I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it now: I don’t like 5-year plans. Lucky for me, I just figured out why.
What would you say to someone if they asked you where you wanted to be in 5 years? Think about it. What’s the first thing that comes to mind? I bet you your first reaction something career-oriented.
“I’d like to be in business for myself,” or “I’d like to be promoted to a coordinator position,” or “I’d like to get my college degree so I can get a pay raise.”
This is the precise reason why I dislike the concept of the 5-year plan. It’s too focused on one aspect of “you.” When someone asks you where you want to be in 5 years, it is as if they only want to know about a certain part of you. The “business” you, or the “career-oriented” you. If you were to respond to the “5-year” question, “I think I’d like to have a healthier relationship with my mother,” I’m sure you would receive some awkward, back-pedalling reactions.
There are so many more aspects of “you” than the “5-year” question asks for.
I was reminded of this while having coffee with a dear and absolutely lovely friend. She asked me where I wanted to be in a year. Granted, she is the type of friend for whom the “5 year” question never begs the standard response. In fact, she’s the type of friend for whom almost any question merits a soul-driven response. But my answer to her question was the typical business-oriented excuse of an answer. I faltered; I stuttered. Because really, the business-oriented answer was not the answer I needed… or wanted to give. I just didn’t know how to answer honestly because until that very moment, I hadn’t considered it.
I needed to ask myself… “what relationship to money do I want to have this time next year?” “What relationship with my family?” “What sense of vocation do I want to develop?” “Where do I want to be emotionally, spiritually?”
I’ve spent the hours since that lovely coffee date thinking about those very questions. I can’t say I have any answers. But I encourage you to think about them for yourself. Take yourself out of “business” mind for a moment, and think about the entirety of your life.
Where do you want to be?