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What's the Point of a 5 Year Plan?

What's the Point of a 5 Year Plan

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Who cares!

J.K. Rowling through Harry Potter said what might be the most relatable quote of all time:

We plan, we get there, all hell breaks loose.

That about sums it up, doesn't it?

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Things change. Life happens. And that's not always a bad thing! Things could be changing and evolving in very good ways, just differently than we originally thought they would play out. Why would we get upset by that?

Better yet, why would we bother trying to script the next chunk of our lives? What happy person has ever lived a planned out life? There shouldn't be a 5 year plan. You'll only let yourself down!

Instead, do this.

The point of the 5 year plan is to have something to shoot for and accomplish. But that's a really long stretch of time for most of us. Instead, use only one year, maybe two, for your bigger goals.

Next, don't be specific about life stages or income or job titles. None of that is going to go according to plan!

In 5 years, you're not going to be married with your second child on the way, living in sprawling house in the 'burbs making $70k more than what your'e making now! And shooting for those material milestones for the sake of reaching them isn't going to help anyone.

If you really want financial stability, meet with a planner and scope out your short- and long-term goals.

If you really want to go farther in your career, pick a new skill set to focus on each year, and work on that daily. 

If you really want to get that degree or certification, take the first step to getting it right now.

A 5 year timespan is too much to say "I'm going to be here on that exact day." You have no idea what's going to happen! Rather, focus on growing your skills. Be methodical in the short-term, wherever you want to grow.

Too much happens over 5 years, but you can take it 6 months or a year at a time and reevaluate accordingly. That's what will help you actually see growth. Do that, and you'll be wherever you want to be before you know it!