’ll actually follow through on.
Life is all about choice.
Also, in life, you can definitely become whatever you want. It only depends on you and the choices you are willing to make today. Now, what if I told you that you can become that millionaire you want to be in just 5 years?
What if I told you that you can drive that expensive car or go on those vacations to Paris or Miami with your wife and kids?
What if I told you that you can be that gentleman who is well respected in the neighborhood? Do I need to tell you that in just 5 years, you can become whatever you want to be?
At this point, you might be asking “How?”
Well, that’s exactly why you should learn how to create a five year plan!
But, Why Do You Need A Five Year Plan?
You simply need it because life is not all about dreaming and waiting for the dream to come to pass… It is about actually living that dream. The only way you can intentionally live that dream of yours is by creating a plan and taking action towards it. If not, you’ll continue to run in circles without reaching your destination.
Growing up as kids, we all had big dreams. Dreams of who we wanted to be or what we wanted life to look like in a couple of decades.
Sometimes, those dreams come true. Other times, we are far from realizing them… The main question to ask at this point is “Did we act on those dreams? Did we plan towards achieving them?” That’s what makes the difference.
You can’t say that you want to be a successful woman in the next 5 years without actually seeing yourself as that which you want to become. If you want to be a successful woman, you have to start behaving like one. Wanting is not enough. You have to act on it and take massive action.
To have a dream is good, but not living that dream is just like expecting a monumental statue to suddenly become alive. Is that possible? NO.
But of course, you don’t want to live such a life of monuments (or stagnation). You want to live a life of movement (progress). When you do not progress, you only have two possible outcomes. At best, you remain where you are… or worse, you decline.
Is that what you really want for yourself? If not, then don’t only dream… Act! The best way to act now and give your life a direction is by creating a 5-year plan. You really need it!
How To Create A Five-Year Plan
The basic steps to create a five year plan are as follows.
STEP-1: Be Clear About What You Want To Achieve Five Years From Now
The very first step to take is to have a vision.
Without envisioning what you want to be in 5 years, it will be difficult to even get started. You can’t chase what you can’t see, can you? So, at this point, what you should do is have an imagination – a very clear imagination – of what your life should be like in 5 years.
Write it down.
While doing this, be earnest about it and hold nothing back. Just write down everything you envision… Everything.
To ensure that you leave no stone unturned when writing, I’d suggest you use these 8 life categories. They encompass virtually everything including;
- Personal/Spiritual/Religious Development
When writing down these visions of what your life should be like in 5 years, make it detailed.
Write down the kind of work you will be doing in five years’ time, the income you will make, the kind of clothes you will wear, where you will live, the cars you will own, the kind of wife/husband you will be married to, how many kids you would have, etc.
Think and write. Don’t be judgmental about it. Don’t feel like you are imagining too big or writing too much. Just write everything that comes to your mind. Go with the flow.
Don’t be shy about dreaming big. Go for those big dreams and put them on paper. Remember, there is no limitation to what you can achieve.
STEP-2: Shun Those Thoughts That Limit You
In this whole process, it’s normal for a wave of negative thoughts to cross your mind. You might start having doubts if you can achieve all that within such a short period. Well, it’s very normal. For now, disregard such pessimistic thoughts. That is the key for you to move forward.
Remember, life is strictly whatever you make of it. Whatever you give meaning becomes meaningful. So, give no meaning to any negative incident you experience. If you do, they yield negative thoughts. And when you give meaning to those negative thoughts, they become your limitation.
The truth is that the doubts and fears you get after experiencing some setbacks are not enough to limit you. They’re normal in life!
Therefore, just be positive. You can achieve anything you want!
STEP-3: Start Practicing Your Future
Now that you are clear about where you want to be in the next five years, and you have also shunned all your doubts and fears, that means, your destination is set.
The next in line is to set your compass right. This compass will guide you to your destination. But at this stage, before any other thing, you need the right mindset. This right mindset only manifests in the form of living your tomorrow now.
In other words, having the right mindset on how to create a five-year plan starts by you practicing today, what you want to be tomorrow.
The best way to start practicing your future is by synchronizing your thoughts and feelings today with that of the person you intend to be in five years.
For you to achieve this, you have to set out a private time to meditate (or simply think). Then ask yourself these questions and provide honest answers to them in writing.
- What occupies the thought of my future self?
