When it comes to setting your goals and reaching your dreams, you need a solid plan. Sure, plans sometimes don’t work out or have to be changed, but that’s often easier than not having any type of plan at all. You need something to work toward, and you need a way of getting there. Among the best ways to make your plans are to focus them on the short, medium, and longer-term.
You don’t need to know what you’re doing for the next 10 or 20 years. That’s too far to plan for, and there are too many variables. You might have ideas of what you’d like to be doing then, and that’s fine. But keep your actual, concrete plans to 1, 3, and 5 years. That’s enough time to sort out a lot of things in your life, but not so far away that it doesn’t feel real or attainable. Here are some of the biggest things to consider when making your plans.
The One-Year Plan
Your one-year plan is your short-term focus. It’s the kind of plan you’d write in ink, but it’s also a good idea to have some white-out handy. Most one-year plans can be pretty close to what actually gets accomplished in that year, but there may be some changes needed. Still, don’t underestimate the value of this kind of plan. When you set some goals and see how you can work toward them properly, your willpower and determination get stronger. Most people have a pretty good idea of where they’d like to be in a year, so creating this plan isn’t terribly hard.
The Three-Year Plan
Your three-year plan may be a little harder to create. Three years can seem like a very long time, and you might not be sure exactly where you’ll be. That’s especially true if you’re struggling with some big decisions like a career change, a big move, or relationship issues. But that’s why this kind of plan is so valuable. It forces you to consider the types of decisions you’ll need to start making, so you can work toward your goals by making changes. To create your own three-year plan, ask yourself: “What results do I want to create for myself and my business three years from now?”
If you don’t see yourself working in your current job or at the same company in three years, consider what you can do now to start moving toward something new. The same is true for relationships, health, the home you live in, and much more. A lot can happen in three years, but you’ll definitely accomplish more if you have solid ideas of what you want and need in life. A plan like this puts things in perspective.
The Five-Year Plan
Your five-year plan has a longer-term focus. Even though five years isn’t long in the grand scheme of things, it can still feel like a long time. Where do you want to be then? If you see yourself having a very different life five years from now, you aren’t going to have that life if you don’t take steps to move toward it. That doesn’t mean you have to change everything all at once, but you may need to do things that will take time.
For example, if you want a bachelor’s degree and have never been to college, you’ll need to get started on that four-year degree soon or you won’t meet your five-year goal deadline. Deciding where you want to be in five years and working backward from that goal can give you a great plan you can start on right away with small, actionable steps.