As I’ve said before, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day minutiae of life. Sometimes it feels like we’re just going through the motions without any sort of plan or purpose. That sense of uncertainty can lead us down a rabbit hole of existential crisis and self-doubt — and there’s no time for that! Instead, I like to think about where I’m heading with my life so that I have some semblance of direction. But how do you know if this is something you should be doing?
Setting long-term goals can help you keep your eyes on the prize
Setting long-term goals can help you keep your eyes on the prize. It’s easy to lose sight of what you want and need when things get busy, so having a concrete plan in place can help keep your focus sharp and prevent you from getting distracted by short-term goals that may not be aligned with what really matters to you.
Setting long-term goals will also help direct your time, effort, and energy toward achieving them. When we have vague ideas about where we want to go but no real plan for getting there, it can be tempting to spend our limited resources on things that aren’t actually important—a tendency psychologists call “goal neglect.”
For example, if someone says they want to save money for their child’s education but has no idea how much money he or she needs or how much time will pass before he or she needs it, then he or she might spend more than necessary on nonessentials like nice clothes or fancy vacations instead of saving as much as possible for college tuition fees now!
Sometimes having a 5-year plan can be the best thing for you
You can’t plan everything, but you can use your plans as guides to help you along your journey. If you’re feeling extremely lost, consider a 5-year plan an opportunity to get some perspective.
You may be thinking, “What good is a 5-year plan if I don’t know what I want to do?” But there’s value in taking the time to think about your goals and make a plan. You can always revise it as you go along, but having some kind of outline can help keep you on track when making decisions that involve significant investments of money or time. If you’re feeling lost in your career path, consider having a 5-year plan as an opportunity for perspective—it may help you focus on what really matters most to you in life.
Having a 5-year plan doesn’t mean that you have to stick to it
The 5-year plan isn’t a goal; it’s just a tool. It can help you gain perspective and insight into your life, but it doesn’t have to be set in stone. You can set it aside when you realize that the path you want to take is different from what you thought.
The most important thing to remember about the 5-year plan is that it gives you a way of understanding where your life could be headed in five years, without having any real idea about how things will work out for you over time. This can help give some much-needed clarity as well as direction for where your life should go next.