Write | Inspire | Dream
How do I write a one, three, or five-year plan of action for my life? Well, when you practice Intentional Living, this becomes a part of the process. You begin to see growth in yourself that inspires you to plan optimally and optimistically for your future. So, today on La.Rue, I’d like to walk you through the steps on how to design a solid plan of action for your future self. But, first, I’d like to share with you a few reasons why having these plans are so incredibly important. Having a plan for your future keeps you, first and foremost, in alignment with your greatest dreams. When you’re reminded of your goals, dreams, and visions of your future by creating a plan, you’re constantly visualizing yourself in that success. It’s a manifestation technique that helps you to actively envision yourself already working within that success you’re leading yourself towards.
Creating a plan of action doesn’t mean creating elaborate and detailed schematics for the next five years of your life, planning each day and each deadline. Creating a (one/ three) five-year plan of action means committing to your dreams and making intentional decisions that align with your future. It means easing out of bad habits and establishing positive ones. It means redesigning impactful routines that result in a positive and empowered mindset. And ultimately, it means creating a lifestyle in which you set and achieve small goals each day, leading up to grand success and great achievement. Creating a five-year plan means living a lifestyle that equals your definition of “living life fully.”
The Five-Year Plan
This is most often the plan people are looking to make; it’s not too far into the future, yet, not too soon. The first step in designing a five-year plan is understanding exactly what goals you’d like to achieve. When you’re looking at your life five years from now, it’s not just about seeing what you’d like to accomplish but recognizing where you’d like to grow and expand your knowledge and maturity. Your future plans shouldn’t have a central focus just on what you’d like to achieve, the job you’d like to have, or the income cap you’d like to reach, but things you’d like to learn. When you design your plan, you should ask yourself, “How would you like to have changed in five years?” Ultimately, when you’re asking that question, it will include all you have accomplished.
When you’re thinking five years into the future, you’re giving yourself a lot of space to complete life goals you’ve most likely had since you were young. If you’re younger, perhaps in your twenties or thirties, the impact of this plan can be greater. Those are the years we’re beginning jobs, solidifying career paths, and starting families. But no matter what age you are, five years is a long time; meaning, we all understand that no matter what and no matter where we are right now, all of our lives will look different in five years. So, wherever you are in your life right now, what is the path you want to take? And how do you design a plan of action for it one, three, or five years from now?
Designing a Plan of Action
1. Identify Your Goals: We’ve talked so much about setting goals and having un-inhibited and un-apologetic dreams. It’s time to take those dreams and turn them into action. We dream because we desire to change our reality into something different, something better, something we love. So, your first step in creating your plan of action is identifying what you’d like your future to look like. What do you want to achieve? What are your goals? If you’ve listened to my recent podcast, Defining the Role of Success in our Lives, you know that we do have the power to dream wildly, and more importantly, we have the ability to achieve those dreams.
2. Understand What Change is Needed: Once you’ve laid out your goals and you’ve got your list, thoroughly look through it and take the time to understand how much change this process is going to involve. When you’re dreaming big, it also means great change is coming. So, once you’ve got your goals, write out what needs to happen or needs to change for those dreams to become a reality. We can’t look at our dreams from 1 straight to 100. We have to understand the process that will unfold and the steps we need to take to get there. If we don’t, all it will ever be is a dream. It’s the steps in the middle that get you to your success, not the dream itself.
3. Be PREPARED for Change: It is not enough to acknowledge the change that is needed; we have to prepare for change. On the blog and on the podcast, I’ve shared this idea of asking yourself what bad thing happens when you succeed. When we prepare for failure and even success, we acknowledge our subconscious fears that often arise right before our moments of success. If we can acknowledge that fear beforehand, we’re preparing ourselves for moments when the fear does arise and potentially deter us from moving forward. Once we can realize this and reach our moment of success, we’re not fearful of what comes next. Instead, you’re able to breathe in the moment and celebrate what you’ve just accomplished.
4. Take it one step at a time: As much as we can plan and hope for everything to go exactly as we want it to, life happens. Things often get in the way, and our plans get interrupted. So, my best advice is to take your plans day by day. If we prepare too far ahead of time, we can often become disappointed by the results because they’re not what we “planned.” Take it month to the month and recognize the progress you’re making to reach your goals as you go along. Give yourself credit for all that you’re working towards accomplishing and changing to reach your goals.
Creating a one, three, or five-year plan, more than anything, gives you direction. It’s not finite, and it’s not for certain. It gives us a solid track to follow to reach our greatest dreams. But remember, the success that comes from working towards those goals every day is the true testament to your dedication and drive to reach the finale.