What if I told you that you can become anyone you want within the next 5 years? Yes, it’s true!
That’s the amazing ability we have as humans, to be able to plan ahead and grow through whatever life throws at us until we come out on top.
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned throughout my personal development journey is that you’re either growing or you’re sitting on the sidelines, watching your best years pass you by.
A few years ago I was a lost college student, in thousands of dollars in debt and barely scraping by with my minimum wage job.
I started listening to podcasts and reading books on personal development. I was so desperate for something to help me deal with the pain and the struggles I was facing.
Soon after, I decided to start a blog. I was constantly working, testing different strategies, learning new things and making many mistakes along the way.
Then, one by one, my plans were finally coming together.
All of the things I learned were like building blocks that led me to where I am today. I designed my future from my future and am now living my five year plan.
I set that bar for myself, reached it, and am creating even higher bars for the next five years out.
So what I want you to know is that you can create your five year plan today and turn it into a reality. If I can do it, so can you!
A goal without a plan is just a wish. – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Why You Need A Five Year Plan
Do you know anyone who always seems to repeat the past over and over again? They just stay in the same spot, never moving forward?
That’s a sign they don’t have a plan for their life.
If you don’t come up with a five year plan you’ll never get to become who you truly want to be and achieve those dreams weighing on your heart.
You’ll just stay stuck in the same place and get the exact same results.
I think we tend to think that over time we’ll automatically become the person we want to be and get the results we want over time. But unfortunately it doesn’t work that way.
You have to become that person now. You have to practice thinking and feeling as the person you want to be in the future.
You have to intentionally plan, decide, commit, and take action to get the life you want.
Otherwise you’ll be exactly where you’re at right now with the exact same results, five years from now.
Related: How To Plan Your Best Year Ever
How To Create A Five Year Plan
Step 1: Get Clear On What You Want
Without a vision, an end goal in mind, it’ll be very hard to plan and follow through on your five year plan. So what I want you to do is imagine what you want your life to be like 5 years from now.
Get super clear on all of the details. Where will you be working? Where will you be living? What will you be doing? Will you be a stay at home mom, a business mogul, a world traveler?
Do a brainstorm and write down all of your thoughts without skipping a beat. Don’t think too much about it or judge it, just get it all down on paper.
What really helps me get my thoughts flowing is by setting the mood of my environment by brewing myself a good ol’ cup of joe, wrapping myself up in a warm blanket, and listening to chill music.
You want to get into that flow state where your thoughts are flowing, you’re groovin’ and you’re vibin’ with the energy around you.
Step 2: Ignore Limiting Beliefs
Do you ever feel like, right when you are finally getting your life together and taking that next step forward, suddenly you’re flooded with negative, self-doubting emotions?
I think this is something we all struggle with time to time. Just know that this is completely normal, and will probably happen during this process.
These emotions can also pop up when we are a victim to sudden unfortunate circumstances that leave us feeling defeated.
Unfortunately we can’t control our circumstances, they happen naturally, but what we can control is how we react to them and what we make them mean.
We get in trouble when we make our feelings of fear, self doubt, anxiety mean something. Nothing has meaning until you give it meaning, so an important skillset to practice is to not entertain those thoughts and not make them be this big deal.
This is how you get your power back.
I know how uncomfortable change can be, but don’t let the discomfort stop you. I really like a quote that I heard from Brooke Castillo, she said “Discomfort is the currency to your dreams.”
It’s so true! When you can feel discomfort rising to the surface, instead of letting it get to you, accept that it’s a natural part of change and move forward anyways.
You deserve to have a life you love, you deserve to get that end result you so badly desire, whether you believe it or not – it’s true. Start believing in yourself and don’t let anything hold you back!
Step 3: Align Yourself With Your Future Self
Now that you have a clear destination set, it’s time to create your roadmap.
Before we even think about setting goals, the first step is to get your mindset in check.
You want to be in the right mindset in order to reach the results you want. And the best way to do that is by becoming your future self (five years from now) ahead of time.
This involves operating as your future self, meaning you think, feel and make decisions as her in the present.
I suggest starting off by spending some time each morning (or evening) journaling and visualizing yourself as that person.
As you’re writing, ask yourself these questions:
- What does my future self think about?
- What does my future self feel on a regular basis?
- What kind of decisions does she make? Or, what decision would she make about XYZ (write a specific option here)
I am constantly thinking about what kind of decisions my future self would make about my business, work or life in general. It’s interesting to think about how our decisions would differ and what results would most likely be produced from each decision.
