Have you ever sat down and wondered where you see yourself in five years?
When Jenny talked about her Holiday Planning, she talked about the basics of planning for the current holidays upcoming - the gift lists, the meals. The details on organizing yourself and staying prepared, on top, and avoiding the stress that surrounds big events. Planning and having resources at your side can be helpful and I am so thankful for it, it made days like tomorrow's Thanksgiving so much easier. Then my post on Life with Intent, was about having a purpose. Giving myself a positive direction, an "ideal" to live up to. How it's not selfish or arrogant to be you full creative self and give yourself over to that.
Five years though? Is a whole other ball game. Looking at yourself and wondering where you want to be in that five years is not always easy, at least for me. I love to record things and I hate being disappointed. As a child, I was always disappointed in the "goals" I set for myself because I didn't realize or understand that I needed to take steps to ensure those goals happened. In books, those things just happen to the protagonist and obviously you are the main character in your own story, so it makes sense that a fairy godmother is just going to show up and rescue you. But that's not how life works. In reality, if you want something you have to work damn hard to get it and if you are lucky you might get it. MIGHT. So I stopped recording goals and having expectations about life.
And then Kevin and I joined Amway.
Now if you haven't seen John Oliver's Last Week Tonight's video on Multilevel Marketing, STOP and go watching it. Then come back. It's important because it's a great view on how companies like Amway are terrible. This post is not here to support them or promote them. Like the video description says
"Multilevel marketing companies claim to be legitimate businesses, but some seem awfully…pyramid shaped. John Oliver and Jaime Camil demonstrate how they work."
But Amway was good for us. No, it didn't make us any money and its business plan did not work for us at all. Kevin and I never got anywhere as two very shy people, who never were great at networking or sales. Amway taught us to look into the future in a way we had never been taught. We were shown to think bigger in our dreams. Then how to break those dreams down into realistic goals and time frames. When we moved out to Lethbridge, we removed ourselves from the company too. The goal setting process, seeing the bigger picture, and planning, has stuck with us.
Five Year Planning
Just into our second year in Calgary, Kevin threw a bomb at me and decided to go back to school. Maybe one day I'll write about why I call that I bomb. For now, the result of that was for me to take a white board, sit us both down for an evening, and start planning how we wanted the next five years to go. I have no pictures of this white board, but it was messy, with erase lines, black, red, and blue ink. We hid it away behind the dresser when people came over. It also changed so much over the years that it's hard to fully remember all the goals that was on it. But as of June 2015, we reached all the big goals that we wrote down, except one and those are the ones I'm sharing with you here.
When Kevin would graduate school. (Kevin graduated in 2015)
What our ideal career goals were once he graduated. (ideal goal was somewhere in the states, like google or microsoft.)
Be Debt Free. (Outside of Student Loans, we were almost debt free when Kevin proposed in 2014. Along with a few other circumstances that number crept back up between 2014-2015 before Kevin started working. This goal doesn't feel like a failure because life happens)
When you reach the end of your planning, it usually means it's time for a new plan?
It's fairly obvious that I think goals are important. I host a Monthly Blogger Collaboration completely dependent on bloggers writing about their monthly goals (shameless promotion, join us if you're a goal setter too!). The collaboration is great for the short-term goal setting and keeping myself motivated, especially now that I blog full-time. It's time, however, to look to the future and set goals for where I want to be in five years. Those goals then would be broken down monthly for the collaboration and for me to have stepping-stones worked out. This time I want it pretty (yes you can make a white board pretty, it's not what I had in mind), so I bought fancy supplies and we sat down to make our plan.
Only to discover that neither of us really knew what to put on it. I'm a wanderer and feeling a bit lost in the long-term.
So here it sits partially filled on our wall. Mostly filled with important dates to remember but overall very few goals. And this brings me back to the question I started with,