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5 Actions You Should Take To Plan Your Next 5 Years Well

5 Actions You Should Take To Plan Your Next 5 Years Well

What do you want to achieve in the next 5 years? Five years can seem like a long time if you have a plan and you know what you want to achieve, but without a plan, 5 years can pass by very quickly.

Check out these 5 actions that you can follow to help ensure a happy and successful future.

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1. Decide what you want to achieve within the next 5 years.

Decide what you want to plan for within the next 5 years. From starting your own business to buying your first home, planning is an essential part to making sure you get what you want. Life is filled with many possible eventualities, so you must address what you want to achieve so you can set the wheels in motion. Sit down with a pen and some paper and write down the answers to these questions: What do I want to achieve? How long will my goal take to achieve? What is the first thing I need to do?

2. Evaluate your goals every month.

Whether you set your goal a week ago or 10 years ago, it is important to regularly evaluate your goals. Your interests may have changed or other priorities may have emerged, so make sure you are focused on something that is still important to you. For instance, once you may have dreamed about buying a home in the country, but now you might love the busy city you live in. Sit down once a month and write down the answers to these questions: Is this goal still important to me? Am I eager to achieve it? Am I still passionate about this idea?

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3. Review your goals every day.

Most people have goals, but the most successful people keep their goals in the front of their minds at all time. If you rarely think about your goals, they may start to seem overwhelming and unattainable. However, goals can often be broken down into lots of smaller tasks, which will seem much more attainable.

If you want something badly, you should ideally be working towards it regularly. Ask yourself every day: Am I progressing with my goals? What is the next small task I need to accomplish to move closer to my goal? Can I reach my goals within the next 5 years? Could I reach them sooner?

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4. Make a weekly commitment to your goals.

Once you have defined your goals, it is time to start acting on them. Your goal may easily be achieved in the next 5 years, but once it is done you can start working on achieving your next dream. Today is the perfect time to start — putting off work before you have started can make the task seem scary and abstract, which will make it harder for you to start later.

At the beginning of every week, write down what you are going to do that week to work towards achieving your goal. It doesn’t have to be something big every week — even doing something small will help you to see that you are progressing towards your goal every week.

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5. Write down all of the possible outcomes.

Sit down with a piece of paper and a pen and write down every possible hypothetical situation that could happen regarding your goal. There will be awful and wonderful outcomes, and this will help you to solve any possible problems that might pop up later. Decide what you would do to improve every situation, and regularly look at your answers.

You may not be able to control the future, but you can control how you deal with whatever life throws at you. Throughout the next 5 years you may encounter problems, but the most successful people adapt and zigzag through these issues while focusing on finding solutions.

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Amy Johnson

Freelance writer, editor and social media manager.

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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

The same old motivational secrets don’t really motivate you after you’ve read them for the tenth time, do they?

How about a unique spin on things?

These 16 productivity secrets of successful people will make you reevaluate your approach to your home, work, and creative lives. Learn from these highly successful people, turn these little things they do into your daily habits and you’ll get closer to success.

1. Empty your mind.

It sounds counterproductive, doesn’t it?

Emptying your mind when you have so much to remember seems like you’re just begging to forget something. Instead, this gives you a clean slate so you’re not still thinking about last week’s tasks.

Clear your mind and then start thinking only about what you need to do immediately, and then today. Tasks that need to be accomplished later in the week can wait.

Here’s a guide to help you empty your mind and think sharper:

How to Declutter Your Mind to Sharpen Your Brain and Fall Asleep Faster

2. Keep certain days clear.

Some companies are scheduling “No Meeting Wednesdays,” which means, funnily enough, that no one can hold a meeting on a Wednesday. This gives workers a full day to work on their own tasks, without getting sidetracked by other duties or pointless meetings.

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This can work in your personal life too, for example if you need to restrict Facebook access or limit phone calls.

3. Prioritize your work.

Don’t think every task is created equal! Some tasks aren’t as important as others, or might take less time.

Try to sort your tasks every day and see what can be done quickly and efficiently. Get these out of the way so you have more free time and brain power to focus on what is more important.

Lifehack’s CEO has a unique way to prioritize works, take a look at it here:

How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

4. Chop up your time.

Many successful business leaders chop their time up into fifteen-minute intervals. This means they work on tasks for a quarter of an hour at a time, or schedule meetings for only fifteen minutes. It makes each hour seem four times as long, which leads to more productivity!