When you start thinking and feeling as that person you want to become, you start to take actions as her, which leads to you getting the results you want.
Don’t wait until later to become that version of you. That only leads to a lot of unnecessary time wasting. You won’t reach your end results by waiting until you’re successful to become the person you’ve always want to be. You reach your end results by becoming her NOW.
Step 4: Create Supportive Habits + Routines
In order to become that person you want to be, you have to create supportive habits and routines that’ll help get you there.
These will carry you when life gets busy, because instead of spending so much energy thinking about the next step you need to take or relying on yourself for motivation, your habits and routines let you run on autopilot and get things done without even thinking about it.
I encourage you to look at any areas of your life you’re not satisfied with. Maybe you could be better at managing your finances or your health needs improvement. Spend some time really thinking about this, and then come up with some habits that would improve those areas.
Like, for example, let’s say that the area I’m lacking in is with my finances, like we’ll assume that I’m bad at saving money. Well I can make it a habit to contribute a certain amount of money to a savings account every month.
Write these habits down somewhere you’ll see them regularly, like a notebook or journal, that way you’ll be more motivated to work on them.
I’d suggest starting off small in the beginning. Pick one small habit to work on, and once it becomes solidified into your routine, then work on another one.
If you feel overwhelmed or burnt out when doing this, then I’d encourage you to slow down. Overwhelm and burnout are a clear sign you’re moving too fast. Baby steps are key here.
You’ll know you’re doing it right when the habits you create support you and propel you closer to achieving your goals.
Related: 101 Simple Habits For A Better Life
Step 5: Set Goals
This step is a little more tactical.
Take any area in your life that you want to work on for the next year and set a one year goal to accomplish it.
I like to use the 10 life categories for this:
- Personal Development
- Spiritual Development
You’re one year goal should be centered around your five year plan and propel you forward toward achieving your end result.
So let’s say that your five year plan is you want to run a successful online business. Then you’d create a one year goal like making enough money from your business to quit your full time job.
Maybe the next year you plan on making your first $100k and so on, until you reach your end goal.
Now, you can have more than one goal at a time, but I wouldn’t recommend it because it can be overwhelming. You need to prioritize so you don’t have conflicting goals.
Here are my best goal setting resources:
- How to set goals that you’ll actually achieve
- How to achieve your biggest goals in life
- How to reverse engineer your life
- How to plan your best year ever
Once you create a one year goal that moves the needle towards your end result, you’re putting into action what you want for your future. You’re creating the roadmap to reach your end destination.
Step 6: Build Resilience
If you notice that you easily give into your negative thoughts and you give up easily whenever you hit a roadblock, then that’s a clear sign you lack resilience.
I think resilience and mental toughness are almost one in the same.
Resilience is the ability to get back up after you hit a setback. It means pressing on, even when it feels like you’re not getting anywhere, or like everything is crashing around you.
In order to get to where you want to go, you have to have a certain level of mental toughness. You will go through tough times, you will feel dragged down by the weight of life, and you will fail big time, but it’s what you make those experiences mean to you and how fast you bounce back that makes all the difference.
Because we are either the victim of our circumstances or the victor. You get to choose. I choose to be the victor.
Step 7: Take massive action
Once you have a solid plan in place, the next step is to take action!
Once you start taking action, there’ll be some roadblocks along the way. Life gets busy, emergencies happen, you try and fail, then try and fail again, but the point is that you can’t let it bring you down!
In other words, you can’t make obstacles and failures mean anything about your ability to get what you want in the future. When you hit a setback, you get up, dust yourself off, and move forward.
Nothing worth going after in life is ever going to be easy.
This is where a lot of people check out. They take a little bit of action, encounter an obstacle, have a negative thought about it and give up.
What I encourage you to do is take massive action, meaning you keep taking action until you get the results you want.
No matter how many times you fail, no matter what stands in your way, you keep taking that next step.
Once you’re willing to experience negative emotions and overcome obstacles, then and only then will you achieve the results you desire. But you have to commit to taking action until you get there.
Don’t be that person that gives up easily. Stay committed to that end goal no matter what.
I know how hard it can be to step out of your comfort zone, make a change, and trust in the process to carry you to where you want to go.
Going after what you truly want in life isn’t always easy, and there’ll be many roadblocks along the way.
But by creating a solid plan for your life, by experiencing the discomfort and the growing pains without letting them bring you down, you’ll step onto the other side with confidence.
All it takes is a little courage and faith to take that step, but once you do you’ll feel more space to breath, focus, and chase those dreams down without fear.
So go out there and get ’em, my friend!