- How will my future self react to certain situations?
- What feelings does my future self have regularly?
- In a dilemmatic situation, what will my future self choose?
- What crucial decisions will my future self make?
While you are meditating and asking these questions, answer them like you are already in your future. Harmonize your thoughts and feelings and put them in the position of who you want to be.
By practicing your future today, you’ll simply start acting like that person from your future… And acting like who you want to be will give you the same result you envisioned. That’s how dreams come true. You don’t have to wait till you get better in order to become who you want.
You don’t have to achieve it all before you start living the life you aspire to live. Remember, “the future starts this moment”. Don’t waste any more time, just start!
By thinking like your future self now, you’ll start taking action like your future self, and eventually get the results you want.
STEP-4: Adopt Supportive Lifestyles
There is one truth that needs to be told here. And that truth is that most times, we prefer “to just want” than actually “going for what we want”. If you want something, you have to go for it by adopting a lifestyle that befits it.
You can’t say you want to become a professor in five years but all you do is watch all the available movies and series all day.
If you really want to be a prof, it means you want to follow the academic lane. So, you can start by acting scholarly, and then saving up part of your income to further your studies.
Always strive to simulate who you want to be by living supportive lifestyles.
Do you want to be a professor in 5 years? Then remember that professors don’t typically club all night or watch movies all day. Simulate what professors do by adopting lifestyles like; reading more, doing research, and writing!
Another good way to achieve this is by using the media to portray what you want to be in 5 years. Listen to podcasts or radio programs that support your 5-year plan. Also, subscribe to TV channels that are supportive.
Moreover, follow pages and groups that support your mission. Unfollow those that don’t. The whole idea is to shun things that do not support what you want to be and to adopt lifestyles that set you on the right track.
STEP-5: Set The Goal(s)
This stage is very vital because here is where you go practical.
Choose one area (among many possible options) in your life and set a goal that you intend to achieve within a year.
How do you do this?
Okay, let’s maintain the initial example; Supposing you are a B.Sc. degree holder and you want to become a professor in 5 years – that’s your 5-year plan.
Your first goal should probably be to save up enough within a year to start your M.Sc. program. The goal for your second year might be to fully complete your research work and defend it. Your third-year goal might be to start your Doctorate degree and make one or two publications … And so on.
You may also set more than one goal for a single year. However, it is not advisable because you really need to have one priority-goal. Your main big goal for the year. You don’t want to get stressed out chasing too many goals. Besides, with only one goal, you don’t get to experience a situation of conflicting goals.
The main rationale behind setting a goal(s) is to get you started and give you a direction. By creating a goal, you are already acting towards achieving your 5-year plan. And by working on the goal, you are already walking the path to your destination.
STEP-6: Practice Resilience
This is similar to step-2 but slightly different.
While step-2 is telling you not to give in to negative thoughts, Step-6 is advising you to find a way to bounce back no matter what. Step-6 is like an antidote to Step-2 (in a situation where you mistakenly get poisoned by those negative thoughts or incidents that you are originally meant to disregard).
In other words, even if you once gave in to those negative thoughts and resultantly lost your passion and drive, you can still be resilient. You can always bounce back.
Don’t stop pushing.
Sometimes, the circumstances of life might hit you hard. Many of your plans might fail. You might also lose a huge amount of money. You might finally miss out on a contract that you’ve chased for months. Or you might try a lot of times and get little or nothing out of those trials…
These things are perfectly normal. This is life. And mind you, those are not enough reasons to give up on your dreams. Practice resilience and learn how to always bounce back.
That’s the only way you can get to your final destination despite all odds.
STEP-7: Take Massive Action
When your plan is set, your goal is intact, you are ready to not give in to negative thoughts, and you are resilient enough … your next step should be to take massive action!
And a massive action entails backing your action with another action – like a continuous action that never gives up – till you get your desired result.
Of course, obstacles will come but because you are ready for this part, you won’t give up. The resilience you already have will keep you going. Nothing should stop you from reaching your goals and giving up. Keep taking action until you achieve the desired result.
On a final note, it can be very uncomfortable to take up a huge challenge like mastering how to create a five-year plan. It is even a tougher task to follow the plan despite all difficulties until you finally reach your goal.
You will definitely meet some difficulties along the way. However, the good news is that by following the points you’ve learned above, you will surely become What you want, and Who you want to become, one step at a time.
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