5. Have a thinking position.

Truman Capote claimed he couldn’t think unless he was laying down. Proust did this as well, while Stravinsky would stand on his head!

What works for others may not work for you. Try to find a spot and position that is perfect for you to brainstorm or come up with ideas.

6. Pick three to five things you must do that day.

To Do lists can get overwhelming very quickly. Instead of making a never-ending list of everything you can think of that needs to be done, make daily lists that include just three to five things.

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Make sure they’re things that need to be done that day, so you don’t keep putting them off.

7. Don’t try to do too much.

OK, so I just told you to work every day, and now I’m telling you to not do too much? It might sound like conflicting advice, but not doing too much means not biting off more than you can chew. Don’t say yes to every work project or social engagement and find yourself in way over your head.

8. Have a daily action plan.

Don’t limit yourself to a to-do list! Take ten minutes every morning to map out a daily action plan. It’s a place to not only write what needs to be done that day, but also to prioritize what will bring the biggest reward, what will take the longest, and what goals will be accomplished.

Leave room for a “brain dump,” where you can scribble down anything else that’s on your mind.

9. Do your most dreaded project first.

Getting your most dreaded task over with first means you’ll have the rest of the day free for anything and everything else. This also means that you won’t be constantly putting off the worst of your projects, making it even harder to start on it later.

10. Follow the “Two-Minute Rule.”

The “Two-Minute Rule” was made famous by David Allen. It’s simple – if a new task comes in and it can be done in two minutes or less, do it right then. Putting it off just adds to your to-do list and will make the task seem more monumental later.

11. Have a place devoted to work.

If you work in an office, it’s no problem to say that your cubicle desk is where you work every day.

But if you work from home, make sure you have a certain area specifically for work. You don’t want files spread out all over the dinner table, and you don’t want to feel like you’re not working just because you’re relaxing on the couch.

Agatha Christie never wrote at her desk, she wrote wherever she could sit down. Ernest Hemingway wrote standing up. Thomas Wolfe, at 6’6″ tall, used the top of his refrigerator as a desk. Richard Wright wrote on a park bench, rain or shine.

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Have a space where, when you go there, you know you’re going to work. Maybe it’s a cafe downstairs, the library, or a meeting room. Whenever and wherever works for you, do your works there.

12. Find your golden hour.

You don’t have to stick to a “typical” 9–5 schedule!

Novelist Anne Rice slept during the day and wrote at night to avoid distractions. Writer Jerzy Kosinski slept eight hours a day, but never all at once. He’d wake in the morning, work, sleep four hours in the afternoon, then work more that evening.

Your golden hour is the time when you’re at your peak. You’re alert, ready to be productive, and intent on crossing things off your to-do list.

Once you find your best time, protect it with all your might. Make sure you’re always free to do your best uninterrupted work at this time.

13. Pretend you’re on an airplane.

It might not be possible to lock everyone out of your office to get some peace and quiet, but you can eliminate some distractions.

By pretending you’re on an airplane, you can act like your internet access is limited, you’re not able to get something from your bookcase, and you can’t make countless phone calls.

Eliminating these distractions will help you focus on your most important tasks and get them done without interruption.

14. Never stop.

Writers Anthony Trollope and Henry James started writing their next books as soon as they finished their current work in progress.

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Stephen King writes every day of the year, and holds himself accountable for 2,000 words a day! Mark Twain wrote every day, and then read his day’s work aloud to his family to get their feedback.

There’s something to be said about working nonstop, and putting out continuous work instead of taking a break. It’s just a momentum that will push you go further./

15. Be in tune with your body.

Your mind and body will get tired of a task after ninety minutes to two hours focused on it. Keep this in mind as you assign projects to yourself throughout the day, and take breaks to ensure that you won’t get burned out.

16. Try different methods.

Vladimir Nabokov wrote the first drafts of his novels on index cards. This made it easy to rearrange sentences, paragraphs, and chapters by shuffling the cards around.

It does sound easier, and more fun, than copying and pasting in Word! Once Nabokov liked the arrangement, his wife typed them into a single manuscript.

Same for you, don’t give up and think that it’s impossible for you to be productive when one method fails. Try different methods until you find what works perfectly for you.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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