Do you know where you want to be in five years?
And more importantly do you know WHO you want to be in five years?
Will you be the same as you are now (and 5 years older), or will you have put the past behind you and be living a fulfilling life? Will you?
I saw this quote on Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook page recently and as she says “If you don’t have a plan for where you’re going to be in five years, then — after five years has passed — you will still be exactly where you are right now.”
And you will be exactly WHO you are right now.
This was me. I spent ten years not thinking ahead, drifting from day to day, year to year and as Elizabeth Gilbert says after ten years I was in exactly the same place.
I learned the hard way that there are no magic wands, no fairy godmothers, I had to do the work, only I could make change happen, yes ME.
Elizabeth Gilbert encourages readers to write down exactly what they want in their life. She suggests picturing life exactly as you want it, where you will live, who you want to be spending time with, what’s your career, passions, how you will use your creativity. Write it all down.
And if you’re worried this all sounds like goals and you don’t want anything to do with them, I can assure it’s not goals, let’s call them dreams, or visions.
Think about it; when you get in a car if you don’t know where you’re going then you’ll either drive round and round in circles or stay put. Life is very much like that, and let me guess you’ve stayed put for a while now and that hasn’t worked so well has it?
So it’s time to plan, time to dream again, maybe to rekindle some of those dreams you had when you were 12 before life got in the way, and to add new ones. Because you have freedom and flexibility in your life (yes I know you didn’t want it but it’s there) so why not use it?
And while you’re on a roll with writing now for two big questions (come on, you knew it wouldn’t be that easy);
What do you want to have put behind you by then?
Let’s get to the root of this, do you want to have put behind the dreams of motherhood, the sadness and grief OR do you still want to be dragging them behind you like a ball and chain?
Be honest and if the answer is you don’t want to put it behind you, you’re in the wrong place. I can’t help you. Sorry.
And (sorry, here’s the second tough question), something you’re doing is holding you where you are now, so are you willing to give that up? Ask yourself:
What are you willing to give up, in order to have what you really want?
Are you willing to give up hiding, secrecy, staying in shame, are you willing to give up being proud and ask for help maybe?
Trust me, there IS something special waiting on the other side but it can’t come in because there’s no room for it to grow. Think about it; you can’t plant new flowers in your garden until you make a space for them can you? And life is the same. This life you’re living now is taking up too much room, and the new can’t come in until you make space for it to grow.
And while you on a roll, ask yourself
Who you want to BE in five years and how do you want to feel? Make a list of the qualities you’d like to have, the values you want to be living to.
Maybe you had some of them in the past and they’ve got lost or maybe there are new qualities you’d like to adopt. Write them all down.
So by now you’ll have a list, you may want to mull this over for a while or maybe you got it all down the first time. And once you have your final vision, do something creative with it so you can see it every day because then it will seep into your unconscious mind. And your unconscious mind is like a finely tuned radar and will search out opportunities for you to move towards your dreams.
And now it’s crunch time (I’m sorry, I know I’m asking some tough questions this week, but you know I only have your best interests in mind.)
This week do me a favour please; do yourself a favour and take one step towards your dreams, a tiny step or a big step it doesn’t matter, do something that starts to take you away from where you are now and towards the life you want.
Because that step just might be the most important one.
One thing is certain, time will pass. In five years do you want to be and have everything that you’ve written on your list, or would you rather be in exactly the same place thinking ‘I wish I’d made the effort’?
It’s your choice.
My five year plan is still evolving. Doing this exercise confirmed that there are many things and people in my life that I love and want to remain. And there are some things that I want to do less of and others I want to add. I really want to continue my own personal development, to take more better of me, to spend more time reading, to travel, and to do more creative projects.
What about you? What do you want your life to be like in five years? Who do you want to be in five years?
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