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  • Writer's pictureCiara

How to (not really) write a 5 year plan

When you have trouble putting together a 5-year plan for yourself, but you know EXACTLY what you'll be doing with your car...

For the better part of the last week, I've been trying to wrap my head around what I "envision" my life to be like 5 years from now. I'm a planner, so I'm pretty good with envisioning anything up to about a year, but seriously struggle with putting together a complete picture of what I want in my life vs. what I think will actually happen in my life 5 years from now, beyond vague descriptions of steady income, happiness, and a roof over my head.

A big portion of what we learn at IIN goes beyond macronutrients, recipes, and food politics. Health encompasses a whole set of other aspects of life including home life, career, finances, spirituality, relationships, and cultivating joy.

What tipped off my recent struggle with envisioning my future, was a periodic check-in with my goals and all the other things that comprise of "health" that I just mentioned along with my level of satisfaction in each area. The challenge goes like this: write 3 visions for future you along with 1 to 3 action steps for each vision. Do this for 1 month from now, 6 months, 1 year, and then 5 years out.

My discomfort in defining (or rather envisioning) anything past a year or two lies mainly in the fact that there are just some things about future me that I feel are not actionable on my own accord. Other things, however, I can more clearly envision - this I realized the other day on my way to the gym as I was thinking about the upkeep of my car and how much longer I intend to keep it (ironically, at least 5 more years which comes with a semi-detailed plan of a low-mileage commute and some local road warrior work and exploring).

After my workout, just as I walked out of the gym and back to my car, a ladybug was waiting for me on the rear driver's side door (ladybugs are held in pretty high regard in my family as special totems), confirming my ability to recognize that some things can be planned, looked at as goals or milestones, and aspired to, while others are better left to chance and opportunity.


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