How do you make a 5 year plan? Our step-by-step guide shows you how to map our your own 5 year plan and use to gain success in both work and life.
Many only know the 5-year plan concept from the business world, but now it is laos a growing trend in the world of personal development. We’ll tell you how you can use it for yourself.
Personality development follows a fixed principle: Everyone can change and become the person they want to be. The 5-year plan goes one step further. This says that everyone can achieve this goal in just five years. We’ll show you how this should work and why you should give it a chance.
Why should you make a 5 year plan?
If you don’t have a plan, you bob around and end up … somewhere … later. Those who act according to plan end up where they want to be. At least that’s the theory. With all everyday to-dos that arise, it is really easy to lose focus and put personal goals behind.
Instead of studying on the side or starting the business that we always wanted, we only deal with things that are important in the short term. The cake bazaar for the club, the food with the parents-in-law, the laundry — important things in the long term fade into the background. The 5-year plan is used to prevent this from happening and to keep getting a little closer to your dream destination.
What is a 5 year plan?
The 5-year plan actually comes from the economic 5 year plan concept, for example when it comes to developing a company or an entire economy. However, the term is now being redefined in career and personality development.
The 5-year plan should be a tool with which you can set yourself predictable goals. Everyone has dreams of what they want in their lives. The problem with a dream, however, is that it often remains a dream because it is not concrete enough and does not have a deadline that motivates us to act. This is exactly what you do with the 5-year plan.
Step 1: Imagine what your life should look like in five years. In step 2 you break the big picture down to specific intermediate goals, at least one every year. Ideally, however, the annual goal should then be subdivided into 12 milestones – one for each month.
You determine in which areas of your life you want to make a change. This can be fitness, success, finance, but also love or family. The whole point is that in the end you know exactly what you have to do every month for the next five years in order to achieve your goals in the end.
Step by step to create a plan
1. Where do you want to be in five years?
When you create a 5-year plan, the first step is to define your goals. What do you want to have achieved in five years? What job do you have then? What does your family look like? What do you do in your free time? To do this, you pick up pen and paper in the traditional way, or open a new document — the main thing is that you can write everything down.
Focus on the areas in which something should change and imagine exactly what you want. But be very detailed. This will help you figure out what should change later.
Warning: this step is not yet about how to achieve these goals. It’s just about setting the end goal. After all, if you don’t know where you want to go, you can’t plan your trip.
Anyone who thinks about the “how” at this point often gets lost in it, becomes demotivated and ultimately does not manage to set big goals.
We often overestimate what we can achieve in one year (think of New Year’s resolutions), but we dramatically underestimate what we can achieve in five or ten years. So have no inhibitions and really write down everything you want to achieve.
2. Analyze what you wrote
Now you look at what you have written and filter your dreams towards specific goals. Let us assume that in five years you imagine you are “happier”. Then your job is to scan your text for the things that made you happy in your imagination. Was it more money? Was it a partner? Was it more free time?
If you want, you can also use different highlighters. For example, you can mark yellow what has to do with success, green for fitness and pink for love life.
3. Break your dreams down to milestones
After analyzing your text, you are very close to your goal of creating a 5-year plan. Now you should be able to express your dreams in concrete goals. For example, in five years you might see yourself in a home with two children and in your own company. With this you have formulated your milestones. Now all you have to do is assign each stage to a year. Ideally, you focus on just one big goal per year.
To stick to this example, you could concentrate fully on building your company in the first year, then on your own home in the second year and then on family planning, etc. Of course, the order is entirely up to you.