Instead of planning your life year by year, plan 10 years at a time.
The year 2019 is coming to an end, and 2020 is about begin. The question on a lot of people’s minds is: Is 2020 the beginning of the next decade? That is, is a new decade about to begin?
According to Farmers’ Almanac, an annual American periodical that has been in continuous publication since 1818, the answer is no. They argue that decades begin with the number “1” (as in 2021) and end with the number “0” (as in 2030).
Nonetheless, we refer to decades as the 50s, the 70s, the 80s, and so on. In addition, this Wikipedia article alleges that the 2020s begin on January 1, 2020, and end on December 31st, 2029.
So, which, is it? Are we going to start a new decade in a little over three weeks, or do we have a year left of the decade we’re currently on? Whichever side of this debate you fall on, the fact remains that–if you want to have a remarkable life–you should be thinking long-term.
Every year people set New Year’s resolutions. The problem with this is that planning a year at a time is short-sighted. You should have long-term vision, which means that you should be planning for at least the next ten years.
In other words, you should create a 10 year plan. I’m going to show you how to do this in today’s post.
Why Make Long-Term Plans
I could write an entire blog post on the importance of thinking long-term (both for countries and for individuals). But for now, I’m going to refer to something I wrote on this blog a few years ago about building wealth.
Keith Cameron Smith explains in ““The Top 10 Distinctions Between Millionaires and the Middle Class” that millionaires think long-term, while everyone else thinks short-term. He breaks society down into five groups, and explains how each group thinks:
- The very poor think day to day.
- Poor people think week to week.
- The middle class thinks month to month.
- The rich think year to year.
- The very rich think decade to decade.
This is what happens when you plan long term:
- If you have a bad few months, or even a bad year, it’s just a bump in the road.
- Ten-year goals are small enough for you to believe that they’re achievable, but big enough to really move your life in the direction that you want it to go.
- You can strike a better balance between your present wants–e.g. I want a new pair of shoes–and your future wants–e.g. I want to make a sizeable investment in a mutual fund.
- Making a tangible difference takes a long time. If you’re always thinking in the short-term, you’ll never accomplish anything great.
- Long-term thinking gives your life purpose and direction.
- Once you have a long-term plan, you can set mid-term and short-term goals that will allow you to achieve that long term plan.
Now that you know why it’s important to think long-term, go ahead and create a 10 year plan. I’ll tell you how to do this next.
Questions To Ask
You create a 10 year plan by asking yourself questions in several life categories, such as the following:
Your Skillset In 10 Years’ Time
- Mastery of a skill usually takes about ten years. Is there a skill that you want to get started learning now in order to have achieved mastery in ten years’ time?
- You can get reasonably good at a skill in about a year. What skills do you want to get reasonably good at in the next ten years?
- You can obtain basic proficiency in a skill in about a month’s time. Are there any skills in which you wish to gain basic proficiency in the next ten years? If so, which skills?
To help you gain all the skills that you want to acquire in the next ten years, I’ll be launching my video course on this topic soon. It’s called “Learn Any Skill Faster and Better: How to Learn to Code, Play the Piano, Lift Weights, Speak French, Draw, Or Anything Else”.
Sign up for my free 5-part course, How to Learn A Skill Quickly: A 5-Part Process, and you’ll be notified when the video course launches.
Your Finances In 10 Years’ Time
- How much money will you have amassed in 10 years time?
- What types of investments will you be holding?
- What will your debt situation be like?
- What assets will you own?
- How will you be making your money?
- What level of financial security will you have obtained?
Your Health in 10 Years’ Time
- How will you manage your weight in the next ten years?
- How will you stay fit?
- How will you look and feel in ten years’ time?
Your Career In 10 Years’ Time
- Will you move up the corporate ladder in the next ten years?
- Do you want to strike out on your own in the next ten years?
- What contributions do you want to make in your field in the next ten years? How will you expand your field’s area of knowledge?
- What will you be known for in ten years’ time?
- Do you want to retire in the next ten years?
Travel and Adventure In 10 Years’ Time
- What countries do you want to visit in the next ten years?
- What adventures do you want to have in the next ten years?
- What events do you want to go to?
Your Relationships in 10 Years’ Time
- What type of people do you want to surround yourself with in the next 10 years?
- Do you want to get married in the next ten years?
- If you’re married, how will your marriage grow in the next ten years?
- Do you want to have kids in the next ten years?
- If you have kids, how will you promote and support their physical, emotional, social, and intellectual development in the next ten years?
- Do you want to build a business contact network in the next ten years? What kind of people do you want in your network?
- What will your social life be like during the next ten years?
Your Personal Development In 10 Years’ Time
- How will you change and grow in the next ten years?
- How will you improve your mental and emotional health in the next ten years?
- What habits do you want to adopt over the next ten years?
Projects In Ten Years’ Time
- What projects–such as writing a novel, composing a piece of music, or opening a gym–do you want to work on during the next ten years?
- Will you work on one long project for the next ten years?
- Will you complete several mid-sized projects in the next ten years?
Contributions In Ten Years’ Time
- How will you further your legacy in the next ten years?
- How will you help make the world a better place in the next ten years?
- What charitable contributions will you make? How will you volunteer in your community?
Once you’ve answered the questions above and used those answers to create a 10 year plan, you can plan for each of the ten years by referring back to your plan. Do the following:
- Create New Year’s resolutions that are aligned with your 10 year plan.
- Create a 365-Day Challenge that will move one of your ten -year goals forward.
- Use prompts to help you plan your year in a way that will contribute to your 10 year plan.
If you do this every year for the next years, chances are high that you’ll achieve your 10 year plan.
What do you think? Are we about to start a new decade, or is that next year? Either way, I’m sure that you see the power of long-term thinking. Live your best life by creating a 10 year plan.