How To Create an Epic 5 Year Plan You'll Actually Stick To
When I look back on all the huge ways my life has changed in the past five years, my mind is BLOWN.
I had three babies.
I left my corporate job.
I launched Olivia Jenkins Consulting.
I married the love of my life.
I was recognised for 14 business awards.
I purchased my dream property.
So much has happened — and I know that things will continue to move and happen over the course of the next five years! But the way things unfold and how I choose to react to them is entirely up to me. And the same is true for you.
You have COMPLETE control over what the next few years of your life will look like, even if it feels difficult to believe that now.
However, you have to start somewhere…and a five year plan isn’t exactly a bad kickoff point.
Because while I’m sure we all have big dreams and desires for our futures, those things aren’t going to just fall into our laps by chance. It’s our job to ensure that we’re navigating our life in a way that will help us form the habits required to achieve our goals.
In today’s blog post, I’ll be discussing why you should create a five-year plan and how to build one you’ll actually follow through.
Ready? Let’s dive in!
What is a Five-year plan?
A five-year plan is a roadmap of where you want to be within the next five years.
It can include both professional and personal goals like career, relationships, finance, life or business.
How to Make a 5-Year Plan
- Determine your "why."
You’ve probably heard this a couple of times but ‘knowing your why’ is the most important step and the foundation of creating a plan. Knowing your why will motivate you to keep moving forward when things get difficult in your journey—it serves as a guide pointing you in the right direction.
A why is usually linked to a core value or belief, and it can take a while to narrow this down if you haven’t gone through the process of eliciting your values. This process can be challenging as you have to dig deep to narrow it down.
Here are tips on determining your why:
- It should be clear and specific.
- It is something personal and related to a belief or your core values.
- Another way to determine your why is by asking this question over and over until you narrow it down and get down to the core reason why you want to do something.
For instance: I want to start a marketing and consulting business. Why is this important to me?
To empower women pursuing their career ambitions simultaneously with motherhood. Why is this important to me?
Here’s my WHY for OJC:
“I started Olivia Jenkins Consulting to help women pursuing their career ambitions simultaneously with motherhood. As a service provider, my clients are at the centre of everything I do…it is my motivation to keep me going whenever things get difficult. And to this day, this is the reason I keep going despite the ups and downs in my journey.”
- Choose your goal
When creating a five-year plan, you want to review your life as a whole and decide what your objective will be.
When creating a five-year plan, select a specific objective and decide what area in your life you will be focusing on, is it a career, spiritual, or financial? etc. You can also take a holistic approach in which you can choose to improve on many areas of your life at the same time.
"In five years, I want to be _________________."
Here are some core pillars you should always consider:
- Health (physical and mental)
- Relationships (with self and others)
Note: This is flexible and depending on your goals, you can add other categories like spiritual development, personal development, recreation, and others.
You can also include your bucket list goals here—spread them out during the five years, it also makes the journey fun and rewarding.
- Create actionable items for each of your goals.
It is important to break down your goals into actionable items so you’ll have a higher chance of completing them. You can do this by starting with the big ideas and ultimate/end goals.
From there, you can break it down by:
- Process: What steps or daily efforts are required to achieve this main goal?
- Resources: You’ll need to research and identify resources and skills and set a structure to achieve your goal. Which resources will you use to achieve your goal? Research the necessary steps to reach your goals. For example, if you want to start a successful business, your action plan might include conducting market research, setting up a name and a budget, professional development like completing a certification program, learning a course or attending a conference or getting help from an expert/mentor.
- Set annual goals. Once you know your key action items, you can break them down by year. You’ll have to create an end goal and objectives for each year that build toward your ultimate goal.
- Break goals down into milestones. Creating small and short-term goals with timelines of a week or month can help you focus on tasks. Also, it’s a good idea to celebrate each milestone you’ve accomplished to keep you motivated along the way and so you stop to recognise that you’re moving the needle.
- Create S.M.A.R.T.goal. Creating S.M.A.R.T. goals help increase the chances of your success.
- Specific – It’s difficult to know where you’re going if the goal is unclear and vague. It is likely that you’ll succeed if you have a clear goal. This will answer the following questions:
- What needs to be accomplished
- Who is responsible for it?
- What are the steps needed to achieve it?
- Measurable – Quantifying your goals lets you know if you’ve reached your goal or the finish line. It helps you determine if you are making progress and keeps you on track and on schedule. At the end of the day, we need to know WHEN we have achieved the goal–so it’s important that we have a way of measuring when we’ve achieved it.
- Achievable – It is okay to push yourself beyond your limits but make sure that your goal is realistic and attainable based on where you are currently today. Ask yourself if your goals are something you or your team can reasonably accomplish.
- Relevant – Does your goal fit within the bigger picture? Why are you setting the goal that you’re setting? Does it align with your personal values? What’s the impact on your life?
- Time-bound – Remember that every goal needs a target date. You have to know when a goal should be finished or if a goal has been reached. This is also to ensure that everyday tasks do not take priority over your longer-term goals.
A time-bound goal will usually answer these questions:
An example of a SMART-goal statement might look like this:
My goal is to launch an incredible NEW business education platform for OJC by 30 June 2023. Myself and the OJC team will accomplish this goal by creating the course material, video guides, workbook guides to be uploaded to the platform and launch the sales page to enroll students from. Accomplishing this goal will result in a far greater impact with access being available to students worldwide and deliver a scalable product and income for Olivia Jenkins Consulting.
- Make adjustments as needed. Revisit your goals as needed (at least once or twice a year or when you feel you need to). Any journey is full of surprises. While it is good to follow your plan, it is also important to be flexible and make adjustments. There might be unexpected changes along the way. Sometimes you can reach some goals faster and others longer than you expected or you may encounter unexpected bumps along the way. It’s okay to take a detour but always follow your roadmap and keep your focus.
Following your dreams is challenging as any journey does, but with the right planning, hard work and persistence, you’ll get there. Remember—success starts with the right planning and following the steps outlined above, you’re one step closer to achieving your goals in any area of your life.
And If things aren’t clicking and you need help from an expert and learn how to achieve your goals faster, and bring your vision to life, I'm always here to help, there’s no better person than to help you the one who has been there where you are now Join my waiting list for business coaching or check my services here.