Want to know how to write a 5-year plan? Well, the key to success is consistency.
Think about it; the price of success is hard work and time. Along your journey, you’ll take many roads, and have your wins and your failures. But it’s your consistency that keeps you dedicated. It’s what keeps you keepin’ on.
From the businesswoman who exhibits contagious enthusiasm meeting after meeting to the aspiring entrepreneur who keeps on creating helpful free newsletters for her audience, consistency fuels success and gives us energy.
Something that really helps with this is creating a 5-year plan.
A 5-year plan will help you structure your life and be more consistent, by helping you focus on your priorities, identify barriers, and identify areas of change.
We’re sure you’re aware by now that you are solely responsible for your success. No one but you can make you successful. Which is why a 5-year plan is so useful. It is an actionable way to plan ahead and be a more consistent version of you.
Here’s how to get started in 3 simple steps.
Write down what motivates you (and think about it)
What gets you out of bed? What fuels the fire inside of you? List all these things.
The exercise is simple: you’ll think about everything that motivates you and write your answers down. They can be one-worders’ or complete sentences. It’s entirely up to you so you can make sense of it all. If you’re wondering how to write a 5 year plan, the first step is in what motivates you.
The next step is to think about everything you wrote down – and, more specifically, how much you know about them. For example, if you wrote down ‘growing my business’, how much do you know about scaling up? Or, if you wrote down ‘to gain respect in my industry’, do you know what you need to do to gain that respect?
Write down your knowledge and skills (with strengths and weaknesses)
This is directly linked to the second part of the exercise in step one. After thinking about what motivates you and how much you know about your answers, write down your skills and knowledge. By listing these, you can clarify what your strengths and weaknesses are to identify learning and new knowledge opportunities.
Write down the barriers in your way (and what you can do to jump them)
Some of these will very likely be knowledge and skills-based, which is why completing step two is important. But there are other barriers that will be unique to your business or industry, and these are just as important to identify too.
Here are a few examples: money, time, legislation, regulation, boardroom politics, governance, distance, opportunities, uncertainty, market volatility.
We all have a personal life too and for some people, this will also be a barrier. For example, a young mum will find it difficult to scale up her business when her hands are tied changing nappies and not winning contracts.
Once you’ve written down the barriers in your way, write down what you can do to jump them. For example – childcare in the case of a baby or young child; a loan in the case of money; a good solicitor in the case of legislation; and vocational qualifications in the case of developing skills and knowledge in areas you lack.
What about an end goal?
Definitely set one if you can, but this will likely take more time to answer.
Where do you want to be in 5-years’ time? It’s a difficult question. The beauty of a 5-year plan is it changes over time. It’s variable and editable. You’ll develop yours as you progress in your career. Set a goal, but remember it isn’t set in stone.
We’ll end this article with a rather apt quote from Pablo Picasso: “Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.”