How to Make a Five-Year Plan - Ralph Arza

It is not uncommon in job interviews to be asked, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” However, many people have only a vague idea of what they want their future to look like, and most do not have a concrete plan at all.

The first step to creating a five-year plan is to brainstorm. Allowing thoughts to flow freely and without judgment is key. Individuals may consider what they have accomplished, what they enjoy, and what they want to achieve. They should include their dreams even if they seem impossible to reach. Brainstorming may be a process that takes a few days or a few weeks. It is important to take as much time as needed to create an agreeable plan.

The next thing to do is to think about motivation, skill, and experience. Some skills may be transferable. For example, a person who hopes to run a restaurant may have some catering or leadership experience. Reflecting on what an individual has done and connecting that experience to what they hope to achieve will be key.

The five-year plan can encompass any number of areas, even though the most common aspect tends to revolve around the professional. Plans might focus on other areas, however, such as health, relationships, and finances.

Setting short-term goals will help individuals move toward achieving the larger goal. Writing down smaller steps can clarify what must be done and in what order. These smaller steps can be broken down into monthly or weekly goals. A productivity tool can help.

People should then begin to think of themselves as someone who has accomplished their goals. This means stopping bad habits that are preventing reaching the goal, which could involve staying away from negative influences on social media. The idea behind this practice is to create an environment that will reflect and reinforce efforts to become the person they want to be at the end of the five-year plan.

Daily journaling, either first thing in the morning or in the evening, can help people stay on track and examine what they are doing to get closer to their goal. It is important to keep in mind that progress toward the five-year plan is usually not linear. There will be obstacles along the way, and the plan might even shift over time. Those daily journal entries are a good way of ensuring that the spirit of the plan remains alive and the main focus despite changes over the five-year period.