How to write a 5 year plan


Having goals improves your likelihood of a successful career; a Harvard research programme revealed that 3% of graduates earn more than the remaining 97% combined…why? 84% of them had no goals; 13% had goals but didn’t write them down or make a plan, and 3% had clear written goals and timeline plans to complete them in (

Why should I have a 5-year plan?

Having goals provides you with a sense of direction and gives you focus. For big goals, having a five-year plan can map out how you’re going to achieve the goal whilst giving yourself allowances for unplanned circumstances.  In 5 years, a lot is going to change and your plan may feature different aspects of your life, however, in having a plan every decision you make will be reflective of your end goal because you’ll know what it is. Do you want to succeed? 50% of people that make goals are more likely to achieve than people who don’t (Forbes, 2014). Why? Goals give you perspective and a 5-year plan gives a timeframe.

What topics can I include in my 5-year plan?

Your goals will include topics from all parts of your life: work, family, personal, financial and many more. However, once you know what you need to focus on you can prioritise your goals. Identify what is more important to you at this time.

In 2014, 63% of adults who made New Year resolutions broke them in the first few months (Guardian, 2015). Why does this happen? Lack of planning and commitment; if you’re not driven to achieve your goal then you won’t. ‘Spur of the moment’ goals fail 63% of the time – that’s more than half!

Create your goals

You need to be specific. Make clear goals such as ‘gain an EYE qualification’ – this is a realistic goal that can contribute to your 5-year plan. In this time, you could re-sit a GCSE, or take your a-Levels; you could even go to university!

Having a timeline in place when you’re creating these goals is important. 5 years isn’t that long and yet you could achieve a lot if you put your mind to it. A timeline will allow you to set different objectives for each year, and these can be carried over if not completed. This way you’ll know every year what it is you need to do to reach that objective and step closer to your end goal.

Recognise your accomplishments

When you’ve completed an aspect of your goal, cross it off. Having a visual reminder of what you’ve already achieved is a great motivator and can boost your morale when you’re feeling down or want to give up.


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