No, I’m not talking about creating SMART goals or any other type of acronym around setting goals (although SMART does work.) Instead, this is a continuation of last week’s post on goal planning for next year and beyond. This week, you’ll learn how to plan your goals better by looking at five-year goals and breaking them down some more.
Five Year and Three Year Goal Planning
Last week, you took a look at the end of your life to determine what you wanted to accomplish and what you would regret not doing. Now it’s time to work backward so that you’ll be able to meet that goal. For instance, some of my regrets would be not writing, not traveling and not spending enough time with my family. So when I think in terms of five years, I need to start thinking about how much traveling I will want to have done, where I want to be with my writing and the quality time I’m spending with my family.
Now that you know the direction you want to go in, it’s time to start planning your five or three-year goals. You can determine the time-frame that works best for you. But I think five years is a good time-frame to aim for and then three years is a checkpoint that lets you know if you’re on track.
Five years may seem like a long way off, but in the span of a lifetime, it’s not. Where do you want to be in five years? While looking at your lifetime goals, where do you project yourself to be in five years? What do you need to have accomplished by that timeframe in order to be on track with your goals?
For those who are younger, your five-year plan might include homes, getting ahead in your career or even marriage and children. For those who are older, the plans might include down-sizing, travel or even trying a new career.
For you, when thinking of where you want to be in five years, visualize, where you are living, what type of home, what type of job, if any, will you be doing? Are you pursuing a passion to be a writer or a doctor? Each will take you down different paths and you need to know that path in order to plan what you’re doing next month.
Why Do I Need Three Year Goals?
You’re looking between where you are now, and where you want to be in five years, what goals do you need to set in order to be well on your way. But then you’re also looking at the three-year timeframe as a checkpoint.
For instance, if you’re planning on buying a home in five years, you should have a plan for how much money should be saved by year three so that you can meet the five-year goal. Or if you’re planning on traveling all fifty states in five years, what’s your goal to have completed by year three? You need to know in case you need to change your plan up in order to meet the goal in time.
What Are You Doing in 2020?
Now that you’ve got an idea of where you want to be in five years, and you’ve also determined what your three-year check-points will be, it’s time to look at 2020.
What are the steps that you have to take this coming year that will put you on the path to your three and five-year goals? If you want to be a Doctor, have you applied to medical schools? If you want to buy a house, what job or career do you need to have this year to start earning enough money? Or will you plan a side hustle that will help you get there? If you want to be a published writer do you have a plan for writing every day or taking a writing course or getting a degree in creative writing? It’s time to start thinking about the actual steps you need to take in order to reach your goals.
**A logistical note for planning your goals with a partner. You should each work on creating your own separate goals first and then coming together to find out what is on both of your lists. Those that you have in common will be on both your plans and should reflect common steps. You need to plan out those common steps together so you’re both working towards the same goals. Then you will also have separate goals that you create the steps for yourself.**
And if you’re a post-retirement baby boomer thinking you don’t need to plan goals anymore….think again. Just because you’ve retired doesn’t mean you stop goal planning. Downsizing? Planning vacations? Visits with grandchildren and other family members? Or how about starting your own business after retiring.
Take inspiration from all those people who’ve gone back to college or started a new career after they retired from their first one. Ella Washington got her GED at 49 and then started college at 83. In 2018, she graduated with an associate’s degree when she was 89. Her goal after that was to get her bachelor’s degree. She didn’t stop planning.
Now that you have your five, three, and one-year goals planned out, next week we’ll take a look at putting everything into a 2020 goal planner. Whether you use a bullet journal, a datebook, or an online calendar we’ll take a look at a timeline for those goals and then plan out January 2020.