We often have new years resolutions, ad-hoc diets, strong passions and wishes, but life can get in the way. Vision setting and a focus on your goals can be very important for ‘success’ and your well-being. Why are 10 year goals important instead of 3 year goals or even 5 year goals?
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Why is a 10 year plan key to success?
Why do I focus on my ten year plan? In truth the reason I admire this figure is because it helps me to find deeper meaning and purpose in life. This number helps me to look at the bigger picture. We can change our habits today if the will is strong enough and we can achieve incredible things in 12 months or 3 years with the right discipline, desire and skill sets to do so. My 10 year plan template is more of a metaphor for a life long journey and vision. The vision for Meaningful Paths is to provide a platform to help many people with their well-being and through this process help those individuals to use their skill sets and new found positive outlook on life to help others; whether this is through charities, social enterprises, business founded on strong ethics and more. We will learn in this article mindful goal focus and how to also enjoy the present moment and the journey in addition to how to set tangible long term goals. Therefore my 10 year plan is really a vision for life that goes deeper. If we can create visions that are deeply founded on meaning and compassion for others and our beautiful planet then we will achieve so much more.
Why we shouldn’t live without direction
Having purpose in life is strongly linked to mental well-being and a lack of direction and a purpose in life can be linked to depression. Hedonic forms of pleasure (for example eating a tasty snack or alcohol) can be part of a healthy balanced life, but if we have a lack of direction and purely follow what feels good and react to negative emotions without thought we can go down a path of further negative emotions and become trapped in life. We will learn later in this article how to create a balance of family time, mindful focus, mindful communication and more whilst still have goals and direction.
Setting yourself up for success
What are the foundations and environment that we should create to help us with our goals and plan?
- We want to create an environment that helps us flourish and grow. The pursuit of happiness can actually be detrimental to our well-being and it is better for us to create pillars and an environment that supports positive emotions instead. More on this concept can be found here in our article the pursuit of happiness. Examples of this could be work on your financial health, to have a regular exercise regime, be more social in your local community and say hello to the person who serves you your morning coffee, volunteer for a charity project and more.
- It is important to understand your true values and not to be pressured by society on your goals and vision in life. Money is a tool that can be used for good or bad and it can make us happier if our basic needs are met, albeit it might not make you as happy as you think. More about this can be found in our article money and meaning.
- Read each day for growth. Read one positive quote, one page, one paragraph of a book; and continually grow each day as a human being and learn more about people, our planet and life itself. Learn to be open minded, to ask open ended questions, practice leaving your ego at the door and not making assumptions, and enter situations based on compassion and kindness.
- Focus on being the best version of yourself each day. Be inspired by others journeys but do not look to copy their journey as your results will differ. There is only one version of you throughout history, present and the future there has never been, is not and will never be another version of you. Your passions, skills, personal quirks, experiences are unique to you.
If we focus on the above four points we will create an environment of continuous positivity to keep us going and also a platform for continual growth. No matter what happens you will improve, grow and strive to be the best version of yourself you can be.
Vision setting – creating your own 10 year plan
Now you know how to create the environment for your well-being, positive emotions and continual growth for your vision. Now we want to create our vision.
- Begin to uncover your values. Please download our free values exercise here – https://www.meaningfulpaths.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Values-Exercise-2.pdf
- Become a life long learner and observer and practice mindfulness. Walk in nature and appreciate trees, landscapes, animals, seasons and more. When having a coffee in a busy city, relax and watch the world pass by. Once you relax and observe you begin to realise meaning is every where, opportunity is in front of you, people and nature make the world turn. It is very important to be present with our loved ones instead of thinking about our vision when in their company. Create small tangible tasks each day for your goals but once done, find time for your friends and family and be present minded with them. You can learn more about mindful communication in our blog article – Mindful Communication. Also our page Calm has some meditations, mindfulness exercises and breath work you can practice – Calm – Meaningful Paths
- Buy a journal and write down your big vision and 10 year plan, followed by actionable steps towards this with a 12 month plan, 3 month plan, and weekly plan to guide you towards you bigger life vision.
- Take up new hobbies that improve complimentary skill sets, you physical health, your mental health and hobbies that are also social. The healthier your body, the healthier your mind, the more people you meet and the more skill sets you grow; the more likely you are to achieve your big vision in life.
Next you will find some simple yet powerful tasks to help you action your steps.
Actioning your plan
What can help us when we want to action our plan?
- Think of yourself as a wave and move and flow with life. We cannot control life or other people but we can control how we act and how we react to situations. We can still move towards our end goal but we can enjoy the fruits of the journey along the way and we can gain character growth by finding lessons when we stumble. We never fail, we only pivot and grow.
- Write down each day one thing that you did well. It does not matter how small this thing was; you may have felt unwell that day but you still read a chapter of a book for your growth, write this down. Writing is very subtle yet powerful for our well-being.
- Create a plan B task sheet. For example if your goal is to lose body fat and you had to work through your lunch hour and this meant that you then ate junk food your plan B action could be to buy a healthier evening meal and/or to do 10 minutes of star jumps and body squats when you get home. Create a simple and colourful diagram with circles for your actions each day over the course of the week and have plan B circles pre written if life gets in the way that day. This way no matter what life throws at you, you are in a position to make small personal wins and you can write about this later that day in your journal.
A conclusion of thoughts
Create a bigger vision that benefits people, society, and is harmonious or complimentary to nature. Practice being mindful and enjoy connecting with people, and learning more about life itself. Read as often as you can and practice leaving assumptions and your ego at the door. Ask open ended questions and create a growth mindset. Create a routine that allows you to move forward each day but also gives you quality time with loved ones. Have manageable, fun and creative plan B action steps and be kind to yourself if you have a bad day; you are only human after all. I am excited for your goals and the present and future good that you can do with them.
Wishing you health and well-being.
Positive Psychology Program B.V 2020.