Instead of planning your life year by year, plan 10 years at a time.
The year 2019 is coming and 2020 will start. The question for many people 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 magazine that has been in continuous publishing since 1818, the answer is no. They claim that decades begin with the number "1" (like 2021) and end with the number "0" (like 2030).
Yet we refer to decades as the 50s, 70s, 80s and so on. Moreover, this Wikipedia article claims that the 2020s begin on 1 January 2020 and end on 31 December 2029.
So, which is it? Should we start a new decade in just over three weeks, or do we have one year left of the decade we are currently on? No matter which side of the debate you fall on, the fact remains – if you want a remarkable life – you should think long term.
Every year, people determine New Year's solutions. The problem with this is that it is short-term to plan one year at a time. You should have a long-term vision, which means that you should plan for at least the next ten years.
In other words, you should create a ten-year plan. I'll show you how to do this in today's post.
Why make long-term plans
I could write a whole blog post about the importance of long-term thinking (both for countries and for individuals). But for now I will refer to something I wrote on this blog a few years ago about building wealth.
Keith Cameron Smith explains in "“The Top 10 Differences Between Millionaires and the Middle Class” that millionaires think long term, while everyone else thinks in the short term. He divides society into five groups and explains how each group thinks:
- The very poor think day by day.
- Poor people think week to week.
- The middle class thinks month to month.
- The rich think year to year.
- The very wealthy think decades to decades.
Here's what happens when you plan long-term:
- If you have some bad months, or even a bad year, it's just a bolt in the way.
- Ten-year goals are small enough to make you think they can be achieved, but big enough to really move your life in the direction you want it to go.
- You can create a better balance between your current wishes – eg. I want a new pair of shoes – and your future wants – e.g. I want to make a significant investment in a fund.
- Making a concrete difference takes a long time. If you always think in the short term, you will never achieve anything great.
- Long-term thinking gives your life purpose and direction.
- When you have a long-term plan, you can set long-term and short-term goals that will allow you to achieve the long-term plan.
Now that you know why it is important to think long term, go ahead and create a ten-year plan. I'll tell you how to do this next.
Questions to ask
You create a ten-year plan by asking yourself questions in several life categories, such as the following:
Your skillset of 10 years
- Mastery of a skill usually takes about ten years. Is there a skill you want to start learning now to have mastered in ten years?
- You can get pretty good at a skill in about a year. What skills do you want to become quite good at over the next ten years?
- You can gain basic knowledge in a skill of about a month. Are there any skills that you would like to gain in basic knowledge over the next ten years? If so, what skills?
To help you gain all the skills you want to acquire over the next ten years, I will start my video course on this subject soon. It's called "Learn all the skills 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 will receive a message when the video course starts.
Your finances in 10 years
- How much money have you accumulated in 10 years?
- What types of investments will you have?
- How will your debt situation be?
- What assets will you own?
- How will you make your money?
- What level of financial security will you have achieved?
Your health in 10 years
- How will you manage your weight over the next ten years?
- How will you keep fit?
- How do you look and feel in ten years?
Your career in 10 years
- Will you move up the company's ladder in the next ten years?
- Do you want to stand out on your own for the next ten years?
- What contributions would you like to make in your field over the next ten years? How will you expand your field of knowledge?
- What will you be known for in ten years?
- Do you want to retire in the next ten years?
Travel and adventure in 10 years
- Which countries do you want to visit in the next ten years?
- What adventures do you want for the next ten years?
- What events would you like to attend?
Your relationships in 10 years
- What kind of people do you want to surround yourself with over the next ten years?
- Do you want to get married in the next ten years?
- If you are married, how will your marriage grow over the next ten years?
- Do you want to have children for the next ten years?
- If you have children, how come promote and support their physical, emotional, social and intellectual development over the next ten years?
- Do you want to build a business contact network over the next ten years? What kind of people do you want in your network?
- What will your social life look like in the next ten years?
Your personal development in 10 years
- How will you change and grow over the next ten years?
- How will you improve your mental and emotional health over the next ten years?
- What habits do you want to adopt in the next ten years?
Project in ten years time
- What projects – for example, writing a novel, composing a piece of music or opening a gym – do you want to work on for the next ten years?
- Will you be working on a long project in the next ten years?
- Will you be completing several medium-sized projects in the next ten years?
Ten years contribution
- How will you promote your legacy over the next ten years?
- How can you help make the world a better place in the next ten years?
- What charity contributions will you give? How will you participate in your community?
Once you have answered the questions above and used these answers to create a ten-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 ten-year plan.
- Create a 365-day challenge that will lead one of your ten-year goals forward.
- Use instructions to help you plan your year in a way that will contribute to your ten-year plan.
If you do this every year for years to come, chances are you will achieve your ten-year plan.
What do you think? Should we start another decade, or is it next year? Anyway, I'm sure you see the power of long-term thinking. Live your best life by creating a ten-year plan.