Do you have a 5 year plan?

beverage-computer-flower-948888.jpg

We know, we know… there’s enough pressure on us Millennial folk these days without having to think further than what we’re going to wear tomorrow or where we’re going for bottomless brunch on Sunday. However, it’s long been said that setting out a rough five year plan has some great benefits to not just your career, but all other areas of your life too, from finances to relationships. Apparently, people who write down their goals are 33% more likely to achieve them than those who don’t. 

The idea is that you set overarching five year goals for different categories, and then break them down into realistic, achievable stepping stones. 

Speaking from personal experience, I laid out a rough five year plan when I started my first “proper” job after graduating. Working in the brutal, low-paid industry of fashion, we all have to start at the bottom and this plan really helped me to put things into perspective and think more positively about my life ahead. 

After putting a solid evening or two into it and then filing it away, I recently found the five year plan again, three years later, and realised I’m actually pretty on track, with the exception of being anywhere near to “buying a house” (lol). Without being all that consciously aware of it, I’d been working away at my five year plan this whole time. And yes, I have managed to fit in a lot of “social” time in the process, and ran a marathon, so don’t worry, you can definitely do this.  

What’s more, recent development of the traditional five year plan has helped to make it more relevant and realistic to the hectic mess that is our modern lives. In order to keep working towards your plan while not going completely insane, you can keep yourself calm and level-headed by actively working towards just three of the different areas in one day. 

That sounds a bit better, right? 

If you’re feeling in need of a bit of structure to your life and want to look forward positively, I’d definitely recommend you give this a try. 

Before we get into this though, there are a few things you must remember:

  • We know this is super cliche, but everyone’s path really is different. You might feel the below example is too quick or too slow for your particular career ambitions. So tailor it. 
  • Stay realistic and be honest with yourself. It’s all good to have big ambitions but remember that you DO want to achieve them within 5 years. Don’t set yourself up for a fail. 
  • Visualise yourself and where you see yourself in 5 years, then figure out how you’ll get there. 
  • If you’re already pretty content with all aspects of life (yay for you!) then a plan can help you to realise this contentment, how you’re achieving it and how you can continue this momentum. 
  • It doesn’t have to be anything intense remember, it’s all for you. So you do you, Boo. 

There are loads of different ways of going about this (included below are some links on further reading if you’re super into it and want to sub-categorise and prioritise and put into spreadsheets or whatever), but here’s a rough template with some basic categories and an initial example to get you started:

CAREER

5 YEAR GOAL: REACH MANAGER LEVEL AT FASHION BRAND (Age will be: 28). 

  • 6 MONTHS: Start entry-level job. Arrange a review with manager and gain feedback on how to develop.
  • 1 YEAR: Review with manager. State interest in being promoted. Ask to be put on a 1 year plan for promotion.
  • 2 YEARS: Get promoted.
  • 3 YEARS: Arrange another review with manager to state interest in promotion.
    If there is currently no room for further development, it’s time for a change. Look for a new job in a different company that’s either a step up, or a step across with strong promotional prospects.
  • 4 YEARS: State interest in manager position to management. Arrange a development plan.
  • 5 YEARS: Achieve manager level position. Create new 5 year plan. 

One thing I can do each day to work towards this: Be mindful in my job and work as hard as I can, always keeping in mind the bigger picture. 

PERSONAL

  • Fitness and health goals. 
  • Happiness and mental wellness goals. 

One thing I can do each day to work towards this:

RELATIONSHIPS

  • Goals related to family, friends and/ or love life (remember it doesn’t have to be all three if you don’t need to alter all three!) 

One thing I can do each day to work towards this:

HOBBIES, SKILLS AND INTERESTS

  • Fun goals to help you improve outside of the workplace and ultimately hone your craft.

One thing I can do each day to work towards this:

FINANCIAL

  • Financial targets and budget breakdowns (super-fun). 

One thing I can do each day to work towards this:

One more thing… once you’ve worked this up, it’s worth revisiting it every 6 months or so (I wish I had been looking at mine more regularly) to remind yourself of what you’ve achieved. We work so hard in lots of areas of our lives and the busy nature of them means we rarely stop to think about how far we’ve come. 

Also keep in mind that things change, and you might have to alter the plan accordingly… this is fine. This revisiting is crucial to maintaining your mental strength and willpower, so love yourself! 

Good luck and please feel free to share your thoughts or goals with us! 

FL x

Further reading: 

https://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Five-Year-Plan - If you want to get down and deep into this, check out the tips on sub-sectioning and ordering goals in terms of priority. 

https://organisemyhouse.com/how-to-create-a-5-year-plan/ - Great advice on visual plans because we all love a bit of Pinterest.